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!