Western New York’s Largest Supplier of Reclaimed & Surplus Building Material

A Community of Doers, Part I – Are you a bicycle entrepreneur?

Zam Bikes, custom, sustainable, bamboo bikes from Zambia!

So, a month or two ago, we posted about our vision for an artisan center on the East Side of Buffalo.  Well we’re excited that our vision is beginning to take shape…we have lots of ideas and lots of hopes for our humble little warehouse located at 298 Northampton Street.

Over the next few weeks, we’re gonna share with you some ideas we’ve had about “dream tenants” . . . entrepreneurs, artists, artisans . . . who provide a service to the community and/or are interested in a community art space.  The focus is really on creating and doing.

So far,we have Rusted Grain, who have set up shop and are creating their unique line of reclaimed tables, cabinets, and accoutrements for your home or business; ReUse Action also bases its green demolition activities out of the space and will soon be launching a community repair and window restoration service location for the community; we are in conversations with a glass blower too . . . which would be super cool!  But it’s a wide open world out there and we want to create and support a community of doers.

This is a grassroots effort, so interested artisans and entrepreneurs should have a true desire to be part of a community-focused effort and be willing to contribute to the creation and development of the space.  If you have an idea or you know of an individual who may want to learn more, have them call Michael at 716-949-0900 or Megan at 716-912-5529 or contact us via our contact page

So on with the show . . .

Part I. Are you a bicycle entrepreneur???

So last week, I took a whirlwind tour to Alabama . . . a long story, but during the trip, I had the immense pleasure of visiting an organization called HERO, located in Greensboro, hale County, Alabama.  WOW!  Awesome folks.  But they’ve initiated a venture called HERO bikes, where they build bicycle frames from locally harvested BAMBOO! and they train young adults in the technical aspects of bicycle repair, maintenance, and fabrication.  Anyway, I was inspired.  I started to think about the folks in our neighborhood that ride bikes and the lack of services for bike riders on the East Side.

And then today, I had friends in from Ithaca who attended Ani’s show last night at Babeville, and Greg was sharing his experiences working at RIBS (Recycle Ithaca’s Bicycles).  They offer DIY support for folks to come in and make repairs to their bikes, they provide bike services, and they sell recycle and repurposed bicycles.  Sounds, like a great effort!  Similar to the Blackstone Bicycle Works on the South Side of Chicago, which offers training and education for young adults in bicycle repair and maintenance.  And of course, no discussion of community bicycling is complete without a tip to the hat to our very own GO Buffalo Bicycle Workshops.

In doing some research on community bicycle programs, I came across Zambikes, an effort to offer training and economic opportunity through bicycle design and fabrication in Zambia.  In Zambia unemployment exceeds 50% and their customized bamboo bikes are now being exported all over the world.

So we get a bit dreamy-eyed thinking about a bike mechanic or bike shop operating out of the center.  Do you know of someone that has the skillz?  Who is looking to incubate a new bike business?  Who wants to be part of a new community-focused effort incubating on Northampton Street?

Send them our way!

Onward,

The folks at 298 Northampton Street