I had the pleasure of working with Natalie and Austin Ramsland of Sweetpea Bicycles on a custom waxed canvas musette bag for their brand. While I love the final product, the design and collaboration process was just as enjoyable. Natalie specializes in designing and building custom and semi-custom bicycles for women. Be sure to check out their website to see her beautiful work! Natalie was kind enough to answer a few questions for me…
1. What is your favorite part of what you do?
My favorite aspect of the work I do is designing bikes. I love translating all that I know about the woman I am designing for into a completely unique and intimate personal artifact. It may look like angles and millimeters, but I see it as putting a great relationship in motion.
2. What is your ideal bike date?
My ideal bike date is a summer berry picking expedition on Suavie Island with Austin. Fixed gear, flat pedals, a patio with a pint of beer, then riding home side by side.
3. What would you like to be if not a bike builder and designer?
What job would allow me to read books, knit socks, operate an fMRI, play bassoon concertos, and pull adorable puppies around in a bike trailer? I guess I am the kind of person who just needs to write her own job descriptions!
4. Favorite music to listen to while working?
Many Sweetpeas have been built to the songs of Johnny Cash, but just as many have been built while I listen to RadioLab, Moth Story Hour, and New Yorker Fiction podcasts. And I’ve always got an audio book in the ol’ shop ghetto blaster. I mostly blast fiction. And popular science.
5. You recently became parents – what is your advice for owning a business and managing a little one?
You won’t be able to do everything you used to think you needed to do, but if you remember to love what you are doing while you are doing it, you’ll find yourself doing the most important work most of the time. But child labor also sounds like a smart idea.