As a bike commuter in New York, Alison Lucien felt like she was trapped in a world of spandex and ugly bike gear. She went out searching for stylish alternatives and, in the process, launched her own web shop, Eleanor's, which she named after her bike loving grandmother.
Name/Title: Alison Lucien/ Owner
When did you launch your Eleanor's? I opened Eleanor's in April 2012.
What was the inspiration for opening the store? I used to bike commute to work in the fashion industry here in New York. At the time it was really difficult to find high-quality, fashionable accessories to add a little personal style to my morning ride. I was lost in a sea of unflattering spandex bike shorts, heavy rear racks and metal-mesh baskets that were more take-out delivery than fashion forward. I was looking for accessories that said "chic French girl", not "Tour de France." I knew I wasn't the only person out there looking for these unique bike accessories so I decided to launch Eleanor's with a collection of products I'd want to use myself. The store is named after my grandmother, who was an avid bike rider.
Where do are source your merchandise? I try to find unique accessories that you won't be able to find at your local bike shops. Most of the items are sourced from local designers trying to build their own small businesses. I also look for opportunities to help out the community with the products I sell. Our partnership with House of Talents helps women in Ghana, and we're working on profit sharing with a global bike charity we hope to announce soon.
What is the current best selling item?
My best selling bike accessory is the Bobbin Bicycles Straw Pannier.
Not only is it a gorgeous and functional pannier bag, but its a fantastic everyday oversized handbag. It's always on my bike - unless it's on a shopping spree with me!
What is YOUR favorite item?
My favorite items would have to be the vintage bicycle crates
. The crates are all one of a kind, sourced from flea markets, barns and vintage stores all over the East coast, and we upcycle them with weatherproofing and hardware upgrades. I'm not sure whether I love the crates or the process of finding them more, but these unique items add an undeniable heritage feel to any bike.
Other than your own, what is your favorite store?
I love the boutique Bird
right here in Brooklyn. They always have great collections from new designers. It's seldom that I walk away without something new tucked into my pannier.
For more about Eleanor's, visit their store page over at Marketplace.