Profile Hincapie: Andrea Housley

Providing great customer service requires good listening skills, excellent working knowledge of our business, and a friendly attitude. These are some of the many traits that Hincapie Customer Service Representative Andrea Housley utilizes when helping service our dealers and consumers.  She’s the first person you get on the phone when you call the office, so we thought we would focus on her for this week’s Profile Hincapie.

Andrea came to Hincapie Sportswear a couple years ago when a friend recommended that she contact the company.  “I’m not a cyclist, but I knew about Hincapie Sportswear from the local media coverage of George,” said the Alabama native. “My friend did boot camp with one of the employees and she said Hincapie was looking for a new customer service rep. I jumped at the chance to work here.”

We were looking for a customer service rep, and when we found out Andrea could do more pull-ups than half the guys around here, we knew she would be tough enough to handle any situation that might arise.  As an avid runner and cross-fit devotee, she is passionate about her fitness.  That athletic discipline carries over into her professional life and helps her keep track of all the activities around the office.  It’s good to have some detail-oriented team members like her to keep things running smoothly.

Her southern charm and her willingness to chat up the customers make her an excellent asset at shows and events like the Tour of California and USA Cycling Championships.  She’s looking forward to making her second trip to Cali, but her real dreams take her much farther away.  “If I wasn’t working here, I would be a professional chef,” she explains. “If I could, I would take a 2 month tour of Europe and take cooking classes along the way.” I think I’m going to start petitioning the boss for some continuing education credits so Andrea can master her Bouchees and Beignets.

This Bama-Girl has mad skills with a bush hog too!

If you call and talk to Andrea on the phone, tell her you read about her on the blog.  You can even send her some recipe recommendations.  Just leave out the “Paula Dean Pound of Butter” stuff.  We’re trying to stay fit for the racing season around here.  Thanks to Andrea for all that she does around here.  We’re glad to have her as part of our Hincapie extended family.

P.S. Happy birthday to Andrea. She's traveling with the Hincapie crew at the Tour of California this week but some friends surprised her at the office with some balloons before she left. It's bad when you have to celebrate your birthday when you are out of town on business but its not as bad when you're hanging on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Happy birthday Andrea.

Hincapie Staff Winter Picks

Cycling, running and outdoor fun is part of the culture here at Hincapie Sportswear. We put our products to the test every day, just like you will, and we've definitely found some favorites. After listening to Kirk go on and on about how much he loves his Alpe Brim Cap, we thought it would be fun to get the opinions of other staff members to find out what their favorite Hincapie Sportswear products are. We love it when magazine editors rave about our stuff, but there is something more organic about getting opinions from regular people. Here's what some of our staff members had to say about their favorite Hincapie gear.

Drew France, Custom Program Director

Paris Hoodie
MSRP: $169.99

I love the Paris Hoodie sweater! Its part of our Merino Wool line that I am nuts over. I like the Paris Hoodie in particular because 1. It keeps me warm (great for our freezing cold office) 2. It doesn't itch (even better) and 3. It doesn't smell. Well I guess #3 would apply more to the wool activewear, but if you commuted in this piece then you wouldn't have to worry about stinking up your office! But not only is this hoodie practical and functional, its super cute too! I have the pink one, but I need the Ice color also (hello, Santa?). I love them both, and a girl can never have too many cute wool sweaters when those temps dip below freezing! I wear this piece almost every weekend to hang out and run errands. It goes great with my Hincapie jeans.

Lynn Joslin, Sales Manager

Merino Wool Long Sleeve Baselayer
MSRP: $74.99

The Merino Wool LS Baselayer is my best friend these days. I wear it all day in the winter, and I ride in it on the weekends. It feels great against my skin and I'm always warm. It doesn't itch and it doesn't smell when I get a little sweaty. It's really an amazing product. We make short sleeve and long sleeve versions for men and women, so there is a Merino Wool Baselayer for every condition.

Kirk Flinte, Creative & Interactive Director

Alpe Brim Cap
MSRP: $39.99

This hat (along with my wool base layer and socks) is a core part of my daily winter wardrobe. It has the classic look of a cycling cap, plus offers fantastic winter protection. It's super soft, has great wind blocking and covers my ears. On top of that, it makes me feel like an old Belgian pro when I'm out battling old man winter while my competitors are on the sofa.

Courtney Lewis, Merchandising Manager

Merino Wool Gloves
MSRP: $24.99

For me, the Merino Wool Glove is the perfect winter accessory. From the biking to running and even getting into your car on those chilly mornings, this glove will keep you warm and toasty. My favorite feature is the silicone gripper palm which helps you really get a grip on whatever needs gripping. You can even use your touch screen phone with these gloves on. For under $30, why not have them stashed in a few places so you are never without your Merino Wool Gloves?

Andrea Housley, Customer Service Manager

Hincapie Fiesole Jersey
MSRP: $119.99

My favorite winter product is the Hincapie Fiesole Jersey. I love the Merino Wool fabric. It is soft and warm. I layer the Hincapie Long Sleeve Merino Wool Baselayer in natural color underneath and that enables me to wear the Fiesole jersey all winter long.

Steve Baker, Marketing Director

Arenberg Bibtight
MSRP: $139.99

When the temperature drops, I love to ride in the Arenberg Bibtights. The fleece-lined, SuperRoubaix material keeps me warm and comfortable on rides in temperatures approaching the freezing point. We don't advertise them as wind-proof, but I find that the tight knit is very wind-resistant. I prefer the tights with a built in chamois in cold weather, because they keep my core much warmer than wearing regular shorts with leg or knee warmers. The reflective piping is stylish and ads an extra amount of visibility on cold winter days. The cuff zippers make them easy to get on and off. (We make similar tights out of SuperRoubaix material without a chamois that are awesome for multisport activities and cold weather layering.) The Hincapie Arenberg Bibtights are definitely one of my go-to winter garments.

