Schwinn's Lisa VanderMause: Be a Sponge. Learn as Much as You Can from as Many People and Places that You Can.

by The Bloom Report | 26 Jun 2023

Biographies and Interviews


Hi Lisa, thank you for chatting with us today. I know you hear a lot of stories about the Schwinn brand. I have one, too. Tanya Thompson and I were given Schwinn's bikes at one of Oprah's last talk shows. I still have it and love it. What do you do at Schwinn?


Yes, I hear a lot of great stories and that was a fun promotion with Oprah. I oversee brand marketing and consumer experience at Pacific Cycle, including Schwinn Bikes.


What is your claim to fame?


At Schwinn, we pride ourselves on being authentic, welcoming, honest, and bold. Our mission is to bring people together, remove barriers, and lead new generations to a lifelong love of biking - everyone is invited to join the ride, no matter their age or skill level. I’m very proud of the inclusive, welcoming environment that our team has built for the biking community over the years – that’s my claim to fame. 


What are you working on now?


This has been a busy and fun year for Pacific Cycle, particularly for the Schwinn brand! Earlier in May, in tie with National Bike Month, Schwinn launched a new nationwide campaign called ‘Let’s Play Bikes’, which aims to support parents and caregivers in getting kids back outside and off their devices.  Throughout the summer – which will continue well into 2023 and beyond – we’ve been working alongside industry leaders, retailers, tastemakers, and local organizations to arm parents with the tools and tips they need to help kids get back on bikes, which includes an ongoing stream of educational content like our "Learn to Ride Guides," a “Guide to Kids’ Bike Sizes,” and so much more.


As part of the campaign, to incentivize kids to keep riding, we’re also in the process of hosting a #SchwinnSmartStart Scholarship contest to further put our mission into action. Throughout the month of June, riders can enter to win a hefty $10,000 sweepstakes to put towards their kids’ futures by simply posting a photo of their children riding ANY bike on Instagram, and tagging @SchwinnBikes, #SchwinnSmartStart and #sweepstakes in the caption. It’s that simple. We just want to see kids outside and riding!


While the scholarship contest ends in just a few days, the Schwinn team is always on an active mission to highlight the importance of being outdoors – the benefits of unstructured, outdoor playtime are truly unmatched!    


What was your favorite project to date?


It’s hard to pick a favorite project - there truly is so much to be proud of and even more to look forward to! For me, the passion is in the people. Being able to give back to the community has been a huge part of that passion. Whether we’re teaming up with local organizations such as Free Bikes 4 Kidz to host local bike donations or working with our Schwinn brand ambassadors to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to ride, it’s been such an honor to bring people together through bike riding and to watch the cycling community thrive and grow.


What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?


Overscheduling and digitization of our children’s lives. It is well documented that unstructured playtime is critical in our children’s social, mental, and physical development.  A recent study we found from the Child Mind Institute highlighted that children on average only spent 4-7 minutes per day playing outside and 7 hours per day on a device.  


What advice would you give a young adult graduating from high school or college today?


The pressure of social media has made it just so much harder to be a young person today. What I often remind my teenage children is that life gets much more fun and interesting when you stop worrying about what others think.


What advice do you have for people starting in the industry?


Be a sponge. Learn as much as you can from as many people and places that you can. The market and the consumer is changing rapidly and as industry professionals we are going to struggle to stay relevant. Some of the most successful people I have worked with are not afraid to say “I don’t know, but let me try and find out”.


How do you define innovation?


Since 1895, quality has been Schwinn’s “North Star.” As we look for our next adventure, we make sure to honor our heritage and our mission first and let innovation follow. I’m particularly proud of our innovative SmartStart bikes, which is a collection of kids’ bikes with unique features and geometries designed to fit a child's proportions.  They’re an incredible feat of kid-sized engineering, but what it really boils down to is that they’re simply easier to launch and more comfortable for children to ride. Really cool!


How do you recharge or take a break?


It sounds like I’m selling, but really I love riding my bike. I’m not a serious cyclist but days that I can go out for even a short ride I just feel more relaxed and more focused.  We live in a really bike friendly city so it is easy to find new places to explore.  

schwinn pacific cycle bike SchwinnSmartStart Scholarship SmartStart bikes

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