From a dire time in my life back in July 2017 my now ex husband said to me 'you need to start your own brand, before I die'.
If that wasn't the kick up the pants I needed, I am not sure what would be.
You see the previous 3 years, I spent a lot of my money and his, on getting everyone's kit. I was a real kit addict. I would say one of the originals.
After several years of buying other peoples, going through each piece with a fine tooth comb, I set out on my own research and development journey.
I spent a lot of time looking for a cycling kit company, which I found after 3 years. They were amazing but when Brexit came I had to seek alternatives. Which has been a very long process.
A bit of a trip down memory lane.......
September 9th 2017, I launched with cycle gear only.
During the years from 2017-2018 I launched more and more cycle kit in various designs. The brand was getting known slowly slowly.
On my 4th trip to Kona (2018) I decided that I needed to participate in the Underpants Run. There was no way I could afford the money for a stand at the expo and even if I could, I don't like being locked in one position. So I saw the opportunity to advertise the brand during that fun event.
In October 2018, I dressed a few friends who had supported me since the early days.
That was so much fun. I didn't run with them that year, I took pictures. I remember long time friend, Jane Hansom using her skillset to get the girls in front of any professional photographers as possible. It worked, as we were spotted on the Ironman page and definitely amongst people out in Kona.
In April 2019 I ran my first camp. My ex husband was such a great help. I had 12 women attend and from that day forward lifelong friendships were created. That was such an amazing camp for the girls, the coach, the photographer and me. I will always be proud of that camp.
Life changed dramatically shortly after that camp. My marriage fell apart and my focus was just keeping myself from becoming unhinged. The STP Global Familia rallied around me and made sure I continued with the goal of creating an inclusive, diverse, community of all women with various skills, speed, experience etc.
2019 was also the year that had started to create the triathlon kit. OMG what a journey that was. Countless months finding the right supplier, then countless thousands of pounds in making samples. I went through 8 iterations of the trisuit before I launched in 2020.
2019 was the year in which I would race in the suits to test every element. OMG I remember Marbella 70.3, I wore the 4th iteration of the trisuit in the Flamingo pattern, which was amazing but oh my days did the chamois cut me up. Going to do a wee was so painful.
I managed several races in the suit but the final sign off on the kit was Ironman Wales, which was my 13th Iron distance race to date.
Still in 2019, we head back to Kona. Who knew at the time that would be the last time on my island for a couple of years, hey. This time I dressed approx 35 athletes, guys and girls. A highlight for me on the trip. Oh and my friend Ruth Astle winning overall female, where she shortly after punched her pro card.
At the end of 2019, Ruth went on to race her first pro race, and asked if she could wear one of my suits. All I had at the time was my kit I had just tested and finally give the sign off. That was such an honour. Her first race and the first time the Australia audience would see my kit too.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2020. We didn't know what was coming at all.
I managed to put on another camp, but sadly it wasn't as well run as my first. I tried to do it all by myself and very soon after my marriage had ended. I honestly tried my best but it wasn't great. We still had a great time and there are many of those ladies who are still part of the famiglia today.
In late February of 2020, I finally launched the triathlon kit and wow it was very much accepted by the community. And then March 2020 came and no one raced for basically 2 years.
It didn't stop sales though. I guess people wanted to train and feel good in their kit.
No Kona in 2020 or 2021, so there was no underpants run to speak off, but I did spend time developing my swimwear. I left my previous supplier that I used and worked with my factory to develop a suit from scratch that I would love to wear.
I even launched a coffee in late 2020, before moving house in new house that bought. LOL. I was honestly trying everything.
2020/2021 financial year saw STP do £101k in overall sales, and 2021/2022 STP £116,366.82. At time of writing this, sales are down, which is a reflection of where we are as a country/world, STP has done a total of £23,787 in overall sales. Any profit was put back into the business. That is when STP stopped being a sole trader type of business and became a limited company. All grown up.
2021 was much of the same, releasing new designs, hosting virtual Zwift rides, spontaneous virtual gin nights etc as we all navigated the pandemic. Racing started to return at the later part of the year, which saw Stompettes finally being able to get out there and race in their kit.
Towards the latter part of 2021 I decided it was finally time to create a STP race team. That is when the STP Collective was born and I am so glad I did. I could not have dreamt to have so many amazing women and couple of men want to be part of the team.
2022 saw the launch of the STP Collective and it has been amazing to date. The aim is to grow the team over the coming years, and focus on many team/relay events where we can bring the colour to the UK race circuit.
and before I wrap up this very long article, 2022 saw female British Professional athlete, Ruth Astle choose Stomp the Pedal as her kit supplier.
Ruth and I collaborated to create her a stand out kit, that has been so recognisable when she races. She has even said she feels like a celebrity in it when out racing, as she cannot believe how many people recognise her and cheer her on. Makes my heart sing.
The best part of this partnership was all profits from the sales minus general costs to make the kit, package and mail go to Ruth.
And finally to bring this to close, STP turns 5 on the 9th September at 9am. That is when the new collection, Kaleidoscope will go live for pre order. It is also the World Championships design for both Kona and 70.3 race in St George.
I am so excited for this. STP has 9 ladies racing across the two events.
I am so proud of myself. This has been a long journey of figuring it all out along the way, not going into debt to stay afloat, creating a community of the most amazing humans who want to be part of something more than just racing fast and getting podiums and I am so looking forward to what the future holds for STP.
For the remainder of 2022, STP plans to be at Kona, get the cycle kit back out to the market and I plan to be at events with a little pop up shop with the main aim to sell stock I already have, and meet as many athletes as possible. Have them feel and touch the quality of what I offer, so they can see the difference between STP and everyone else.
We bring colour to the course! You won't miss us!
Thanks for reading this very long article. I would love for you to comment below on what your experience has been with STP, what do you love, your favourite STP item or design if you have one. Leave a comment. I would love to read them.
Congratulations Tarsh! You’ve come along way since our Esanda days in Parramatta! Your tenacious approach and determination is something to be admired! I’ll keep my eye out for STP! Melissa ❤️
Wow! What a journey, you must be so proud of what you’ve achieved. Thanks for sharing 💝
Oooo, favorite design is probably either Flor Flor or Atika (although the Fizzy Wizzy …). Favorite item? Too hard to choose!
I’m a bit late to the party I know, but I really love your swimming costumes. Design and quality of material best I have tried by a mile. Good on you for setting up your business. Lots of your costumes at Shepperton lake this summer with my fellow Viceroys Triathlon Club members leading the way. Looking forward to trying your cycling tops too. Well done! Fiona x
What a brilliant story and back ground to STP