Chattanooga-based cycling apparel company, Handup Gloves, built its brand on offering the best gloves for “grabbing bars and beers.” Launched in 2014 by a husband and wife duo, Handup is best known for its signature Party Palms gloves that incorporate phrases like “send it,” “beer me” and “good vibes” inside each palm.
Handup patterns are bright and eye-catching, with all range of sizes from youth to adult. The idea for adding phrases within the gloves was inspired by football players making the triangle shape with their palms facing out.
Their designs move away from the classic cycling uniform to offer customers bright and colorful jerseys, pants and shorts that provide comfortability and style.
The company began as the brainchild of Cody and Jamie Wallis, avid cyclists who were disappointed by the lack of unique and durable cycling gloves in the market and started creating designs out of their spare bedroom.
The couple invested their life savings to launch the company – earning their entrepreneurial stripes by managing the highs and lows of owning a new business. They hired their first employee while still operating out of their home. When problems with Handup’s first manufacturer came to light, the couple resorted to selling gloves out of the trunk of their car in bike races across the country.
By growing their business in outdoor communities, they managed to leverage a communication gap within the outdoor space and began highlighting local events and bike rides through an email newsletter and Instagram. Through these marketing strategies, the husband and wife team connected cyclists of varying ages and skill levels with groups, events and other enthusiasts to create a community around the Handup Brand.
Through the pandemic, as more and more people were exercising outdoors, this brand recognition enabled them to tap into a new set of customers and grow their community even further.
Now, Handup has expanded its product line to offer bold designs and patterns through collaborations with companies including Velo Coffee and Realtree Camo as well as partnerships with artists like Duane Koyawena, curator at DK Arts. Through a Handup initiative called Gloves that Give, a portion of the proceeds from Koyawena’s designs go toward supporting The Hopi Education Endowment Fund. – raising funds and college scholarships for indigenous children.
Apart from their glove product line, Handup also offers moisture-wicking apparel and accessories that offer cyclists the freedom to go from a downhill ride to a drink with friends without ever changing clothes. They’ve also expanded their unique brand of athleisure to other sports like snowboarding and golf.
Learn more about Handup by visiting its website, here.