It all started as a class project at the sustainability focused Bainbridge Graduate Institute but Hub and Bespoke co-owners Juliette Delfs and Aldan Shank have transformed their homework into a retail concept based on the cycling lifestyle. With an eye for on-the-go style—a blazer-inspired bike jacket by Nau, a durable messenger bag by Rickshaw—and a mind for urban transport and community and environmental improvement, the shopkeepers can outfit you for the road—completely. We talked to Delfs about life on the road.
WWW: What song or album is playing on your store’s sound system right now?
Delfs: Today, Paris Combo. So many people associate our shop with a trip they took to Europe—Amsterdam or Paris, where they think about city people getting around by bike. We like to remind people that they can have that here with the music we play in our store.
What was your first job in retail? What did you love or hate about it and how does it compare to what you do now?
In high school I worked at the downtown Bartells where the Westlake plaza is now. I opened the shop on weekends, 8:30 am I think. I loved the regulars; the guy who came in with a $100 bill first thing in the morning for a pack of cigs, he would yell at me because I didn’t have enough money in the cash drawer to make change. There was also a little old lady who heisted candy in her bra. It was totally different than my current job. Now, I love the conversations I have with my customers. We share a vision: to live in a city where the quiet, elegant bicycle is an ordinary transportation mode.
What’s your favorite thing in the store right now?
We sell a lot gifts for that special ‘bike-y’ someone. A current favorite are these beautiful belt buckles with bike themed art by Seattle jewelry designer Wendy Woldenberg. Each buckle is photo-etched and some are stamped with words. They are made of brass or copper on nickel silver.
Where do you shop when you’re not at your store?
I mostly shop for food when I shop. I love the Ballard Sunday Market and my Fremont PCC. I frequent my favorite Fremont neighbors for gifts at Fremont Vintage Mall, Bitters Co., Portage Bay Goods, Burnt Sugar and Frankie, and Essenza, to name a few!
What do you love about your store’s neighborhood? What nearby restaurants, coffee shops, etc. do you recommend?
There’s just so much to choose from and it’s so easy to get here by bike. On a beautiful day, Fremont is especially lovely with its mountain and lake views. My favorite neighborhood food spots are Flying Apron, Pie, and Revel. There are five coffee shops to choose from and they are all great. You can travel the gastronomic world without leaving the neighborhood.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened in your store?
We have some local characters but they are all harmless and they add to our quirky Fremont character. My favorite incident was when one gentleman, who regularly walks our streets, popped his head into the shop, shaved head and all, and pronounced he was proud to be a woman.