Founder Emile Kotze believes that there isn’t a bike that can’t be fixed. He rummages through markets, thrift stores and friends’ garages for beat up bicycles and parts to refurbish and bring back to life. No two upcycles are the same, and since each new bike is unique, they are given their own name once finished; such as Matilda, Josephine, or Persephone!
Clients can choose from a cruiser or racer bicycle frame, pick their favorite color, add accessories, and the rest is up to Kotze. He uses eco-friendly, biodegradable cleaners, greases, and polishes to fix up a new and beautiful ride.
The bike accessories available through Starling and Hero are not only green, but also support the community. LED lights are locally bought, bells are repaired and recycled, and even the baskets are handwoven by local artisan Beatrice Moya, who has been adopted by the company through the Adopt an Artisan program.
Starling and Hero most recently exhibited at the South African Innovation Summit and were featured as one of the most creative talents and new concepts at the innovation lab project. They plan to open a shop in Cape Town in January where people can see first hand the incredible transformations possible with just a bit of elbow grease and creativity