This Holiday Schwinn will be featuring an artist of handmade good each week of December. Each week we will introduce an artist on Monday and then give you three chances to win their amazing goods and a Schwinn bicycle of your very own. To enter, visit us on Facebook Tuesday – Wednesday each week of December!
Featured Artist Week 3| Anthony Oliva| Simply Spoken
Anthony rides the Schwinn Streamliner 1.
Anthony Oliva is a man of many talents. He first fell in love with cycling on the shores of Lake Michigan, where he worked in a bicycle shop. Anthony no longer resides in the Midwest, and now works as a circus performer, builder and artist. However, his love for cycling prompted him to begin creating beautiful jewelry made from bicycle spokes.
Continue reading to learn more about Anthony’s unique adventures, love for karaoke and his favorite places to ride his Schwinn Streamliner 1.
Schwinn: How did you first become interested in your craft?
Anthony: I fell in love with bikes in College, racing my friend around Lake Michigan on the bike trails of Chicago. I started working on bikes, then working in the REI bike shop in Anchorage, AK a couple years later and used to wear a bike chain bracelet (which I also made). At that point, I also worked at a restaurant. The bike chain was so bulky it prevented me from carrying three pints of beer in one hand, which was necessity! So I made myself a spoke bracelet with a simple loop and twist. Simply Spoken was born.
Schwinn: At what point did you decide to start selling your items?
Anthony: For a few months, or maybe a year, I would make them as gifts for friends and family. (I still do!) When friends of friends and people I didn’t know started asking me about the bracelets, I knew I had something special. When I saw a copycat bracelet show up in my hometown, I knew I had to seize the market!
Anthony: My favorite item to create is probably the “love” bracelet. I give such positive energy to each bracelet I make, and I think people feel that when they wear them. The “love” bracelet is a pretty literal embodiment of the energy I’m putting out there.
Schwinn: Do you have other favorite past times?
Anthony: I really like building things. I built a few different circus apparatuses (trapeze, Chinese Hoops, Handstand Canes) and love the challenge. Recently, I embarked on a journey to convert a Ford cargo van into a Camper. Learning every day, finding challenges and discovering new talents are definitely a few of my favorite past times.
Schwinn: What are some of your favorite things to do in Charlotte, NC?
Anthony: I work for an Aerial Dance company called Caroline Calouche & Co., and I love being there. Partner Acrobatics and Trapeze are such thrills everyday. It’s a pleasure to call that my work. Also Karaoke. I LOVE Karaoke!
Schwinn: Who first taught you to ride a bike? How old were you?
Anthony: My Dad first taught me how to ride a bike. We lived at the top of a hill, so it was pretty easy to get that sucker started… just hoped you would last ‘til the bottom!
Also, when I was about 3 years old, my dad used to push me on my tricycle and ride on the back with me until we found out that gutters aren’t very accommodating to little trike wheels… I guess that’s where I first learned how to flip, too!
Schwinn: Where do you most like to ride?
Anthony: Honestly? Traffic. Riding on the street with cars inspires me to push as hard as I can, and the state of total awareness and control of my locomotion is such an adrenaline rush and zen state simultaneously.
Schwinn: What is your favorite feature of the Schwinn Streamliner 1?
Anthony: It’s such a soft and smooth ride! On my daily commute, I ride a steel frame fixie with hard little tires; It’s fast, but pretty rough. When I’m on the Streamliner 1, it’s just a smooth ride. It’s floating down the road!
Schwinn: What is something unique about you?
Anthony: For the past 10 months, I’ve lived consistently in my tent or my car. Currently, I’m engaged in a project converting a cargo van into a permanent living space. Follow my progress at @vanstandthony on Instagram.
Schwinn: What is something you would like others to know about your products?
Anthony: I love making these products. A lot of the designs came from people asking for custom shapes. So please, if you have an idea, ask me about it!
Schwinn: About biking?
Anthony: Just do it. Always use lights, and avoid sidewalks; drivers don’t observe sidewalks, but they’ll observe you if you’re in the lane with them.
Anthony’s Motto to Live by: “Love. Wisdom. Truth.”
Check out more of Anthony’s jewelry at his etsy shop, Simply Spoken!