Ines Brunn is the founder/owner of Natooke and she isn’t your average women at that! A German trick cyclist with a Master’s Degree in Physics and who grew up in the US. She has traveled far and wide all over the world performing incredible tricks on her fixie bicycle. Now she’s all grown up, has her very own shop with her own beautiful and colorful lego-like pieces for adults who she designs beautiful bikes with! Some things never change! You can check out her amazing trick bike skills at: www.trick-bike.com and follow her Sina micro blog: weibo.com/bikequeen
Henry is the manager of the local Beijing Natooke store, his welcoming personality makes you feel right at home instantly, not to mention he is there to help you with your every desire! Henry’s main focus is the customer, he is a committed and organised manager, who manages Natooke Beijing like a king. He will take all your requests and comments with importance and act on them straight away, so you the customer is always happy. Henry doesn’t mind a fancy high end bike, he rides a striking titanium mountain bicycle that catches everyone’s eye wherever he goes.
Ben came over from New Zealand to work in Beijing as an intern last July and he couldn’t stay away. He is Ines’ assistant and does all he can to get things done. With his broken Chinese in his toolkit he is ready to service the needs of all. He works behind the scenes on different projects but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t got time to deal with a customer or two. If you get the chance to see him hanging around the shop looking frantic be sure to say hello and offer him a cup of coffee!
If you’re looking for a good conversation, come on over to the office and see Ann. This smart cookie has traveled all round Europe studying and exploring and can offer insight into anything from Biology to Sports. After finishing up her Masters Degree in Scotland, Ann joined the Natooke team to do Marketing and Translation. Ann’s friendly and calm demeanor makes her a great person to go to with any question. Ann writes the Natooke newsletter and content for the Natooke website in both English and Chinese and is extremely cordial and helpful to any English speakers who may call the office.
Why do financial girls always look so beautiful, no wonder that she is so rigorous not only in maintaining her beauty but also in her work. Her laugh is sweet but violent like a small tiger. Like any small tiger she arrived to shake things up, changing the rhythem of the financial responsability of Natooke and has become a very thoughtful and kind little helper.
With great English and a down to earth easy going personality this is one woman to keep an eye out for! Don’t get in front of her whilst holding a badminton bat, she is dangerous! She doesn’t cycle, even admiting to never riding a fixie, it won’t be long until we will have her on one! Freda loves designing and decorating, so I can tell that this woman would create a mean fixie to match her personality.
Master Liu is really the master, of bikes that is. He is our Master Wheel Builder. This cool 50 year old Beijinger has 30 years experience when it comes to fixing bikes, he is the paramount of wheel builders, no one knows more about bikes then this guy and he can true almost any wheel! But that’s not all he is an excellent cook, this man is a man of many talents! But wait that’s not all he always rides a fixed gear bike with a brooks leather saddle, would you do it any other way!
Nicknamed “universal pine”, because he can fix even the most immovable of problems. He loves working on all things, from the decoration of houses, to fixing a small appliance. If you asked him not to work, he would immediately say no, and do it anyway. Since he joined Natooke, he took us by surprise. Making our small workshop into a clean and efficent space so it became something that we didn’t have to worry about, even the logistics work is no longer looking like a mess, indeed the world is falling down and there is no-one better to have at our side than the “universal pine”.
He was always a mysterious figure until we cracked him open. What we found was a pure and kind-hearted guy who is one of our finest craftsmen creating first-class bicycles. He has the knack of always being able to please the customer with his hands. He loves music, electric guitar, folk rock and can speak a few English words. Absolutely reliable and no longer single!
Fede is a professional juggler from Italy with a degree in marketing who has performed all over the world! Fede has been in Beijing on and off going working for NGO’s in China and other countries e.g. teaching street children in Uganda how to do some acrobatics and juggling so that they can earn their own money and get off the streets. He was here from the beginning building up and opening the Natooke shop focusing on the juggling. He of course also has a fixed gear bike that he rides even though recently he prefers riding his tall bike where he can see over all the traffic. In 2012 he had a separate small shop called Yiliao.
This american juggler came to China to study and was really an amazing discovery for the Natooke Team! He is very tall, with long arms and legs: these allow him to do unbelievable tricks, with amazing twisting movements!!! He is very good with every type of juggling equipment, especially cones, what really characterized him is the smile always fixed on his face! Gus was fundamental for Natooke: he helped us to connect and motivate the team with the perseverance and passion only a real expert has!
Lao’s story it’s incredible: this Chinese man decided when he was already over 50 to start a new life as a self made juggler! You can find him in parks, or around the city, juggling with clubs or whatever he finds around him, practicing and learning by himself. That’s His role in Natooke is crucial because he helped us starting our Chinese QQ juggling group. He has won lots of awards, for example he came first at the European Juggling Convention in France! A little anecdote about Lao: his curiosity led him to try a fixed gear bike and after few weeks he realized that something was going wrong with his bike…He was riding backward!!!