Archive for the ‘Entrepreneur’ Category

Top 5% Most Viewed LinkedIn Profiles

Mittwoch, Februar 13th, 2013

I just received an email from LinkedIn stating that I have one of the top 5% most viewed @Linkedin profiles for 2012. Thank you to anybody who has viewed my profile on LinkedIn. This gives me pressure to actually do more on LinkedIn…


Mittwoch, März 7th, 2012


Natooke Logo

Our shop has been open for 3 years already. I cannot believe it. We started Natooke shop on March 7th 2009 in the center of Beijing. It has grown very big but we are still in the same traditional hutong building.

Natooke Shop Outside

We soon after started a Chinese twitter site. There are almost 5000 people following our daily updates in Chinese. Of course we organize many events and are happy to have so many people join.

Bikes in front of Natooke

We just started the Chinese Ebay (called Taobao) . There we are selling parts and bikes to people who do not want to come to the shop or live somewhere else. But still we have so much stuff in the shop.

Natooke inside

Vote for Me

Dienstag, Mai 3rd, 2011

I have been nominated for the „Entrepreneur of the Year“ award category of the Ernst & Young Third Annual Women in Business Leadership Awards on Thursday 12 May, 2011.

But that is just a nomination. Now I need your help to vote for me! Please follow this link and scroll to the bottom of the page, then select my name (Ines BRUNN) and please submit your vote.

Next time I see you I will give you a hug for that. Thanks! 🙂

Remember I am the cool girl that loves bikes.

CRI Article – Natooke on Wudaoying

Mittwoch, Februar 9th, 2011

Just yesterday a reporter passed by our hutong and caught Fred and me when we were just about to leave for lunch. She writes for the travel section on the China Radio International website. And yesterday she was looking at the up and coming Wudaoying Hutong. Below are some extracts from that article. To read the full article and see all the pictures please go here: Original full version article on CRI website

Wudaoying: New Life in An Old Hutong
2011-02-09 16:26:32 Web Editor: Duan Xuelian By Angela Pruszenski
Wudaoying Hutong near Beijing’s Lama Temple has undergone a rapid transformation, establishing the alley as the city’s newest trendy hangout.

A part-time employee at Natooke fixed-gear bike shop, shows off his ride. []

By Angela Pruszenski

Hutong shopping streets offer a unique getaway from Beijing’s plentiful, modern shopping malls. Until recently, Nanluoguxiang was the only legitimate location for shoppers seeking this unique atmosphere. Over the last year and a half, the Wudaoying Hutong near Beijing’s Lama Temple has undergone a rapid transformation, establishing the alley as the city’s newest trendy hangout.

Leading the way for the alleyway’s new life is the Vineyard Café, which opened 2006. For a long time, the café was the only reason for most people to visit the alleyway, and many of the café owner’s neighbors were skeptical of his vision. „They couldn’t understand how a western restaurant would possibly work in a hutong like this in Beijing. Obviously, we chose this spot because it’s a great hutong and because of its location, near the Confucius Temple, the Lama Temple and ease of access, compared to Houhai and Nanluoguxiang,“ Vineyard Cafe’s owner, Will Yorke, explained. „Other people have since realized the quality of the street and moved in as well.“

The charming, renewed hutong spans the distance between Andingmen subway station and Yonghegong subway station. While much of Nanluoguxiang has been taken over by souvenir-style trinket shops, Wudaoying has a refreshing variety of businesses, including a tanning studio, clothing shops, home décor shops, specialty stores, restaurants and bars. Shopkeepers are engaging but not pushy, and many of the business owners can be found tending to their shops.

Anchoring the unique atmosphere of Wudaoying is Natooke, a shop specializing in custom-fixed gear bikes and juggling equipment. When owner Ines Brunn, opened the shop in 2008, she sought a hutong location. After searching Beiluoguxiang and the Gulou area, she settled on Wudaoying. Natooke is the only fixed gear bike shop in Beijing, opened to serve the needs of the growing crowd of bicycle enthusiasts in the city. „We had the group, but no shop,“ she says of her decision to launch a fixed gear bike shop. „It’s really a niche market.“

Aside from Mandela and Natooke, other specialty stores include Save As, which stocks vintage keepsakes and vinyl records. Argo, a Greek restaurant, and Saffron, which serves Spanish-inspired cuisine, stand out among the street’s dessert cafes and Western eateries.

Shoppers can easily spend an afternoon exploring Wudaoying, and all that its unique, easy-going culture has to offer. Most of the shops are closed on Mondays, so visitors should plan trips accordingly.

