We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeremy Sycip and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeremy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance has changed quite a bit since I started the business in 1992. Back then, I was in my early 20’s, single, no kids and just wanted to ride and build bicycle frames. Early on, I was just trying to get orders and grow the business. By the end of the nineties and early 2000’s, we had around 6 people working for the company and we did everything in house from building all the frames to powder coating them. We were trying to build as many frames as we could and get them out the door to customers. Which all sounds great. But it didn’t feel like I had good work life balance. I was just hustling to make ends meet and keep the business going. Around 2010, I decided to down size. I went on my own with no more employees, and moved my work shop to a smaller space. I can manage my own time to work on bikes, ride bikes and spend time with my family. In the last couple years, I actually have been thinking a lot about work life balance. I feel like this is the best its been since starting the business. Pretty crazy when I think about it that next year will be 30 years, building bikes and I still enjoy it. My shop is behind my house and we are across the street from a State Park where there is great mountain biking. I feel very blessed to be able to work from home, spend time with my wife and kids, and go ride bikes right from my back yard.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I build custom bicycle frames and dab in metal fabrication. I love creating things that is functional. The bicycle is one of the best designs and I make custom frames in Steel, Aluminum and Titanium. Every single one is built for each individual. Its like getting a custom tailored suit. I take body measurements and build the frame to that persons size. When I first started the business there was no internet. So getting the name out was tough. I had to go to bike events, races and trade shows to get orders and get our name out there. I feel its a little easier now with social media and world wide web. I think I overcame challenges because I loved what I did and seeing something you made with your hands being ridden and seeing happy faces when people are riding the bikes. Some lessons I have learned along the way is that I don’t have to have a big company making lots of money with be content and happy. I enjoy working with my hands making rideable art. I guess, what I would like people to know about SyCip Designs is that they can get a quality hand made bicycle that fits and rides well. No matter if its road, mountain , gravel/ cx bikes or commuter type bikes. Each frame is be made for that individuals riding style and size. Tubing choices out of Steel, Aluminum or Titanium and all built here in California.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Since we are in Sonoma county in the middle of wine country, Only fitting to hit up a couple local wineries and do some wine tasting. A trip to Bodega Bay or a beach around the Sonoma Coast and get some clam chowder one day and on the way , stop by Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone. Oysters on Tomales bay would also be on the calendar. We would visit local breweries as well. Russian River Brewery is right down the street, Hen House , Lagunitas or Bear Republic are all near by.
Mountian biking one day in Annadel state park and finishing up at a Taqueria or Trail House.
I would set aside a day trip to San Francisco to do some sight seeing, stop by Cafe Lambretta for Coffee and we would have to pick up some Dimsum on Clement on the way out. A hike in Armstrong Redwoods park would be another thing we would probably do in Guerneville.
Other restaurants to check out here in Santa Rosa or near by is Toad in the hole, Spinster Sisters, Baker and Cook, Tips Roadhouse, Salt and Stone, Fork Roadhouse, Glen Ellen Star, and all the Taco trucks in the Roseland area are excellent.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My Parents , My wife, My brother Jay who was my business partner for 17yrs. , Old roommates in SF. Curtis Inglis/ Shop mate and John Quintos. Paul Sadoff who took me in as an apprentice to learn to build bikes. Albert Eisentraut , another frame builder I learned from
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