My birthday present this year was a new bike. I had been dreaming of how great it was going to be to ride around Brooklyn, fresh tulips in my basket. I was going to be so Dutch. Unfortunately, I discovered on the ride home from the bike store that I was deathly afraid of riding bikes in the city. My daydreams had never included cars honking and swerving around me. The reality was absolutely terrifying. It didn’t help that I hadn’t been on a bike in 15 years, plus being accident prone in general. By the time we got home I had decided that I never wanted to ride that thing again.
As a way of tempting me to give the bike another try, my husband suggested we go shopping for a basket and bell. He knows me so well. I’m just that easy. And that is when I found the House of Talents Asungtaba – the world’s cutest bike basket. House of Talents has teamed with nearly 200 Ghanaian women to hand weave these beauties using tropical grass known as elephant grass or veta vera grass. Asungtaba means “helping each other succeed” in Frafra, which is the language of the Ghanaian women weavers. In addition to providing work for these women, House of Talents is donating 5% of all company profits to establish a scholarship fund for the children in the area. You can read more about their story here. Each basket is unique and comes with a tag containing the name of the woman who made it.
You can purchase them online here or if you are in New York, you can buy them at Adeline Adeline, a melt-your-heart-adorable boutique bike store in Tribeca. The store is beautifully laid out, calm and so friendly. Not to mention that they carry my dream bike, the Pashley Princess Sovereign. Yes, I know, the name is a bit much, but is it not the prettiest bike you have ever seen? It was way out of my price range and not so practical for the city, but if I ever move to the English countryside, that bike is mine!