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Michael Bruno

The intrepid founder of 1stdibs.

While most of us only dream of perusing the aisles at Paris's Marché aux Puces, the innovative website made it possible for us to buy its offerings from afar. The company's visionary founder, Michael Bruno, was strolling that very flea market when he decided to bring these amazing finds to the world — via the internet. The former real-estate agent turned his love of old homes, architecture, and by extension, antiques into a lucrative online business. Started as a direct vendor-to-designer antiques site in the late 1990s, it's grown into an all-encompassing online marketplace and resource site for everyone. Bruno is no stranger to hard work and innovative business ventures. "I always tread lightly when I do something new to see if it's the right path, but I'll always do rather than talk." The advent of vintage style and of mixing antique with modern must give some credit to 1stdibs; it made vintage such a hot collectible. As for his own collectibles, he loves the playful element that animal-themed accessories add to a bar — like this penguin-shaped cocktail shaker. "I read The New York Times online, but I still read the printed edition, too." And he owns ten pairs of these gorgeous John Lobb shoes.

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