Rolling with Saskia from Lekker Bikes
We chat with Saskia from Lekker bikes about the bikes, the brand, parenting and of course the challenges of running a business.
Who is behind Lekker Bikes?
LEKKER Bikes was founded by Meindert Wolfraad. Meindert travelled to Australia from Amsterdam for a gap year in ‘09 after his studies. His first stop was Bondi Beach! He loved Bondi, the surf (and the beer after) as well as it’s laid-back vibe. There was however one very important thing missing and that was his bicycle. He wanted a bike to ride to the beach, the shops, his mate’s house and he wanted to look good while riding. One word sprung to his mind: LEKKER. “Lekker” in Dutch means beautiful, tasty, cool, stylish, and sexy, all in one word. It was perfect! Meindert wanted his bikes to be (very) LEKKER.
More than 10 years since its inception, we have embarked on an incredible growth journey becoming a global brand with riders all over the world. In Australia, we have a team of 20+, spread across our HQ and two flagship stores. A passionate international crew, all of which love travel, adventure and very importantly getting people out of cars and onto bikes.
How did you get involved?
I’ve always loved travel, learning languages and experiencing different cultures. Travel is a bit of an addiction for me. It has inspired me to live in seven countries across four continents. Wherever I lived I would get myself on a bike – it’s just the best way to explore and get to know a new city.
I started my career as a corporate lawyer in Amsterdam and transitioned to a commercial role in media across the Asia Pacific region based out of Singapore and Hong Kong. After almost a decade in media I was ready for a change. At this point the opportunity came for my family to relocate to Melbourne from Hong Kong. A new adventure was awaiting and I was ready for it! I looked for a bike to explore my new home, found and loved my LEKKER, and not long after came the opportunity to join their team.
What’s it like running a business and being a parent?
I love being a mum, but I also really enjoy work. I feel I’m a better mum when I do both. Running LEKKER and being a mum can be a challenge, but fortunately my son (Max) loves bikes too, a true ambassador who spots every LEKKER from afar and proudly tells whoever wants to hear that I work for LEKKER. We have a really laidback vibe at LEKKER so he often joins me at the office during holidays, rides our (kids) bikes around and keeps the team from doing their job. Having this flexibility really helps in keeping the right balance.
What do you love about what you sell?
I ride my LEKKER ebike into work every day. Our bikes are made for everyone, beginners or Dutchies like myself who rode a bike before learning to walk. LEKKER focuses on delivering a great product that is durable, but we also want as many people as possible to experience the joy of riding. And of course looking good while riding, the “bike envy” you get when you stop your LEKKER at a traffic light, makes you feel invincible.
How have you overcome challenges running a business during covid?
I wanted an adventure and I got it! It was incredibly challenging at times and I think the only thing that got us through was the fact that we could face these challenges as a team.
What have you learnt about yourself while running LEKKER?
To be more patient, with all the challenges that were thrown at us as well as the growth of the business. You need to take one challenge at a time and accept that you cannot do everything!