Back to Global Conversations Episode 19: 1st Dibs Founder Michael Bruno
Michael Bruno is a serial lover of places and a self-professed “house junkie,” which may explain his passion for collecting them—and why his latest project is a hotel. He tells Melissa Biggs Bradley about how travel influences the way you live and shares tips on how to shop for furniture, how to find your dream home as well as his favorite places for antique hunting.
You may think of yourself as a busy person. But then you meet Michael Bruno and you realize, “oh, so that’s what a person with a lot of projects looks like.” He’s perhaps best known for founding e-commerce brand 1st Dibs, which is one of the world’s leading online marketplaces for collectors, designers, and curators. Objects on 1st Dibs come from different places around the world and have stories and histories woven into their very textures. Of course, Michael’s an avid traveler and you’ll hear about his favorite places to visit and the favorite pieces that he’s picked up on his travels over the years.
A self-professed house junkie, he and his partner have decorated their various properties in New York City, South Hampton, Maine, and elsewhere to reflect the locations as well as the architecture and their tastes. Some other projects of Michael’s include him creating a private online marketplace for art and design professionals called Art Design Carta, a household management app, which is perfect for handling chore assignments called House Pad, and the Tastemakers Guide, which is an online publication that catalogs the best small businesses in art, design, and hospitality. Speaking of the latter, recently Michael and his partner Alexander also opened a small hotel —The Valley Rock Inn — just one hour north of New York City in the town of Sloatsburg. It was created with food lovers and outdoor enthusiasts in mind. But really, this project, too, was born out of a passion for a region that, despite its proximity to New York City, remains a bit of an insider’s secret.