Richard Sachs has been building bicycle frames since 1972. He's a one-man shop, sells custome-made frames starting at $4k, and has a seven year waiting list.
From his website:
"I firmly believe that my high standards have been a bit easier to achieve because I do work alone. I have no apprentice and employ no outside help, either in my workroom, or in the form of subcontractors. From beginning to end, I do it all. And that includes answering the telephone. If you want to know more about my bicycle frames and how they are made … if you have a question about frame design or construction, proper fit, acceptable alignment, tolerances … anything at all, call me. I will be the one answering your call, and I would be very pleased to tell you more."
For 42 years Mr. Sachs has been building bike frames. 42 years! When I read about people like this and Jiro Ono, the guy who dreams of sushi, dedicating their entire lives to a single craft - it's perplexing, inspiring, and frightening.
My mind painfully unfolds. Should I do something like that? Could I?
"Design trumps all. Construction and material compete for second and third place!"