We sat down with our Fishtown neighbors, Stephen and Stephanie, the mastermind makers behind our custom Haley’s Trike, to chat about their inspiration, process and love of trikes.
How long have you been building custom Tricycles?
I built my first tricycle in the spring of 2003, and have been building for customers all over the US and Canada of since 2005.
Each client is different, so what’s your process for building custom Trikes?
We always start by accessing the customer’s needs, usually by asking them what type of cargo they want carry. Based on what they’re hoping to achieve, we usually know right away if what they want is something we can provide. There’s some parameters that are more flexible than others, i.e colors and sizing. We try to add our own experience riding and using our tricycles in real life, as well as successful builds from previous customers to aid in the design process. Sometimes we experiment to find the best solution. Last week, we were test riding an open bucket of water for a potential client who wants an aquarium tricycle!
Where do you draw inspiration?
In general, when designing my first trike, I researched tricycles as they are currently built all around the world, and looked for information on historic cargo tricycles, too. I was particularly inspired by the style and carrying capacity of Vietnamese pedicab tricycles, and the beautiful enclosed wooden boxes of classic French triporteurs. Then I added some modern mechanical adaptations and style of my own.
How about for the La Colombe Trike?
For the La Colombe tricycles, we really enjoyed working with LC’s design team to dream up this tricycle. I really love the delicate balance of masculine and feminine traits. Combining warm dark woody earth tones with with La Colombe’s signature Navy and White with the curves of the cargo box really completes the look and feel of the Draft Latte brand. We couldn’t be happier with the way they turned out!
What was the most difficult part about the La Colombe build?
The most challenging part was containing all of the moving parts involved in building a small armada of Draft Latte trikes. Timing is a pretty crucial part of our process because each aspect of building a cargo tricycle relies on the next. Also, you might have noticed that each coffee vending box supports several hinged elements and all of those hinged surfaces have to coordinate. We had to ensure each part was cut perfectly before the trikes were assembled to prevent any mistake from being multiplied. It’s a Haley Trike mantra to “measure three times and measure again”!
As a local maker, what’s your favorite thing to do in Fishtown?
It’s so nice to have Johnny Brenda’s in the neighborhood. I’ve seen some of my favorite bands there, and have been lucky enough to play there as well!
Your first trike was built to carry your drum set, do you still play?
Yes, I’m in a band, and still moving my drums around the neighborhood by trike. We’re called Glitter, and we play and record around Philly, venues like Ortliebs, Milk Boy, Kung Fu Necktie, and that one time at Johnny Brendas.
You can find out more about Haley’s Trikes by going to their website: www.haleytrikes.com