A „hutong“ refers to an alleyway surrounded by traditional courtyard homes. Having once dominated Beijing, they are now facing the challenge of staying relevant in the modern era.

The Beijing municipal government has taken notice of the struggle, targeting the Wudaoying Hutong for special development and designating it as a pedestrian street. To help with redevelopment, the government offers subsidies for renovating traditional homes, and taken on the bill for renovating state-owned buildings on the street.

I also found this article on People’s Daily Online

Hard to Steal Fixed Gear Bikes

Dienstag, Mai 25th, 2010

A friend of mine sent me the link to this great cartoon called Yehuda Moon & the Kickstand Cyclery. It is all about urban cycling and life owning a bike shop. The strip of yesterday is about fixed gear bikes and that there is no need to worry when they are stolen as many people cannot ride them.

Fixed Gear Bike Thieves need to be careful

Here are some more cartoon strips that I really like:

Well there are many other good ones. I love Yehuda Moon, Joe, Thistle and the Kickstand Cyclery!
Creating a Hang Out area in the Kickstand Bike Shop
Engineering Degree for Bike Shop

SMEE Roundtable Panelist Ines Brunn

Mittwoch, März 3rd, 2010

The Small Medium Entrepreneurial Enterprises (SMEE) monthly roundtable series on the first Wednesday of the month ask me to be a panelist for the topic:

One Year Later: Back from the Brink of Collapse

I was the entrepreneur that started my business just at the start of the financial crisis. The other panelists had their business already before the crisis. For sure I have learned a lot so far and I think it is actually a good idea to start a company in difficult times. It helps you focus on the important parts and how to make your business profitable with less resources. I definitely grew more personally and professionally than when I was working in a huge corporation.

We had  nice roundtable discussion with afterwards networking and dinner hors d’oeuvres. It was an interesting mix of people and I met some great people. They uploaded a whole lot of pictures to their website.

Ines Brunn at SMEE Roundtable in Beijing

Ines Brunn speaking about her business on the SMEE panel

German Newspaper Article about Ines Brunn and her Natooke Bike Shop

Donnerstag, Februar 4th, 2010

Today there was an article in the German Newspaper about my life and how I am following my passion. How I decided to quit my corporate job and become an entrepreneur. It tells the story that even though I am doing something as crazy as a German person opening a bicycle shop in China I am succeeding. That definitely has to do with me being a famous trick cyclist. So not only do I run this fixed gear bike and juggling shop in Beijing but I also still perform around the world with my stunt bicycle shows.

The original article of the Erlanger Nachrichten can be found online. But I also copied the article here so you can directly read it (well, that is if you understand German…).

Von «Wetten, dass . . ?» zum Rad-Laden in China
Die Erlanger Kunstradfahrerin Ines Brunn hat ihr Hobby zum Beruf gemacht – «Inesgrätsche» weltweit bekannt

Einen Fahrradladen in Peking auf zu machen, ist wohl so ähnlich wie Eulen nach Athen zu tragen. Zumal dann, wenn das Vorhaben von einer Deutschen angegangen wird. Die erfolgreiche Erlanger Kunstradfahrerin Ines Brunn hat es trotzdem gewagt – und wieder einmal gewonnen.

Kunstradfahren auf der Straße: Ines Brunn findet auch in China begeisterte Zuschauer.

ERLANGEN – Von 1989 bis 1995 hat Ines Brunn ihre Kunststücke für die Soli Herzogenaurach auf dem Kunstrad gezeigt und seit 1996 ist sie Mitglied bei der Soli Erlangen. Wie viele sportliche Erfolge sie in ihrer aktiven Laufbahn errungen hat, weiß sie gar nicht mehr. «Alle meine Ergebnisse sind in Ordnern auf dem Dachboden meiner Eltern», sagt sie. Kunstrad-Bezirksmeisterin war sie aber mehrmals, bayerische Meisterin auch, und etliche mal war sie Zweite und Dritte. Auch beim Bundespokal hat sie Platz zwei belegt, und bei den Deutschen Meisterschaften und German Masters war sie stets unter den besten zehn. Das hat zu Weltranglistenplatz 19 geführt. Ines hat auch die nach ihr benannte «Inesgrätsche» erfunden, die erste Figur, die im internationalen Kunstradreglement nach einer Person benannt ist. Dadurch ist die Ex-Turnerin weltweit bei Kunstradfahrern bekannt geworden. Zudem ist Ines die erste Frau der Welt, die den Schweizerlenkerhandstand beherrscht.

