Dean: At first it wasn’t necessarily all to do with just money, I was riding and getting paid a little bit for it, and I lived at home so didn’t have hardly any outgoings, and this may sound funny, but after a bit it got kind of old sitting around all day not doing much, waiting for people to finish work to go ride etc, and it felt like time to get into do something a bit more, I had been speaking to Ian a little about working at seventies, and luckily that all panned out.
How did you roll into the BMX business?
Dean: Well yeah, I had know Ian and Stu for a long time, through riding for Backyard / Seventies / Federal, and it got to the point where I wanted to work, so I spoke to Ian a bit about it, and then it all worked out.
Where did you start?
Dean: All started out at Seventies, in sales.
Where are you now?
Dean: 4down and United.
What are some of the tasks you do at 4Down?
Dean: I made and maintain both the 4down and United websites, Take care of product design for United, and also keeping an eye on the manufacturing schedules etc with Taiwan, Also do a lot of Filming when on trips etc. It is a tight knit gig we run here, so we are all involved in most aspects of the business. 4down is a family type operation, and whatever needs doing get done, whether it is unloading containers, packing & shipping orders, we're all hands on to make sure it happens. I’m one of the fortunate people that gets paid to do something they love for a living, working here is more like a way of life, than a real job.
For some people it doesn't look like work being on the road with the riders. Does it feel like work?
Dean: We’ll, of course when your at the helm there is a certain amount of work involved, making sure everyone is doing alright, sorting places to stay, where we are going, being the motivator, but it could be way worse!
What are some of the headaches you run into while on the road?
Dean: It depends, we were on the road for around 6 weeks this summer, and didn’t really run into many headaches, you just have to roll with the situation, there is always going to be somewhere to stay, somewhere to ride, etc, it just takes a little finding, there were a few times where it would be 4 am, and we couldn’t find no hotels anywhere, it looked like another night in the van, then boom, before you know it you get lucky and find one, so yeah, the amount of headaches you run into depends on how much of a flapper you are!
Would you prefer sitting in the back with no care in the world while on a Road trip?
Dean: Erm, I used to like it, and life is easier in the back of the van, but nah, I like it, especially now, if I was sitting in the back I'd still end up trying to organise things, control freak.
Working in the bike industry means you must get to ride all the time. How Did this work out for you?
Dean: Ha! I don’t think I have ridden in about 6 weeks, but that is mainly due to the weather. Last summer we would hit the park before work and get some good sessions in, but in this weather it is hard to get motivated, if I really wanted to ride then I would, I got to roll about a little bit on the United Down under tour!
What are the goals for 4Down?
Dean: 4down’s goal is not to be the biggest, but to be the best distributor, and represent our brands as well as they would do themselves. We want to continue enjoying what we do, and not turn into a distribution centre that has to feed itself with brands just to keep going, this will just end up taking the enjoyment out of what we do, turning it into a mundane “ real “ job.
Anybody can just buy and sell, especially with some of the brands we carry as they sell themselves, but that is not what we are about. We want to offer the best service to our customers, and want to simplify the dealer’s job, to be a distributor that works with the shops and not against them.
We actually have a new dealer incentive program in the works that will benefit the shops that are committed to carrying and representing our brands, and BMX as a whole, we have just launched our dealer login site for shops to be able to check live stock and place orders online, we’ll also keep taking our team riders on trips, putting out videos, continue to further support local scenes through the shop sponsored program and who knows what else!
What brands do you carry?
Dean: A Bike Co, Attila, Bicycle Union, Coalition, FBM, Fit Bike Co, Happy Hour, Lavar, Lord, Metal, Props, Revenge, S&M Bikes, Shitluck, Skavenger & United.
How big is the warehouse?
Dean: 2000 Sq Ft.
Any room for ramps?
Dean: We wish, but we're not really in that position. We got a blunder box, a 8ft long grind box, that was made slightly mis-shaped due to the creasemeisters involvement, and we are looking to try and get a quarter in there somewhere, for a quick blast after work..
Have you set any goals for this year?
Dean: Well, for United we just finished up a 3 week tour of Australia, with in store appearances etc, and the whole thing was filmed for a dvd which will be on the cover of Dig Magazine, and also free along with a poster in all our Bikes, Frames, Forks & Handlebars on our next order. We also have plenty of new product in the works, including a totally revamped Corey Martinez signature series amongst other things. With 4down as well as the dealer programs etc, we’ll also continue to evolve our shop team program, and get started on planning this summers team road trips, and tours, so who know where that will lead!!