Janet Hiebert - Our Founder's Story

Janet Hiebert - Our Founder's Story - Samsara Cycle

If you ask Janet Hiebert why she founded Samsara Cycle, she’ll tell you it’s personal. It all started as a passion project sparked by a wish to wear cycling clothes that reflect her off-bike style. 

Janet got into road cycling a little late to the party in her hometown of Vancouver. She loved how her new sport opened up a new world of combining exercise and exploration but didn’t enjoy the pelvic soreness, so she went shopping for padded cycling shorts. However, she only found garments that looked like she was on a race team or like shrunken versions of men’s cycling shorts or over-padded orthopedic garments.

After searching high and low in her hometown of Vancouver and beyond, she realized that if she wanted the cycling shorts she craved, she would have to make them herself.

So she reached out to some young design school graduates who specialized in athletic apparel and technical garments, and they helped her create her first designs. She also recruited a designer to help create her first Cherry Blossom print.

When Janet wore her new cycling shorts to her indoor cycling class, women immediately asked where she got them. It seems they shared her craving for stylish performance cycling gear designed to flatter their bodies. So, Janet started taking one-off orders from her friends and classmates and making shorts. 

Soon the word got out in Vancouver’s vibrant outdoor cycling community, and the orders started rolling in. Emboldened, Janet enlisted a local manufacturer to create one-hundred pairs of her women’s cycling shorts with hidden padding and fashion-forward artist-designed prints. 

And Samsara Cycle was born.

Samsara soon added other cycling garments and accessories to their collections so women could feel bold and beautiful in complete cycling kits designed to flatter and perform. Like any business, there were many mistakes and struggles, but the business flourished.

Today Samsara Cycle creates women’s cycling clothes designed to flatter the multitude of shapes, sizes, and curves in women’s bodies. We use premium, super-soft, lightly compressive fabric that looks great on everyone. 

Our shorts feature top-of-the-line, hidden padding scientifically designed for women’s bodies. They also have high-waisted, smooth-fitting torsos and soft non-constricting leg elastics. We test and retest every design, continuously improving our garments based on our experiences and customer feedback.

Today Janet loves it when women visit her Vancouver showroom to try on a cycling kit, many for the first time. Most enter the changing room with trepidation, wearing the apparent angst of trying on stretchy, fitted garments like bathing suits. Janet feels so much joy when they emerge from the changing room with huge smiles and renewed confidence in their bodies. 

Women created Samsara for women. We want to provide women with cycling gear that genuinely reflects their style. We know that if women feel good in cycling clothes and meet their sport's technical needs, they are more likely to get out there and ride more often. 

Our kits help women begin cycling, get back on their bikes after years away, feel comfortable during their daily commute, want to ride more, push their limits, start competing, and break personal records. We want women to feel confident that whatever they put their bodies through on their bikes, their gear will support them. And they're going to feel great wearing it.

We want you to love your ride! This is why we do what we do.