A funky motorcycle sock – that was the original idea.
Dirt Addict co-founder, Anja-Vone, brought to life the idea to service the two-wheeled, adrenalin seeking market that she works in. It proved to be a mammoth task while working full time – starting this new venture needed so much more attention than what she and co-founder Azèl could afford at the time. Perchance, an opportunity to add products to Cyclogel Gloves, a Cape Town-based importer and distributor, created a new avenue to explore and got the ball rolling for this small business. In September 2019, Dirt Addict active socks were shelved at various cycling shops around the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town and sold at local Christmas markets. They also partnered with local trail running event Run the Vines, and with this increased exposure the brand started to gain momentum.
But, it was never about just socks.
Anja-Vone found herself wanting more than what existing active brands had to offer. She wanted to share and grow adventures in the riding, running and hiking scene but then the dreaded lockdown happened. All progress to advance the brand was brought to a grinding halt.
When lockdown restrictions eased, she bumped into Michelle while out on a ride. Having known each other for a couple of years, their conversation drifted towards the dream for Dirt Addict. Michelle, coming from an active events and brand strategy background, immediately started suggesting ideas on how to market the brand. The very next day they decided to meet to work on a new, cleaner brand strategy. They quickly realized that their ideas aligned so well that it seemed like a natural decision to form a partnership, making the Dirt Addict trio a well-balanced and skilled combination. As the weeks of conversation and planning rolled on, it became apparent to refocus the brand’s vision – there was a great need for an environment where women can feel comfortable and safe to get active.
And so the new vision for Dirt Addict was born: to create a safe space for women to feel comfortable to ride, run or hike no matter their fitness or skill level, to connect with like-minded people and to really enjoy life. This new approach quickly started attracting the most amazing bunch of women who now make up the core of the Dirt Addict Gals and bring the magic that makes up this tribe. The group grows almost weekly as more and more women embrace this safe space participating in group events on a regular basis.
We are in no rush to see massive numbers, our vision is rather to let this magic spread organically, attracting like-minded women (and those who support them) to proudly bare the Dirt Addict tribe badge.
Dirt Addict has Whatsapp groups for both the cycling and running tribe where everyone is welcome to post suggested or planned activities and anyone is welcome to join. While we don’t exclude anyone from joining activities, our focus is on creating a comfortable, pressure-free and supportive environment for women and we hope to expand our tribe throughout South Africa.