Mrs Fairweather's Bicycle Emporium

Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
19th of May 2011

Victoria and Dorothea - fabulous restored vintage bikes by Mrs Fairweather's Bicycle Emporium in Adelaide!
Boris - another beautifully restored bike by Mrs Fairweather's Bicycle Emporium

Two weeks ago at the Bowerbird Bazaar market in Adelaide, South Australian graphic designer Nigel Venning launched a fantastic new sideline business. It's called Mrs Fairweather's Bicycle Emporium, and you guessed it, it's all about cool vintage BIKES.   In Nigel's own words - 'this is a small gig that restores old pushbikes and gives them a contemporary edge for today's discerning urbanite... basically i take a wreck, restore the parts on it that are salvageable, recycle from other wrecks if parts are too far gone, and if I cannot find a part to suit from that then buy a new part.'

OMG awesome-looking vintage bikes, re-purposed materials and ethical integrity?  I think I died and went to hipster heaven :)

SERIOUSLY though I am LOVING Nigel's creations - if you wanna be REALLY impressed have a look at the 'before' shots on the website. Truly amazing transformations!!  This prompted me to ask Nigel a few inquisitive questions...

Give us a little background on yourself - what was your previous career before Mrs Fairweather!?

My previous career is still existing. The bikes are a sideline that I am pursuing. I own a small web and graphic design studio, *nishnish, in Adelaide and have had it for the last 11 years.

When did you first launch Mrs Fairweather's Bicycle emporium?

Mrs Fairweather's Bicycle Emporium was launched a fortnight ago at a designer's market here in Adelaide called Bowerbird Bazaar.  This was a great PR exercise to see what folk thought of what I am doing.  I have sold a couple off the back of that bazaar and received some great feedback.

What inspired you to restore old bikes in the first place?

It all started about 9 months ago when I found a bike on hard rubbish next door to our home, and I said to my wife that I was going to restore it for her for Christmas.  I presented her with the bike on Christmas Day and she loved it.  She also suggested that I do something further with the idea.  From there I purchased 30 bike wrecks and set about to creating restorations with a story.

Is the business just you? or do you have some helpers?

At the moment it is just me with excellent support from my wife and the guys I work with at *nishnish.

Where does Mrs Fairweather work from?

The restoration is done at home at the moment and the bikes are stored at the studio where *nishnish is.  We'll see how it all goes but the dream is to give Mrs Fairweather a home.

Nice work Nigel (aka Mrs Fairweather!).  Love your bikes!

If you're bike-MAD, you may be interested to catch up with Mrs Fairweather at the Melrose Fat Tyre Festival in South Australia's Southern Flinders ranges from June 10th - 13th.  For unashamed city-slickers (ahem), I'm hoping there might be a Melbourne visit sometime soon... will keep ya posted!

The very dashing Squire, by Mrs Fairweather's Bicycle Emporium

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