Meet Steve Mills
Next Up – Steve. He lives in the New Forest with his wife Kayleigh and 3 young kids and a blind cat with learning difficulties. Formally Head of E-commerce at Wiggle from 2007 until 2013 when he left to run his own curtain business (a story for another time) and then soon after co-founded the E-commerce fulfilment business Green Snow (with fellow CHPT3 director BOLWELL), and not much later joined CHPT3.
1. What’s your role at CHPT3?
Tech Director. I became part of the CHPT3 world in 2017 and my main focus is managing the eCommerce side – the site, the infrastructure and how it all connects to our fulfillment engine Green Snow, which is the other half of my work life as the MD of that. The two are so intrinsically linked though, which means by default anything from the CHPT3 customer services to fulfillment and despatch come under the remit. I love the detail, I love trading and commerce, love multi-tasking, trying to never get too stressed out (which is frickin' hard running a business at the moment!) love to be part of brands I’m passionate about, and a bit of a tech geek at heart.
2. What’s been the most memorable thing you’ve done with CHPT3, or if that’s too hard (too many choices), then what has been the most forgettable, although you probably can’t remember that?
Wow, we’ve done a lot in the past 3-4 years, and it has been fascinating evolving the brand as we have – from being only a small collaboration brand when I joined, to now having many amazing brand partners, and our ever-growing line of ‘own label’ items such as the casual clothing, bags, headwear etc…. but the most unforgettable ‘forgettable’ by far is the limited edition CHPT3 Blackout Roller Blind. We created it for Black Friday to rebel against all the noise, crap and discounting that existed. We created a brilliantly lo-fi IG video to promote it which had us all in stitches putting it together. After Black Friday we took the blind off sale – due to an unprecedented lack of demand.
3. If we were to say there are three parts to our lives, family, work, and a third space that you get to decide and control, what would that third space be for you?
My 3rd space, without a doubt, is being outdoors, which I know is either very broad or very hippy, but I live in the New Forest which is over 500km² of national park that I’m most at home riding or running around it. It’s proper perfect for me, there aren’t any huge hills, but you can ride most disciplines. I’ve been tearing around it on my Hardtail since I could ride a bike (wish I kept that old Claud Butler Oracle), loads of quiet lanes, and scenic routes for the road bike, and my Cannondale Slate with its Lefty fork is my current go-to. There is ENDLESS gravel. Plus loads of wildlife, plenty of coffee stops on a Sunday morning and an almost unlimited supply of local pubs for afternoon and evening rides. Being out in the forest is definitely my 3rd space, with friends, family, solo whatever, as long as its outdoors.
4. If you could own any car what would it be?
I’m an 80’s boy through and through, so its either the DeLorean or the GMC A-Team van. Now I’m a proper dad with 3 kids and actually own a VW T6, I’d probably go for the A-Team van on practicality merit, assuming that if I had a Delorean as a dream car, it wouldn’t come with a working Flux capacitor & Mr. Fusion. Otherwise a mint AC Cobra, that’s the retirement dream car, when I don’t need 3 kid seats in the back.
5. Of all the things you’ve worked on at CHPT3 to date what are you most proud of?
Tough one, but I’d say when we first launched the CHPT3.com site. It didn’t look anything like the current one, it was fairly basic but it’s the thrill and excitement of creating something new, putting it out there and then watching those very first orders come in. Technically I placed the first order, but about 2 hours later a Mr. Jackson from Manchester bought a couple of Jerseys. It’s probably the geekiest thrill you can get, but the excitement is right up there, and it’s similar with every new product launch, but you can’t beat that very first one on launch day.
6. What would you love CHPT3 to do that is hasn’t done?
I can’t wait for us to be doing a product that goes broader than just road cycling. I wear my Rocka all the time on my MTB and gravel bike, it’s proper tough and resilient, but also slick and breathable. However in the summer I just ride in shorts and a tech tee, and then I have my favourite tech tees that I will wear on runs, cycling, loungewear, etc. I can’t wait for us to have that sort of staple product, that you just want to wear for anything and everything. And we’ll do a damn good one too.
7. What’s your favourite CHPT3 product
There are so many, my LS Rocka is my most worn, I wear the Merino baselayers for everything on and off the bike, and I’m a huge cap fan, but the one thing I will wear most days is the POC Devesa Require sunglasses. They are so good and universal, I mean, I’ve worn them to weddings and family days out, but also riding Enduro in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. While fishing for pics I realised I clearly take too many selfies in them.
8. Do you enjoy reading? If so what author(s)/book(s)s would you recommend?
Yes love a book, I just wish I had more time to read them. Currently reading “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” but my current favourite and one I would recommend to all is SAPIENS by the same author – Yuval Noah Harari. Please check it out, if you like history /evolution, and how it shaped society, psychology, politics, lifestyle – everything, it's fascinating. Plus everyone should have a mild understanding of timelines of ‘stuff’.
9. If you could travel in time where would you go?
I’d love to jump around pre-history, as in, 100,000 years ago up until c.5000 years ago and Stonehenge, etc. It would be so interesting to see communities and societies started to do things for the first time, the level of basic invention and resourcefulness must have been off the scale, not to mention their knowledge of the stars and patterns of the sun and moon, etc.
10. Is COVID-19 going to change the world?
I hope out of all the pain, suffering, death, disruption and chaos, there is a positive legacy that starts to emerge and a humanity reset. Summed up in the below:
Thanks for reading - Steve.