Introduce yourself to our readers: who are you and what is it that you do?
Hmmm, who am I? I’m Lara – a personified colourful Bingelc, who’s a big lover of life, since I don’t take it too seriously. When I weave through more or less interesting paths I never have an end destination before me and I always choose the path which fills me up with the biggest amount of positive energy. I believe that the right path isn’t always the easiest one, but it’s the one that in the end brings us the most joy. I spend most of my time in my own parallel universe and come back down to Earth only when I’m trying to better the days of those around me. At the same time I don’t really give much thought to what other people think of me, unless it’s something positive. I don’t like silence, so I give a soundtrack to every scene in my everyday life. I love music, it inspires me immensely. My soul is old school and entwined with many different concepts, thoughts and emotions at the same time. During it’s every day growth it’s always aware that it is defined by its roots from the past.
I’m easy going, a complete contrast to my sister Alja, the other Bingelc. Much like only two Bingelc together can develop a balance; it’s me and my sister who are each other’s biggest support and critics. Together we’re an invincible team because her strengths fill in the gaps where my weaknesses lay and vice versa. It’s clearly shown in the brand Bingelci, created by us two, the Lukšič sisters – a creative economist, who creates these bicycle fringes herself and takes care of our visuals and marketing, and a pragmatic lawyer, who takes care of all the formalities.
You studied at the Faculty of Economics and later in Berlin? Where did you get the idea to create Bingelci?
That’s correct; I’m a student of the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana. This year I’m an ‘absolvent’ so I enrolled in graphic design as my second study. I was in Berlin for half a year on an Erasmus exchange. This city had a huge impact on my creativity and I only realised that after returning back to Ljubljana. Berlin is a city that filled me with an infinite amount of inspiration. If anyone were to ask me if I find it to be beautiful my answer would be no. But it’s a fantastic city with a soul and a unique character. I was introduced to a completely different atmosphere in Berlin – one that taught me that so long as you’re following your dreams, what others think of you is irrelevant. I found myself in Berlin and accepted myself for who I am. This is why today, I don’t find it daunting anymore to take on a project that represents who I am, to stand behind it and proudly present it to the world. The idea of Bingelci came to me immediately after my return to Ljubljana. My sister and I went on an evening ride with our bikes around the centre of Ljubljana and because we love to brainstorm we somehow stumbled upon this idea of fringes for bicycles. Since then Bingelci have been a part of my life – I find new inspiration for them every day and I’m always thinking of new combinations to create.
Bingelci is a great decoration for the everyday bike that transform each day you spend on it into a new adventure. How did you come up with the name Bingelci?
If I’m honest I often come up with names for things I don’t know the correct terms or names of. I’ve always called these bike fringes Bingelci. When I told my friends that I was going to start creating them I was confused when I saw that they didn’t understand what I meant with that word. The name came to me completely organically and I never even thought about naming them something else. Everyone that knows me knows that this is a typical ‘Lara word’. I was especially surprised by the reactions of older ladies, who always chuckled when they heard the name and told me, after a while, what it means to them.
What is the main purpose of Bingelci?
The aesthetic aspect was never a priority to me. What matters to me is that they’re fun and they give the monotony of a bike ride a little extra something, make it more fun. They add character to my bike and make me smile every day. My bicycle is no longer just a means of transportation – it’s a fashion statement which turns heads and is different from other, ordinary bicycles.
How are Bingelci made? Do you make them on your own?
Bingelci are made with love. I make them on my own, in my grandfather’s workshop. Many people are amazed when they find out that I’m the one that makes them, especially when they see the metal part. That part is really difficult to make since I have to cut, grind and shape it with special machines. My family helps me out when I have too many orders. For now I still very much enjoy the process of making these fringes. I like that I can stand behind the quality of each pair and can always confirm that the product is 100% hand-made. That is what makes every pair of Bingelci unique.
Where can we buy Bingelci?
You can buy them online, on our official website bingelci.com and our Etsy shop. Those that want to see the product before-hand can find it in Smile Concept Shop in the Ljubljana Old Town. I’m also always happy if costumers contact me directly through email, Instagram or Facebook – that makes it easier to create combinations based on their personal wishes.
Are Bingelci going to evolve into a brand with similar products to lighten up our bicycle rides?
Despite my big love for bicycles and cycling I’m not so sure that my next project is going to go in that direction. But I don’t think about that too much right now. When the potential of Bingelci is used up to the fullest I’ll take on new projects. Until then I’ll keep focusing on Bingelci getting more recognition.
Interviewed by Anja Korošec