Shifting gears: From business analyst to bike builder

Changing gears
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  • Dani Foffa was a business analyst before starting a bike company
  • His Foffa Bikes design and manufacture urban bicycles
  • They have been named as one of the ten best commuter bikes by The Independent, a UK newspaper

(CNN)If the wheel was man's greatest invention, putting two wheels together comes as a close second for Dani Foffa, CEO of Foffa Bikes.

His eponymous company builds bespoke urban bicycles with a stylish design that has been lauded by magazines like Vogue and GQ.
London-based Foffa tracks his passion for cycling back to his childhood in Venice, Italy, where biking in the city's winding narrow streets was a rare treat.
    He spent his early professional career as a business analyst, before a nagging feeling that there was more to life encouraged him to start designing and building bikes, initially from his office garage.
    "I started refurbishing vintage bikes up and reselling them online. And the demand just grew very gradually, steadily, to the point that it was time for us to get our own brand in the bikes, and open up our first shop. I took my chances, I quit my job, and clearly I have no regrets," says Foffa.
    His company has built over 5,000 bespoke bikes since 2007, and they were named as one of the ten best commuter bikes by The Independent, a UK newspaper.
    Foffa says that he was encouraged to start the company when he saw a gap in the market for comfortable bicycles designed for cycling in the city, which also looked good.
    "In the same way that we decide what to wear, we think that the bicycle should be an extension of your personality," says Foffa.
    He adds that he always relished the sense of liberty that biking afforded him, and wants to introduce the simple pleasure of a bike ride to as many people as possible.
    "Bikes are great for the environment, great for the health, they are the quickest and probably the cheapest way of commuting around town. And they link with that sense of adventure, that freedom that comes with it, which no other invention, as far as I'm concerned, was able to offer me."