Islabikes, a United Kingdom-based children’s bicycle manufacturer and design specialist, plans to open its U.S. headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
The firm was founded by renowned British bicycle designer Isla Rowntree, one of the few female designers in the industry. Business Oregon said Isla's reputation is built on a thorough understanding of ergonomics, with a meticulous attention to detail. "I'm really excited that more children will have the thrill of riding our super lightweight well-fitting bicycles," said Rowntree. "In looking to site premises in the U.S., Portland stood out as the natural home for our company. With the familiar climate and a sense of shared values, it's a welcoming, visionary community with a passion for cycling as a sustainable way of life."
"Oregon is a great fit for Islabikes as part of our highly successful outdoor gear industry which numbers in the hundreds already," said Business Oregon Director Tim McCabe. "I am confident that Portland families as well as the community's eager and trained workforce will embrace this new company."
The city of Portland offered the company technical assistance and a small grant for improvements to the company's new Produce Row storefront on Southeast Seventh Avenue. The Portland Development Commission worked with Islabikes and the property owner of the building, Mike Tevis, on improving the space and façade by providing a storefront grant of $20,000. PDC officials also assisted in site selection of the property.
"Portland makes perfect sense for Islabike's U.S. launch, thanks to the city's outstanding reputation for intelligent design and quality products," said Patrick Quinton, executive director of the Portland Development Commission. "In partnership with Business Oregon, we're delighted to welcome Islabikes to our growing community of athletic and outdoor companies."