If you experience any difficulty in accessing content on Small Business Revolution, please contact us at 866.332.6127 or email us at , and we will make every effort to assist you.

Story #70Steel Bent CustomsOldsmar, FL

You can stay with the artist-like design and starve if you will. Or you can morph into a business.

Growing up, Michael Mundy was allowed to have a motorcycle before he was allowed to have a car. In 2009, he was working in real estate when he started restoring a couple of motorcycles as a side project. “One bike led to another, and before I knew it I was spending more time in my garage than I was showing homes.” In 2011 he founded his Oldsmar, Fla.-based small business Steel Bent Customs, specializing in custom builds and the restoration of classic motorcycles.

Mundy may be the sole employee of Steel Bent Customs, but he consistently uses the pronoun “we” when speaking about his business. He is quick to acknowledge the external people he works with who handle the bike wheels, paint jobs, and powder coating. He also works with talented photographers who document all of his work, and credits social media with helping Steel Bent grow through word of mouth. “We really embraced the social media side of it, and it’s allowed us to reach people all over the world.”

 Business hasn’t always been easy for Mundy, however. He admits that in his first year, “I just wanted to build what I wanted to build, and I didn’t care how it was received. That’s an ok mindset for an artist, but it’s not a good mindset for a business.” Over time he has been able to adapt, and says, “it’s hard to bring somebody in and say, ‘have my same vision.’ It’s also childish to think that somebody else doesn’t have a vision that’s better than my own.”

The next phase of growth for Mundy will be to attempt to let go of some of his shop duties, perhaps bring someone else in to help with the business, and begin to build more of a retail presence. He’s not quite sure what the future holds for Steel Bent Customs, but for now he’s happy with the shop being a place where the door is always open to visitors.

“Maybe there’s a father and son who drive by, maybe they stop in and we’re working on a few things in the back. Maybe that brings somebody together. Maybe it sparks a passion in a father and daughter or son.”

Photos by Kike Arnal

  • An old Enduro motorcycle in the restoration process at Steel Bent Customs. For Mundy, one of the biggest challenges early on was adapting from having an artist mindset to having a more business-oriented mindset.

  • Michael Mundy, owner of Steel Bent Customs, and two recently completed bikes.

  • Michael Mundy at work in his shop. The next phase of growth for Mundy will be to attempt to let go of some of his shop duties, perhaps bring someone else in to help with the business.

  • Michael Mundy at work in his shop. Although the shop is not a retail space, it’s something that he is considering for the future, and his space is always open to visitors.

  • Michael Mundy in his Oldsmar, Fla. based shop. In the forefront is a restored classic Vespa that Mundy owns.

  • Michael Mundy welds a base for a new seat on a 1978 model Honda 750. Mundy is typically working on three or four bikes at a time, and completes about 12-15 per year.

  • Michael Mundy puts the finishing touches on a bike before it is shipped to a client in Dubai. Mundy works with talented photographers to document all of his work, and credits social media with helping Steel Bent Customs reach an international clientele.

  • Michael Mundy tests a bike outside his shop before it is sent to the customer. Growing up, Mundy says he was allowed to have a motorcycle before he was allowed to have a car.

  • Michael Mundy works on transforming a 1978 Honda 750. Steel Bent Customs is a one-man operation, but Mundy consistently uses the pronoun “we” when speaking about his business, and is quick to acknowledge external people he works with who handle the bike wheels, paint jobs, and powder coating.

  • Steel Bent Customs in Oldsmar, Fla., is a one-man small business specializing in custom builds and the restoration of classic motorcycles from the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s.

  • Michael Mundy, owner of Steel Bent Customs, at work in his Oldsmar, Fla. based shop. Mundy started restoring bikes as a side project, but word of mouth spread and before he knew it, his hobby had become a full time small business.

Business Details

Proprietor: Michael Mundy
343 Douglas Rd E. #5 Oldsmar, FL 34677
PH: 813-679-2754 / Website
_ _ Back
To Top