New York City resident Tyrone Williams truly knows the deal when it comes to bikes. Aside from innovating a unique street style in his riding, "Rone" along with friend, Qian Who, own and run a bike shop in downtown Manhattan named Dah Shop. As expected, they offer plenty of BMX products, but Dah Shop also sells and services almost anything with two wheels and no motor. Here's the lowdown from dah man himself, Tyrone Williams.
Location: 134 Division St., New York, NY 10002
Hours: Mon-Sat. 11-7, Sun. 12-6
Words of Wisdom: "Do what you love. People always say it, but seriously, if you do what you love, you'll get a lot more out of it."
Located near the Brooklyn Banks, Dah Shop is Manhattan's first and only BMX-specific shop, although owners Tyrone Williams and Qian Who will sell and service almost anything with two wheels and no motor, including skateboards, road bikes and more.
What's it like being a business owner in New York City?
It's a hard thing to do, but it's definitely fun at the same time; a lot of learning, a lot of new experiences. I have no idea what it's like to be honest. Everyday it's hitting me more and more that I don't just work here, I actually own it. It's kind of a crazy thing, but it's still growing on me as we go.
How did Dah Shop originally come about?
Dah Shop was an idea that me and my business partner Q had because we both worked for the same company. We worked a long time there together, about eight years in total before we left. It was one of those things where it was like, what do we do next? We are gonna work in a bike shop, obviously, cause this is what we like doing and it's fun, but are we going to continue to work for someone else for so long, every single day? So I was like, yo the worst we could do is actually try and do it ourselves and if it doesn't work, we can always get a job doing something else. It's not like it's the only thing we know how to do, but why not try something we are interested in, and we love? If it works it works, if it doesn't it doesn't. More or less, we're here to try to make it work for as long as we can.
What has changed since you and Qian opened the doors well over a year ago?
The shop has changed a lot. It looks different inside and out. Everyday that we go in, we're always changing the store up, trying to make things fresh and make more use of the space, cause we don't have that much space. It's a very small store. As far as changes, I've still been riding my bike, and getting hurt, and trying to film stuff and have fun. And I probably have gotten a lot more responsibilities and a lot more stress since a year ago.
How do you think being a professional bike rider affects your business?
I'd say being a professional bike rider probably has its good and bad sides. It helps because people may know who you are from magazines or videos, and can relate to you because of that, so that could give them a reason to come in. I pay attention to a lot of things, so I kind of use that professional mentality when trying to run Dah Shop. I try to implement everything I can into everything we do, as far as having good parts in stock, and making sure we fix something properly the first time, so we don't get people coming back for the wrong reasons. I never think of myself as a professional rider, so that's the hardest part about answering the question.
For a person who has never laid foot in Dah Shop, what can be expected from a visit to your store?
One thing you can expect, is for me either me or Qian to be there, if not both of us. It's a pretty chill, laid back environment. You might find a lot of parts you are interested in, maybe stuff you wouldn't think would be there. I guess you gotta just come in to figure it out, and then you can make your own judgement. But we're a small company and we're growing as we can. Were not gonna have everything that you want, but if it's something that you're really looking for, I might be able to get it for you.
What has been your most absurd customer request?
People expecting me to fix their bicycle for free.
Why should customers come to Dah Shop rather than buying their goods from a mail order company?
You got everything you want in front of you. You can see, touch, and feel the product before you buy it. You'll get better customer service, and you'll be supporting your local bike shop.
Do you have special events coming up, or anything we should watch for?
Not really, only our anniversary which will be in April sometime. April 26th is our shop anniversary. We will be two years old, so we will probably have some sort of event in that time frame.
Does it ever feel like you are competing with the other BMXer-owned shops in the New York City area?
Not really, only because there are not that many BMX specific shops in New York City in general. My friend Edwin [Delarosa] has a shop in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn called Post, and we're more like friends helping each other out rather than being rivals. If you need stuff in Queens, Nigel has a dope spot you can find stuff at called Format. So there aren't too many BMX shops in the city per se.
What kind of impact has NYC played on you as a person, a rider, and as a business owner?
I grew up in the city since I was three years old. I'd say it definitely makes you a tougher individual because you face a lot of different things everyday, whether they're good or bad. It kind of opens your eyes a bit more about people and your surroundings.
How is your time spent outside of the daily grind?
Grinding harder, you know what I mean, it doesn't stop. Either that or I'm chillin', playing video games, hanging out, sleeping, whatever man, livin', just livin'.
Can you share with us one piece of advice that you feel has helped you out the most?
Yeah, do what you love. People always say it, but seriously, if you do what you love, you'll probably get a lot more out of it if you go about it the right way. It's not always about just doing one thing. What you love could have a lot of different aspects to it, and once you can start to break them down and work into them, that's how you can get more out of it.
Shout outs to anyone who rides a bicycle, anyone who has a Dah Shop sticker on their bike, anyone who just grinds hard. Friends, family, anyone I left out, you know who you are. If you ever spent a dollar at Dah Shop, thank you.