Well, i am that guy.
After purchasing my first cruiser bike from the Chopperdome in 2013 in Amsterdam I've dropped out from academy where i studies arts and design with the idea to go for graphic design, and moved to Poland where I've graduated as a product designer.
I was out on cruises listening to guys who were 20 years older then me (i am born in 1992) all talking like "if i was your age i'd totally give everything up and make bikes for life". After some time the idea started to appeal to me.
Now i live in my workshop, that's a loft building left after an old neon lights factory. It is modest and doesn't look like your normal apartment, but i have a good space for workshop where i can work
I do build custom cruisers for clients, repair and sell used cruiser bikes, design and manufacture custom parts and frames, and trying to move more towards small production.
It is not easy at all, sometimes i don't have enough money to eat or pay my rent, but money is not all in life
At least i am happy doing what i love and i truly believe in it. I am fully involved in my own development and i don't waste a second of my time. Being my own boss i am happy with my life-work balance. There are a lot of things i enjoy about living the life i live
There are also some complications because of the fact i am a Russian citizen, and even though i live in Europe for nearly 10 years now, without having a stable official job i still can't have a normal legalization here. I have to figure my way out to stay here legally and no one is going to just easily allow me to do that for now. But i am not complying, i think i will overcome this somehow
I must confess i mostly focus on cruisers, choppers, stretches and vintage American bikes, which is a rare thing here in EU. And though i occasionally fix road bikes and MTB that are very popular here, i don't really like them all that much and my philosophy favors cruisers way more. They are still not all that understood in Europe, so i sometimes feel like an ambassador of vintage American bikes. That said, there is not much market for what i do here already, but i am working on educating people about the advantages of cruisers, and seems i am doing it slow but well