Islabikes founder hits the ground rolling in Portland

Islabikes' Isla Rowntree is ready to embrace Portland's cycling culture.

Islabikes' Isla Rowntree is ready to embrace Portland's cycling culture.

The name and personality behind Islabikes hit Portland this week to get a glimpse at her retailing handiwork.

Isla Rowntree not only checked out the Southeast Portland U.S headquarters building, the cycling expert, naturally, did a little riding.

"I am visiting so we can catch up face to face on all the routine business planning stuff but also so I can experience some more of Portland’s wonderful bicycling culture," she said. "I will take time out to explore the city and for a couple of days mountain biking. I love coming here."

U.K.-based Islabikes opened its U.S. headquarters in Portland on April 15. Islabikes makes children's bikes.

Rowntree is a bicycle designer and a racing champion who's mastered several disciplines.

The company's Central Eastside Industrial District digs features a warehouse, workshop and retail shop.

"When we first decided to open Islabikes in the U.S., we had the pick of all states," Rowntree said. "We needed somewhere that would be commercially viable but equally important was to find somewhere that fitted in with our values. On our first visit to Portland we knew we had found our home. Simply, it just felt right."

Our full interview with Rowntree will appear in the SBO section within Friday's Portland Business Journal.


If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.