Friday, June 15, 2012

Pockets of resistance amoungst positive feedback...

So recently I printed up my business card. My current slave labor job is in a copy center at a Insurance Company in the Madison area. I set up the cards so it could be printed in gray scale, so they wouldn't have to pay the cost of a color print. Printed it, they looked nice so I had them cut down to size at Kinko's since I don't have a machine cutter at work. Getting off topic there, so any way I went around to some local skate shops to hand out my card, and ask them to refer any skaters inquiring about sponsorships they were not interested in to my business card.

Here is where I decide to be a "dick" or not in this blog. Which I wont be since I would like to build a relationship with these shops eventually. There are not many skate shops in the Madison Area so if you are near me you can probably guess who I am referring to.

The first shop I went into I was optimistic because on the front door it says "Support Local" in big white decal lettering. Apparently this only applies to their shop, and any of "their friends" products or companies.

When I asked if they'd be likely to carry the Corpsehustler brand they answered a self serving "No, not really, We already carry two Wisconsin brands"

"1031, and Beer City?" I inquired.

"No, a local Madison Company Community Skateboards, and Avela which is a company of one of our friends"

Hmmm it sounds like they are giving priority to the brands they want to and ignoring what the customer really is after. I don't mean to be a jerk, but those two brands could fall right out of the industry and no one would notice I'm sure. 1031 Skateboards has some pretty interesting logos and graphics, and Beer City is just that. A great American Blank Company that you could buy a nice all American low cost blank. Personally I'd rather support a company that sponsored skateboarders and put their graphics out for sale. But I do own a Beer City Blank I bought in 2006. It's a great deck.

"Whatever" I thought and handed him my cards and told him it would be up to him if he handed them out. At least he was nice.

Now the thing that ran true when entering both of these shops. And this goes for previous shopping, and browsing experiences. They are eerily empty of customers when you go in. I am thinking they are shaking in their boots that they and their precious "friends companies" are going to suffer because of Big Bad Corpsehustler Skateboards. In all honesty I want them to flourish. Good competition is what breeds winners. Would a pro skater want to enter a rigged contest? No, they want to prove their worth against the best! We don't have any street cred, but I guarantee were not going to be a company to be ignored, either people will love us, or hate us. Anything else is suicide in an industry that is so watered down.

The next shop was a few days later on State Street in Madison. On my way there on my Diamondback Mr. Lucky BMX bike I ran into a few local skaters and gave them my cards. I was happily met with "Cools", and "This is something Madison is missing", meaning a Horror skateboard company. I was intending to give them some free blank deck samples to test if products were good enough to have my brand name on them. Unfortunately none of them contacted me after the initial in person meeting.

So this "State Street Shop" which apparently is really popular with the local punk, metal head, skate scene was dead when I went in. The cashier let me bring in my bike as long as I put it aside out of the way.

I approached him with the same good natured spiel. "Do you wanna hand out my card if your not interested in sponsoring skaters?"

He took offense for me even insinuating such a thing saying. "We sponsor pretty much every body so, we wouldn't do that because we wouldn't want the competition."

What? What? What? I forget what my response was but I was floored. These skaters they sponsor mean nothing more to them than a walking, skating bill board. You know they are greedy assholes since their shop boards are "Made in Mexico", yet they charge a whopping $45 dollars for them as if that's consolation for having some ten year old enslaved for peanuts to make them.

The parting comment from this guy was. "Why even start a skateboard company?"

By this time I was done with him. I replied with "Because I want to!" and walked out.

Never again will I set foot in that store, because they have shown their true greedy two faced colors to me. If they want to sell my products they can order them from a distributor. I have been a consumer for more than 25 years for skateboards, accessories, DVDs, clothing. I was loyal to a shop at one time. They eventually started treating me like a dollar sign. I went to use a gift certificate there I got as a present for Christmas. They sighed and said, "That's fifty less dollars going in our bonuses", and the shop owner who had been the same man that sold me my first trucks, wheels, gave me a dirty look.

On to more happy matters. I finally gave away the first samples of some of the products that the Corpshustler Skateboards brand will be using. I'd never have expected trying to give away gear in return for just a email telling me how it stood up would be so damn hard!

Although the decks I gave away I found were made in China mostly, and I wont stand for that. I just ordered sample decks from a verified full USA made company. They should be arriving in about a week or so.

Here is a YouTube video of the deck manufacturing process courtesy of Notice real live Americans making the decks.

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