Rothar is a Dublin bicycle shop with a social mission. Anne Bedos came up with the idea in 2008, surprised at the amount of bicycles abandoned in Dublin streets. As a passionate cyclist and environmentalist she couldn’t accept bicycles as being disposable goods, especially since there was a lack of cheap and quality second hand bikes available. Also, through her work in community development projects she observed how isolated people could show tremendous potential once they were given opportunities. Rothar addresses both these issues: it sells cheap refurbished bicycles and it offers classes on bicycle repairs and access to workstations and tools.
Hi Anne, tell us how you got started? I came around entrepreneurship because I wanted to create something contributing to society and that nothing on the subject I was interested in (bikes and social inclusion) was done at the time. I worked for the state for a while and when recession hit Ireland I was made redundant and then decided to put the redundancy money into the project.
What is a typical day like for you? There is no typical day, and that is why I enjoy my work so much. I sometimes just do administrative tasks, or fill in forms for state bodies or follow up on customers, but between HR, accountancy, bike repairs, organization of training etc, I never do the same thing from day 1 to day 2.
Any tips for aspirant creatives and entrepreneurs? Inspiration and motivation are the key words to become an entrepreneur. Hard work is a daily thing, and unless you believe in your project, working hard without being paid at first (I lived on my savings for two years before I could work out a salary for myself) can be a deterrent. Also, loneliness is a big thing when you start something. Until you form a team you can trust and work with, everything will depend on you, and that can be quite difficult. Despite all these difficulties, being an entrepreneur and investing in a project is the most valuable thing I have done so far. I learnt so much and met so many great people that I would do things exactly the same way if I had the choice again.