3 Questions With Forbidden's Owen Pemberton
What inspired the decision to start Forbidden?
Both myself and Ali had a desire to start a small company/brand that would allow us to develop the products that we wanted to create without having to keep one eye on pleasing the mass market. We often spoke about the craft beer industry and how you can relate what the bigger bike brands produce to brands like Budweiser, Kokanee, Carling, etc...It’s not a bad product, it does what it’s supposed to, but in a way that will appeal to as many people as possible.
And then you have these small upstart brands, much like the craft breweries, popping up and making the product that they want to make, purely because it’s what they want to make. Some are a bit more experimental than others, some are better quality than others, but they all have a real-ness that a growing number of customers seem to associate with. We felt like there was enough room for another small, boutique, brand to offer a somewhat unique product, and here we are with Forbidden and the Druid.
Do you have any goals as far as how much you want the company to grow?
From day one we’ve always said we just want to grow it enough that ourselves and everyone else involved can make a comfortable living. We don’t have any desires to compete with any of the big guys with volume. I’m a big believer if you scale a business right you don’t have to be so focused on constantly growing. Growth is good and healthy in the initial phase of a business but you often see these days that it becomes all-consuming, it’s at that point that you run the risk of losing your passion and alienating your core customers, just to make the numbers look good.
What's been the hardest part about starting your own bike company?
Ali and I are product focused guys so developing the bike has been relatively easy. It’s all the other parts of operating a business, the things that are new to us, that have been a challenge. It’s always daunting taking on new, unfamiliar tasks but when you have as many as we have had to get this off the ground it can be a little difficult. We’ve assembled a great team, which presently stands 6 strong, everyone involved is pushing themselves to gain knowledge and develop new skills as and when needed to overcome the challenges we have faced. It’s awesome to see and I’m confident moving forward that we’ve got the right people to make this work.