I came across these beautiful bikes while on a flight back from Charleston. I love traveling to new places and learning about local artisans you otherwise might not hear about. And if you can’t always travel to the places, a travel magazine is the next best thing! Artisans are incredibly ambitious, passionate, and insanely talented! I absolutely love learning about them and finding their pieces for the perfect souvenir. I found Paul Budnitz in one of these magazines I happened to buy for my flight. His bikes caught my eye immediately. They were sleek, modern, and beautiful built – really the key elements to any bike! Not only do Paul’s bikes have a cool story but so does he! So, let’s get to know this artisan.
Paul owns and runs Budnitz Bicycles, a luxury bicycle company, Ello, a social network, and is well known as the founder of Kidrobot. He is also an author of several books, exhibits as a photographer and filmmaker, and has founded over a dozen companies. And if that has you feeling quite unaccomplished, get this! He is the son of a nuclear physicist. I am sorry, what?! This lineage of intelligence was put to use as he was professionally coding safety analysis software for nuclear power plants by the time he reached high school.
Budnitz studied photography, sculpture, and film at Yale University, earning honors and a degree in Art in 1990. His first two films, 93 Million Miles and Ultraviolet won awards in Berlin and many other film festivals and were distributed worldwide. Artforum magazine hailed 93 Million Miles as “one of the best films of 1998.” Now fast forward a few years and a few successful business ventures and in 2011 Budnitz created Budnitz Bicycles, following his lifelong passion for bicycling. His bikes are often called the Aston Martin of bicycles. Remember how I said they are beautifully made? Well Budnitz uses titanium and cro-moly steel to create the fastest, lightest, and among the most beautiful urban bicycles in the world. Ya, he is truly an artisan! His bicycles have been featured in Vogue, V Magazine, Forbes, Uncrate, Coolhunting, and many other online and offline publications. In 2012 Phaidon called Budnitz, “The man who made bicycles beautiful again.”
So there you have it! This months incredibly intelligent and insanely talented artisan! May we all be riding around on a Budnitz Bicycle soon!