Meet Ben Morrison of Handsome Cycles
Ben combined his love of cycling and marketing background to co-create Handsome Cycles, a Minneapolis based bicycle maker whose wares can be found at fine bike shops nationwide. With vintage-inspired styles built to cater to the commuter looking for a more sophisticated ride than the sporty designs that fill the market, Handsome Cycles is right at home in the Twin Cities, one of the most bike-friendly metro areas in the country.
Tell us about Handsome Cycles.
We started Handsome Cycles in 2008. For me, it was kind of putting together my marketing background and growing up working in bike shops. Handsome was putting all those experiences together into launching kind of a different take on cycling. When we looked at what everybody else was doing, it was very sport-focused and very much trickled down from racing. We wanted to focus much more on commuters and give them really elegant, sophisticated bikes for just getting around, and so that’s the angle that we took on cycling.
What inspires you?
When we’re designing our bikes, we pull from anywhere that we can, be it vintage cars or color trend forecasts. The products that we design last 20 or 30 years. They need to still be fashionable two, three decades from now. We try and pull from all over, but always with a very mindful, classic esthetic.
What’s your take on what’s going on in Minneapolis & St Paul right now?
I think it’s really exciting that there’s all this big momentum coming from Minneapolis right now. More specifically, what I think is unique to this city is that there are all these different players, but nobody really seems to step on each other’s toes. There’s room for everybody. It is such a small town that that things are really accessible and you can know everybody.
What’s important to you about local designs?
I love that if it’s made here and designed here the money and the idea stay in the city. I think it’s important to support these local, small businesses, as it’s not just some faceless corporation. It is the person down the street, possibly your neighbor. So, I love that this city and this state are really good about supporting that. We do see a huge trend of people willing to spend the extra dollar to get a locally-made investment piece that will last them, as opposed to getting something they’re just going to use for a season or two and then throw away.
How would you describe your style?
I’m a big a fan of effortless. That’s my go-to for most things is to try and be effortless.
What’s your favorite J.W. Hulme product?
I really like duffle bags. So often if I’m traveling, it’s usually two, three days at a time, so a duffle bag tends to make the most sense for my needs.