Photos: Chad / http://chipriggs.com.
The winners of the 2014 Flatmatters Online awards now have their medals, so I am going through the process of interviewing each winner over the next month or so. We begin with “Brand of the Year”, which was won by Deco BMX. I caught up with the main man behind Deco, Chad Degroot to grab his thoughts on winning the award, his brand, new products in the works, collaborating with Profile, and talk all things flatland, read on!
Firstly congratulations to you and DecoBMX for Brand of the Year, how do you feel about receiving the award Chad?
This is awesome for so many reasons. First off I want to thank you for doing this, seems like BMX has lost sight of why and how we got here. Plus who are trying to push things for the better of the sport. These awards are refreshing and such a great idea. This award is for DecoBMX but it wouldn’t be possible with all the supporters out there. And a huge thanks and respect for the whole team including the ramp and street riders. Tsutomu Kitayama or “Storm”, Lee Musselwhite, Terry Adams, Thomas Noyer, Tang Meng, Kerry Gatt, and Hiroshi Uehara holding it down on the flatland side. This award is a stamp on history for 2014 and I couldn’t be more proud to receive this on behalf of DecoBMX and what we represent. Thank you.
Thanks Chad! As well as having great product, it’s also about the team getting out there. Who makes up the Deco team?
It’s not limited to Tsutomu Kitayama or “Storm”, Lee Musselwhite, Terry Adams, Thomas Noyer, Tang Meng, Kerry Gatt, and Hiroshi Uehara but more or less anyone who rides a bike part, sticker, LIKES us on Facebook, comments on anything, and throws support our way.
Selling the Wu pegs singular was a stroke of genius, something unless you ride you might not understand. What are your plans without giving too much away for Deco in 2015?
Thank you for this, but it was a few minds coming together to make the WuPegs possible including Shawn Burnham. We are switching production in house at Profile Racing in USA so you know the original Wu was great but were going to make it better. Tsutomu is on his signature JACKPOT frame that is done sampling and will be out early summer, clean design, well thought out, great graphics, and hand picked colors. Our Camo line of seats including a flatland specific seat, camo fork caps, camo swirl grips, camo pedals are either out now or will be soon. Also the Tie Dye parts including seatpost clamps and seatposts have a great look. Working on a bag that doubles as a tool bag or toiletry bag. USA made Pac Ends bar ends are out now. We are supporting great jams and events like Fl-BMX series, Nowhere Jams, One Love, Voodoo, Battle in the Rockies, and more. On a side note working on the Profile Z-Coaster is a dream come true finally having it released in April. I spent a lot of time and work helping them develop this product that is THE BEST hub I have ever ridden. I give that shout out for Profile stepping into more support with Deco, Tsutomu and TA as team riders, and the flatland community needs this support with a great company with this kind of history.
Besides Deco you have ran a couple of skateparks, and now also a shop as well. How do you feel these experiences have helped you with running Deco?
It’s having business pride but also employing riders, giving money back to rider owned companies, building our local scene here in Florida, not trying to change the world of bmx but staying with it for the long haul, making the right moves, being a business to stay in business with good decisions, making the customer happy or giving them options.
On a day to day basis, how many people do you employ under at Deco HQ?
To employ is a tough one, it’s really only me. But I don’t want to leave out my employees at my shop who answer the phone, sell Deco direct to customers, and answer questions about Deco as my shop Mr. B’s doubles as Deco as well. Right now in house my shop has 4 employees. Outside I couldn’t consider them employees but people who help Deco and see the light. Chris Rye does some graphics and ideas here and there. Matt Coplon has always put in time and effort on social media, ideas, and sales through Profile Racing Distro. The Space-Station crew with the shirts and graphics. Randal takes care of hats and patches. So I am not really answering this correctly but if you have to ask under this one roof for Deco its just myself and my many personalities.
What would you say are the core principles that define what Deco is all about?
Look how you want to be seen. Be honest and don’t let business run you. Keep it in control at all times. Once you are to big you lost control. Everything is a story so I am keeping the stories telling. BMX birthed Deco so I’m staying true to the roots where it all came from.
If someone wants Deco product, where can they get it from?
First I would say to shop local, but this can be tough so respected mail orders would be next. For Distros if your a shop hit up Direct, Profile Racing, QBP, Deco Spain, Deco France, Agun, Decade in Japan, and many more and always keep in mind direct from me firstname.lastname@example.org and hit me with any questions on ordering, where to get the good stuff, and even suggestions/concerns/ideas.
Any final shoutouts?
Thanks to everyone who voted, who rides, follows, likes, is honest, and gives two shits about Deco. and smiles about BMX.