Over the past couple of months, we have been working nonstop on a business model that would work in the wholesale market and still maintain our integrity as a true custom longboard company. After many coffee fueled late nights, we finally put together our plan of attack and scheduled a meeting with the world’s largest distributor, Eastern Skate Supply. Not knowing what lay ahead, Ryan and I began the most important road trip of our lives.
We geared up to leave NJ early on Friday but as always we were delayed. Packed and ready the night prior doesnt stop cars from breaking down in front of your loft nor does it stop cops from asking you where you stole all those boards from. After helping our neighbor push his broken down Pathfinder into our space and after committing to do a custom NY Giants board for our new cop friend Leo, we left for MD. NJ was a blur as we discussed the pitch and wondered how things were going to pan out, but PA turned out to be something i will never forget.
Ryan is a baller and bc of his baller status he has a Blackberry to surf the net as we ride thru BFPA (Bum F_ck PA). I am falling asleep at the wheel when I hear him chuckle like when we were kids. For some reason, unknown to both him and I, Ryan had looked up “Deep Thoughts” by Jack Handy. You may remember them from SNL in the mid 90s. I dont think I have ever laughed so hard for so long in my entire life. I mean, we have done some stupid things together and I dont know if there is something to top how funny this was. The randomness of the internet search, our delirium from the past month’s stress and PA’s cow country are sure to have added to this scene, but let me recall a few classic thoughts for you now so you can share in the joy. “If God dwells inside us like some people say, I sure hope He likes enchiladas, because that’s what He’s getting” or “I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you’re having a good idea but it’s just eggs hatching.” or “If you saw two guys named Hambone and Flippy, which one would you think liked dolphins most? I’d say Flippy, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong though. It’s Hambone.” For the entire trip thru PA I had to clear the tears from my eyes for fear that I was off the road or a tractor trailor was barreling down on us. Good times.
We made it to MD safely and separated for the weekend; Ryan going to finalize the pitch with me heading down to DC to hang with my military friends Cody, Tommy and Dustin. I made it down to DC and the decision was made to head to Adams Morgan, wealthy bar district, for some late night drinking. The night started off better than I could have ever hoped bc as we walked to our destination, we found a hotel that was hosting an ANIME convention, or an ANIMECON to those in the know. We took a quick walk thru to see what we were missing and what we were missing was a drug induced hallucination of a dream where kids of all ages dressed in ninja outfits, monsters, dwarfs, trolls, and anything in between frolicked through a gold accented lobby. Dying for a drink, my crew and I decided this would be best reserved for late night fun. Off to the bars.
The bars there are like any bars anywhere and for four guys, this means certain doom when it comes to meeting women. You always out number them when you are rolling deep and everyone of the crew wants in on the action so there is no way to ever have a real conversation in a bar, unless…one of you has a mullet hawk, and I happened to fit the bill. Before I go on, lets explain. A new place to live, a frat atmosphere, jokes about mullets, me needing a hair cut and a beer all are enough to spark a google search for proper mullet cutting techniques. After many seconds of deliberation, “lets do this” became our mantra. With Ryan’s skilled sheering techniques and the finest instructions googles hairdressers could come up with, we were off and running. It took only a matter of moments but this haircut will be the start of a revolution I assure you, but I digress. I dubbed the term so dont let anyone else tell you different
Its an easy opener for your friends if they can bash you as a person or point out the fact that you are willingly sporting what some would call “redneck uppercrust fashion sense”. I on the other hand think that it is funny and it goes against everything that I could do in the military. Picture three of my friends telling every woman in a bar that there is a dirtball running around the same venue with a mullet. Then picture yourself walking into that conversation 12 times in a night. With enough confidence, or alcohol, anyone could do it (do you accept this challenge?) Several side splitting laughs and strange glances later, everyone is having a good time. The amazing thing about a mullethawk is that everyone needs to touch it to believe its real. To this end, I barked at several women and gave them a frightful scare. ARF! I am never getting rid of this thing.
Enough with the boring bar, lets get back to ANIMECON at the Omni. We stumble from the strip and into the hotel to find it is still going strong at 0300 in teh AM. Kids laid out in corners with fishnets on…did I say kids, I meant guys dressed as girls. I didnt know Anime supported trannyism but whatever floats your boat. The lobby is pumping but somewhere in the distance bass hums and moves the floors. Could this be? A rave, in a hotel filled with anime kids? it sure as hell was! Lights blazing, strobes flashing, music throbbing in your chest…and…glow sticks galore! Eyeliner kids running to and fro with the rhythmic timing of the DJs beats. We had to get in. There was nothing more in the world that we wanted than to join this “Freakshow at the Omni 2008”. One by one we threw blocks on the security, you heard me, security at an ANIMECON! Once we were all in, we rejoiced in the fact that we had crashed a party these fools had all paid 100s to get into. We were quickly spotted by security (picture the AV kid off Family Guy mixed with Booger from Revenge of the Nerds, this was their SWAT TEAM) and escorted out. Nerds with ear pieces yelling obscenities and flaunting their swipe cards that gave them access to the all areas of nerdom, including the nether regions where they hid all the E they were tripping off of (in no way do I condone drug use or endorse it). Pictures cant even do this event justice. You just had to be there to experience this…dont pay to go to one but if you see one, CRASH IT! ANIMECON, CON, COn, Con, con, con, con… ( i just picture it echoing as they announced the name of the event on Cartoon Network)
Monday comes and we are on the road discussing our plan of attack amongst other things. We stay in Greenville NC that night with Aly, Ryans Sis and her fiance Chris. Business aside for a while, we discover how mesmerizing RockBand can be and hours later we hit the sheets. Tuesday we travel to Wilmington to meet our manufacturer Butch. Butch is kind enough to show us his full facility and to give us a demo on the cutting of a Cigar board (video on Myspace and YouTube this week). We exchanged ideas, got amazing info and then headed out to eat. A couple drinks led to many more than we should have had and sleep was not at a premium that night.
Wake at 0800 and prep for the biggest meeting n your life with a slight headache. Not too bad after clearing the mind and having some coffee, but still not good. The meeting goes better than we ever could have imagined and we solidify a deal that will put our boards in select shops throughout the country within the next month. Late night comes and we are off to celebrate with Butch and his wife at a spot called King Neptunes right off the beach. All the distributors employees are there having a beer with us and exchanging funny stories about one another. Half priced whiskey night could lead you down many paths, but all we could think about was how amazing this opportunity was. Drunken conversations aside, I feel we made some real connections and friends that night. We both left more excited than wasted, well wasted too bc Ryan rode back in a baby seat. After we looted the hotel lobby vednign machine of all its plunder, we scarfed honey buns, oreos, water, snickers, some crazy nougat bar and finally hit the hay.
The trip back to NJ wasnt as eventful bc whiskey stays with you 3 times longer than normal alcohol. I researched it so its fact. But our 8 hrs of hell driving was a good catalyst to brainstorming a new plan to market our boards to shops. We came up with several original ideas that will again keep Bustin ahead of the pack and we are excited to implement them.
Now we are back in the shop hammering out all the issues that arose and setting ourselves up to really make this golden opportunity shift into our favor. No slouching now, so if you dont see a Blog entry from us for a couple of weeks, just know we are developing a plan to bring boards to shops near you! I cant express how stoked we are and hopefully you are to have made this huge leap. Look for our interesting twist on custom boards at a shop in your town. if you think they would be interested, simply tell them to check out our site and we will take care if it from there.
Hope this wasnt too long to stand but the story had to be told. Cheers, Matt