Rich Hincapie, President

George Signature Jacket
MSRP: $239.99

Winter temperatures can be fairly mild in SC, so I spend a lot of time riding in a jersey, arm warmers and a vest. But when the temperature really drops, I break out the George Signature Jacket and it does the job every time. It's windproof and waterproof, and it keeps me warm on the coldest days. It breathes really well, so I never feel like I'm going to overheat. It's also great having pockets on the jacket so you don't have to keep unzipping to get to your phone or food. For really cold rides, I always choose the George Signature Jacket.

Scottie Weiss, Graphic Artist

WindTex Polar Jacket
MSRP: $130.00

My favorite winter product is hard to narrow down since I couldn't ride at all without most of the gear we offer but if I had to choose one it would be my WindTex Polar Jacket!! This jacket is a must have on any ride nearing the freezing mark! I love that it allows so much flexibility while riding even if I have multiple layers underneath. In other words, I don't feel like the Michelin man when I wear it. It also has a very sturdy double zipper that zips either direction, so it's easy to vent hot air halfway up my longest climb. No stopping required, which is a great value add in my book! Other nice touches are the sizable pockets that allow plenty of room for extra gear! The zippers on the sleeves are great. I always remove a glove when digging in my pocket for a snack, and the cuff zippers make that easy! No need for me to worry about the temp outside when I wear the WindTex Polar Jacket. It keeps me nice and warm on below freezing days or nights. What else could I ask for? Wait...my Hincapie winter gloves you ask, well that's another must hear story...to be continued.

Watch a video of Scottie putting the Windtex Polar Jacket to the test.

Casual Friday

We live and breathe cycling around here at the Hincapie Sportswear HQ, but July is very special.  Tour Time seems to bring out the best in us, and we celebrate just like everyone else.  Well, maybe not like EVERYONE else...ha ha.  Sometimes we celebrate in our own unique way.

Andrea is stepping up her game today and showing her support for the BMC Racing Team.  She wore her BMC Racing Team jersey to work today and we love it.  Who says you can’t wear your cycling jerseys off the bike casually.  Maybe you have to do it on casual Friday or maybe you can get away with it any time wherever you work.  The point is, don’t be afraid to show your support for your favorite team or rider.

After all, we’ve all worked with people that have worn team jerseys to work to show support for the big game or race or whatever.

Maybe your crew looks like this.

Or this...Who wants to work with these guys???

Some are a little more tasteful than others.

Why shouldn’t we do the same?  Why not make next week “Wear Your Jersey to Work” week?  (OK, if you’re sweating it, go with casual Friday next week and wear your jersey.)  Whatever you do, make sure you show how proud you are that you’re a cyclist and this is your month!  It doesn’t get any bigger than the Tour de France.  The Tour is like 20 Super Bowls or 20 World Series or 20 Coca Cola 600’s…in a row!  Be proud and wear it loud…just like our very own Andrea!

Our Expert Fisherwoman

It’s always entertaining to me to find out new things about the people in my life.  Social media applications can be some of the best tools for discover new facts about friends and coworkers.  (I’m not talking about finding out that the guy you sat next to in 10th grade is now a woman or that the girl you took to the senior prom is now in jail for selling illegal substances…although those would count as entertaining facts.)  People post the best stuff on their social media pages.  This week I learned a surprising new fact about a friend and coworker.

It turns out that Hincapie Sportswear Customer Service Manager Andrea is quite the fisherwoman.  Don’t believe me, just check out this Facebook photo from her recent fishing trip!

Now I know why Andrea does all that Cross-Fit Training...so she can handle her catch!

Yes, that is a 12 pound largemouth bass.  Yes, she caught it herself.  I didn’t know she liked to fish and I certainly didn’t know she was that good at it.  By the way, she said she warmed up by catching a wimpy little 8 pounder before this lunker.  Way to go Andrea!

Swamp Rabbit 5K Team Building

Team building is an important activity for any organization. Nothing bonds people like some shared experiences and even a little suffering. So, in the interest of bringing us closer together, some of us at Hincapie Sportswear decided to participate in the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail 5K on Friday night. Man, did we have a blast!

The run was hosted on the eve of the opening of the GHS Swamp Rabbit Trail.  This awesome new trail connects downtown Greenville with Travelers Rest 14 miles to our north.  The old abandoned rail line is now a multiuse paved trail for all to enjoy.  The run finished on this trail in downtown Travelers Rest, SC.  The GHS 5K was hugely popular and featured over 3,300 finishers.  There was a huge block party in Gateway Park behind Sunrift Adventures with live music, free food and lots of entertainment.

Andrea, Steve and Drew pose post race. Diana may have been signing autographs by the awards stage.

The Hincapie Team had a great time. Drew, Andrea, Diana and I ran in the event, while Kirk brought the whole family to cheer us on.  It was great to see all the support with so many people participating.  There were people of all ages and fitness levels running and walking, enjoying the new trail.  We all went to dinner after the event for a little laughter and storytelling.  These types of fun events really do bring you closer together.  I hope we’ll be able to get more of us involved with the next office activity that we choose.

Drew and I ran the entire race singing songs from Mama Mia...ha ha.

The brutal 90 degree heat forced some to run with their tongues hanging out!

It was all thumbs up for some...

...and thumbs down for a few others. Regardless of faces, many finished their personal challenges.

This was one of the more inspiring sights of the night.

There seemed to be an unofficial "intimidating" t-shirt competition. One kid had one baseball shirt that said, "Send them deep for the fans to keep!"

The Hincapie Crew was all smiles before the start. L-R: Diana, Andrea, Drew, Steve

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