tattoos, and . . . Michael Bolton? Yeah, and Legos too.
Don’t try to fit Breeann into a category, because she just won’t go. Describing her as eclectic is an understatement. But if we just had to file her under a single heading, then “Motorcycles” might suffice, because this world-traveling, dirt-bike racing, racing team owning, Harry Potter-loving, mom to a teenager has been living life on two wheels longer than she can remember.
WR: We can start with the simple questions. Where are you from?
BP: I was born in Florida, then we moved to Colorado. I lived there for about 14 years, then eventually moved to Virginia, where I lived for nearly 15 years before I moved to Milwaukee.
WR: And that’s where Royal Enfield North America has set up its HQ?
BP: Yes. They let me work from VA for about a month, but then I needed to move.
WR: How well did you handle that?
BP: I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve heard that Milwaukee is the epicenter of motorcycling in the US, but I don’t think I really believed it. After living here, I wholeheartedly agree with that statement. I was shocked to see the number of bikes here. There are bike nights, group rides . . . people ride to and from work. Motorcycling near D.C. was more of a hobby for people, but it’s a lifestyle out here.
WR: When did you start working for Royal Enfield North America?
BP: I started in May of 2015 after a friend from Buell got a job here and asked if I’d like to join the team. Of course I jumped at the opportunity.
WR: What did you do before Royal Enfield?
BP: I helped manage a race team, which I later owned. That went well until we started having trouble getting sponsorship, and when Fox dropped professional racing, I eventually sold the team to a Triumph factory team.
After that I helped manage other teams, and before I joined Royal Enfield I managed Melissa Paris’s team. I even traveled to Spain with her. It was a lot of fun.
From 2008 to 2009 I was the Team Manager for the factory Buell team.
WR: What is your job at Royal Enfield?
BP: I’m half of a two-person team, and we’re responsible for all aspects of Royal Enfield North America’s marketing. Our goal – and the company’s goal – is to increase brand awareness. The first Royal Enfield motorcycle was built in 1901, and they’re making a huge comeback in the United States. We’re making a huge push in every market we can think of to connect with riders. It’s a lot of work, but I love this brand, and I’m having a lot of fun.
WR: Have you always been into motorcycles?
BP: I can’t remember a time I wasn’t. My dad rode bikes, and he tells me I was on a motorcycle at six months old. As a kid I did motocross, then street bikes, and eventually road racing. Since then I’ve always had a job that involved motorcycles.
My primary job has always been in the industry. It’s been tough, but if you took away motorcycles, I’m not sure who I’d be.
WR: Tell us about your bikes.
BP: Oh I’ve had quite a few, and I’ve been so lucky to get loaner bikes from the companies I work with. I had a [Yamaha] R6, which I crashed, and it scared the hell out of me. I’ve had a lot of dirt bikes, and I think that’s why I like the [Royal Enfield] Himalayan so much. It’s been my daily rider for a few weeks. (Author’s note: The Himalayan looks like an amazing Adventure Bike. Royal Enfield is working hard to bring it to the US very soon.)
My favorite was a KTM.
WR: If you could pick any bike in the world – that’s not a Royal Enfield – what would you choose?
BP: I’d definitely go with a four-stroke KTM 450. I want the bike that Ryan Dungey rides – I want to do jumps like him.
WR: Other than motorcycles, do you do anything else for fun?
BP: There’s something other than motorcycles? Well, I really love to travel, especially with my son. Just this year I’ve been to Peru, Panama, France, Italy, and I’m going to India. If I’m able, I really like to incorporate motorcycles with my travel.
For the last three or four years, I’ve been in charge of planning, logistics, coordination, hosting, and emceeing Ace Corner at the Barber Vintage Festival. If I can, I occasionally help with other festivals. Recently I was at a vintage festival in Miami, with Cafe Racer XXX.
WR: You talked about traveling, and then more motorcycles.
You can say my life is all about motorcycles.
WR: Do you have a guilty pleasure?
BP: That would definitely be Legos. I spend way too much money on them. I even had a Lego room at my house in VA. I still get them as birthday & Christmas presents. I’m addicted to the Harry Potter sets, and I love the books & movies.
WR: So what’s on your playlist right now?
BP: Promise you won’t make fun of me?
WR: Are you kidding? I was listening to yodeling this morning.
BP: Okay. My favorite singer of all time is Michael Bolton. I love him. I also love old-school hip-hop and reggae. Oh, and Kenny Rogers. Islands in a Stream with Dolly Parton might be one of the best songs ever made. If I’m riding and need to blow off steam, I listen Breathe Carolina.
WR: Do you have any role models?
BP: I’m not sure. I look up to some people, and take inspiration. Sasha Valentine of Cafe Racer XXX is one of those people. Also, my dad. He didn’t do all of the things he loved, but he made sure we were taken care of. He put us first, and always gave us motivation and support.
I want to be myself. I’ll take some inspiration from others, but I want people to say “Bree was Bree.”
My job is me, and I wouldn’t do it if I weren’t passionate about it. I hate when people don’t pursue their passions, because they’re scared it won’t pay off in the end. When they get older, they wish they would have done things differently. Never be scared to follow your passions. Sometimes it takes awhile. You may have to build a small nest-egg before you do it. But I’ve been smart about where I spend my money, so I can continue to do what I love. The good things in life never come easy.
WR: What’s the next big thing for you?
BP: On September 9th & 10th, Royal Enfield is having a Grand Opening for its flagship store in the historic Third Ward of downtown Milwaukee. It’s a huge thing. Royal Enfield’s CEO Siddhartha Lal will be visiting. The press will be there; Royal Enfield Brand Ambassadors will be there; and some surprise celebrities – it’s gonna be great, but I don’t want to give it all away.
WR: If people can’t make it, is there another way to see what’s going on?
BP: Yes. It will be live-streamed on our Facebook Page.
WR: Where else can people see what you have going on?
BP: We’re really busy on Instagram and Facebook. I really love interacting with everyone on social media.
Thank you Breeann for taking some time to talk with us! You’re definitely setting the bar high for living an exciting life.