Since launching two years ago, Penney’s business has gone from strength to strength. With word of mouth spreading, and the hi-vis vests acting as their very own form of mobile marketing, Penney makes sure she is present at cycling events and attends local market to reach new customers.
You have probably seen Lisa Penney’s work rolling down Adelaide’s streets. Her Hey Reflect’o hi-vis vests are just that; highly visible. But these vests cruise by with another eye catching element missing from all the other hi-vis safety gear out there: style. Penney says Hey Refelct’o was born from her own desire to shed the cheesy orange look of worker’s vests while she was on the bike, and stay safe on the road. “I’m on my bike every second of the day, and the workman’s vest was the only option I had,” Penney says. Two years ago she decided there was a niche she could fill with bold colours and an aesthetic to catch the eye of drivers and fashion forward folks alike. “Being seen is so important on the road,” she says. “It’s just logic. You’re an idiot to go out there and wear grey or black or white on a bike.” Hey Reflect’o’s designs “can be seen from a mile away” and have forged a solid marriage between colourful geometric designs and road safety. Penney’s business has gone from strength to strength since launching two years ago. With word of mouth spreading, and the hi-vis vests acting as their very own form of mobile marketing, Penney makes sure she is present at cycling events and attends local markets to reach new customers. With local design event Bowerbird Bazaar quickly approaching this May, Penney is ready to showcase her traditional designs as well as some fresh additions. She’s developing a new line of products to bring more visibility to people and creatures hitting the road. A new set of reflective sleeves will aid cyclists clearly demonstrate their intention when indicating a turn, vests are on the way for kids, “dog tubes” will make errant pooches impossible to miss and a line of exercise sheets will make sure you drivers spot horses on more rural roads. Hey Reflect’o is based in the Angas Street factory of professional creatives that is The Mill. Penney says it’s “an awesome place to collaborate” with “everything you need” on hand, including designers, illustrators and photographers all under the same roof. Indeed, another Mill resident, Sarie Tardiff of Fairy Gloss has collaborated with Penney to create a premium and intricate new vest design. Quality of product is paramount for Penney, who describes herself as “a perfectionist” when it comes to developing her line. She notes that it’s important for Hey Reflect’o gear to breathe, as people are generally exerting themselves physically while they wear her kit. It’s another fine balancing act to make sure her designs stay strong and visible while also allowing for air and moisture to move through them without smudging. Likewise, Penney is open to the suggestions of her customers, with much of the product she sells being made to order. She says that clients often ask her about the development of new products, and follows a motto of: ‘you asked for it, here you go.’ As the community continues to follow and encourage Hey Reflect’o, one can expect to see more of these vests rolling off the shelves and into the street. Bowerbird Bazaar Wayville Pavilion, Adelaide Showground Friday, May 6 until Sunday, May 8 bowerbirdbazaar.com.au heyreflecto.com.au