Kim Hentschke and Melissa Starr can thank North Adelaide for a lot. The area is not only where the couple met but also the place they have made their home that doubles as a location for their respective businesses.
Everything in its place
Hairdresser Melissa and bike mechanic Kim both spent many years living away from the leafy streets of North Adelaide. but now – with their businesses folded into the fabric of their home – they rarely need to leave.
“We met through mutual friends – she also lives in the area, actually in the next street over,” says Melissa.
“We both lived in the area when we met,” adds Kim. “I was on Mann Terrace and Melissa was on Albert Street, just around the corner here. But we’re both sort of country kids originally. I’m originally from Wardang Island off Port Victoria.”
“And I was based in the Northern Territory for a while, that was only for about five years though,” says Melissa.
Soon after establishing their relationship the couple bought a home in nearby Brompton, but they were lured back to North Adelaide when they spied the rambling red brick house they now occupy.
At the time, Kim was running North Adelaide Cycles from Melbourne Street and Melissa’s salon was also on that main thoroughfare. They set up their home, and after a year getting everything worked out Melissa moved her business into the shop-like space that fronts the building.
It was another three years before Kim decided to join her by setting up his bike workshop in the garage.
“It’s a good lifestyle and it has been a lifestyle choice for us really,” says Melissa. “Looking after the local community especially has been really good – getting to know everyone and getting to know North Adelaide so well.”
“We try to focus on the North Adelaide community and the city,” says Kim. “We don’t want to do much outside of this area, it’s really our focus, keeping it local. It’s worked out well.”
The interior decorating has evolved with the purpose of the building, but there are some central aesthetic ideas that remain constant throughout. European styling mixes with inspiration drawn from renaissance and baroque looks and local history has informed some of the themes as well.
“There’s a big old house down the road here,” says Kim. “That’s where the horses and carriages would pull up. And down on the corner is the coach house… that’s why we’ve got the horse theme.”
“This is Florence Broadhurst,” says Melissa, indicating the wallpaper. “That was my inspiration, I loved her style. So this is the Horses of Windsor print. It came with the inspiration for the name too, Mane on Ward, was because they call this area the paddock precinct.”
– Kim Hentschke
The couple’s decorating touch unifies the house element with the businesses, but another constant is pet dog Gus, who acts as a welcoming agent upon the arrival of customers and friends alike.
The Lhasa Apso – Pug cross’ presence is a strong reminder to customers that they’re entering a home when the enter either business, but Kim and Melissa have never had too many problems with keeping work and home separate.
“Probably our biggest thing is you’ve got to kind of be aware of your professionalism,” says Melissa. “I suppose letting the dog out in the morning and looking like a dag is off the cards – you can’t go out in your PJs.”
“We’ve been pretty lucky though, we haven’t had the problems of people interrupting with the home,” says Kim. “You know, everyone’s pretty respectful. That was one of our biggest concerns with working on Ward Street, with Lefevre Terrrace around the corner, we were concerned with that and how it was going to affect us but no, it hasn’t made any real difference.”
Surrounded by friends, family, community and with their two businesses thriving – Kim and Melissa have intricately woven their lives into the fabric of North Adelaide, and don’t look likely to leave any time soon.