FORMER motor mechanic Mike Price is passionate about recycling. He hates seeing something that was once useful and could be reused thrown into landfill.

And he has used that enthusiasm, his engineering knowledge and skills, together with a large helping of creativity to set up a business making unique hand crafted jewellery and gifts from second-hand bicycle spokes.

This enterprise called Respoke Designs, which recycles or upcycles cycle parts, is proving a massive hit with the cycling community as well as other customers wanting something a bit different. His bicycle range – including earrings, bracelets cuff links, keyrings, brooches and necklaces – has extra soul because they are made from bicycle spokes, he said.

“Cyclists love the bike range. They know how hard it is to bend and shape stainless steel and they appreciate it.”

Mike, aged 49 from Malvern, worked as a motor mechanic for 30 years at Sabrina Motors, off Hylton Road, Worcester, and then with a city charity teaching motor mechanics to young people struggling with life or excluded from school.

In his spare time he also dabbled in building his own motorbikes and race cars. “I used to restore motorbikes and race them and I built my own motorbikes. I also made my own autograss cars and raced them,” he said.

So when he was made redundant, it was a chance to combine his expertise, creativity and natural affinity with recycling into his own business.

“I had spent all my life building up other people’s companies. I thought it was the right time to set up my own business.”

Mike, who runs the business with his wife Sam, started by making himself a bracelet. “I was wearing the bracelet and friends liked it and I stared making more from there. They are my own designs and I try and keep it unique. The ideas just come into my head.”

“A bicycle is a real precision item and I try to make all my items to the same standard. We try different things and if it works, we go ahead with it. Some things we do as a labour of love and some to make money.”

He believes there is “money in muck”. “You do not have to have a big idea to have a good idea.

“There is too much stuff going into landfill. I have seen bike shops throwing spokes in the bin. These spokes are very expensive, but once they are chopped in half, they are worthless. They will end up going into landfill.”

Mike’s enthusiasm for recycling is clearly evident in his own house – he has a light made from an old axle stand, a table made from bicycle wheels and the kitchen unit handles are made from recycled bike parts. He has even made some of the tools he uses in his jewellery-making business. “It is whatever floats my boat at the time.”

Mike is a regular visitor to local charity shops where he buys marbles and beads which can be incorporated into his pieces. He also deals with “friendly” bike shops and people he knows will save bike spokes, sprockets and chains.

He said his wife wears some of the jewellery when she goes out and people always comment and admire it. “People do not realise it is made from bike spokes and we have given it a new life,” he said.

“Stainless steel is brilliant for jewellery. It is a really good material and it lasts. Because it is stainless steel, you can wear it all the time. The natural oils in the skin make it shinier and shinier.”

Apart from the standard range of items which can be found at, Mike also does commissions. The first one he did was of a Spitfire aircraft.

“A lady had seen a balancing dragonfly and wanted a Spitfire. It took three months to develop and she had the first one. I am very proud of the Spitfire,” said Mike. They have sold a few more since then – mainly to pilots.

Apart from selling via the website – Mike sent his first order to Australia last month – they mainly sell their products at events like Worcester’s Victorian Christmas Fayre and other markets, festivals locally and around the country and particularly vintage, nostalgia, retro and bike events.

“They are great,” said Mike. “When you have finished the day, you go and socialise. We go to the Eroica cycle event near Bakewell in Derbyshire with more than 4,000 vintage racing bikes. People dress up for it and it’s great fun.”

Attending festivals, fayres and markets is hard work with early morning starts and late finishes but Mike and Sam enjoy it and particularly when they bump into customers who have bought from them before.

The business has been running for three years now and the couple are building it up slowly. “We are building up slowly and virtually every penny we make we put back in,” said Mike. They hope to expand in the future and be able to employ a person – giving them a chance of work.

Mike firmly believes that everybody has got something to offer. “Everybody has got a gift. Everybody has got their strengths and they are creative.” His experience teaching mechanics to youngsters shows that people who believe they have nothing to offer do have their own unique gift.