Pfannkuchen gebacken

Aber «richtig» bekannt ist Ines Brunn erst geworden, als sie im Februar 1992 mit einer spektakulären Kunstrad-Show bei der Fernsehsendung «Wetten, dass . . ?» aufgetreten ist. «Wetten, dass es Ines Brunn aus Erlangen gelingt, auf dem Lenker ihres Fahrrades stehend, innerhalb von dreieinhalb Minuten einen Pfannkuchen zu backen?» hieß die Wette. Jürgen von der Lippe tippte damals mit «Ja» – und Ines schaffte es unter dem Jubel der Zuschauer im Studio und an den Fernsehern. Ihren letzten Wettkampf hat Ines 2005 absolviert, obwohl sie offiziell nicht aufgehört hat mit dem Kunstradfahren. Deshalb war sie 2006 auch noch im Sonder-Bundeskader. «Wenn ich wieder nach Deutschland gehen würde, würde ich schon noch an Wettkämpfen teilnehmen wollen», sagt sie, fügt aber sogleich an: «Doch ich plane nicht in nächster Zeit nach Deutschland zu ziehen».

Denn Ines lebt seit einigen Jahren in Peking, und dort fühlt sie sich pudelwohl. 2001 wurde sie nach ihrem Physikstudium «Regional Market Manager Asia-Pacific» bei einer deutschen Firma. Das hat ihr so gefallen, dass sie in Asien leben wollte. Sie ließ sich nach Peking versetzen, und hat nach weiteren zwei Jahren einen lokalen Vertrag unterschrieben.

Das Hobby siegte

Mitte 2009 dann hat sie sich selbstständig gemacht, aber nicht etwa um ihrem studierten Beruf nachzugehen, sondern um ihrem Hobby zu frönen: Ines hat einen Fahrradladen eröffnet. Das war nicht einfach, aber nach einem langen bürokratischen Hindernislauf hat es schließlich geklappt. Bahnrennräder, schöne Eingang-, Ein- und Kunsträder verkauft sie nun. Anti-Pollution Atemmasken, Fahrradkurier-Taschen, Jongliersachen, Urban Cycling Klamotten und ähnliches führt sie auch in ihrem Laden in einem alten, aber frisch renovierten Beijing Hutonggebäude.

«Trick bike» heißt die Firma [Kommentar: Mein Laden heisst „NATOOKE„], und Ines verspricht neben all den Utensilien, die sie verkauft, auch Shows mit einer einmaligen choreografischen Vermischung von Kunstradfahren und turnerischen Elementen. Engagements hatte sie schon in Südafrika, USA, Sri Lanka, Russland, Belgien, Schweiz und Holland. Und wenn sie ihre Heimat besucht, dann geht sie natürlich zur Soli Erlangen in die Halle, um ein wenig mit dem Nachwuchs zu trainieren. Denn die Verbindung zu ihrem Heimatverein, wo man mächtig stolz auf die erfolgreiche Sportlerin ist, ist nach wie vor eng.


Picture of Ines on Sina Style Site

Freitag, Dezember 4th, 2009

There was an article on under the Style section about my and my bike and juggling shop called Natooke. This is the copy of the article:

Natooke店老板伊泉(图) 2009年12月04日 17:04 《风尚志》

Ines Brunn Owner of Natooke店老板伊泉


“如果你还是一个新手,玩儿死飞自行车(FIXED GEAR)时一定要注意控制时速。”




依泉来自法国,是一个倍儿精神的人,酷爱“死飞自行车”运动的她能讲一口流利的中文。作为玩儿“死飞”20多年的资深人士,她如今在五道营胡同开起来自己的小店,经营死飞自行车的原配件,包括:车轴、轮子、把手等,你可以在她这里DIY出个性“死飞”自行车。在将来,依泉打算办一些培训,帮助“ 死飞”运动在北京的发展。

Fashion Weekly about Ines and Natooke

Mittwoch, September 9th, 2009

There was an article about me and my Natooke shop in the Fashion Weekly magazine. The claim I am from France which is wrong as I am German.


Ines Brunn and Natooke in Fashion Weekly Magazine


“如果你还是一个新手,玩儿死飞自行车(FIXED GEAR)时一定要注意控制时速。”

姓名:伊泉 (Ines Brunn)



依泉来自法国,是一个倍儿精神的人,酷爱“死飞自行车”运动的她能讲一口流利的中文。作为玩儿“死飞”20多年的资深人士,她如今在五道营胡同开起来自己的小店,经营死飞自行车的原配件,包括:车轴、轮子、把手等,你可以在她这里DIY出个性“死飞”自行车。在将来,依泉打算办一些培训,帮助“ 死飞”运动在北京的发展。