Brooklyn, NY resident Adam Grandmaison is a BMX self-starter, first with his Web site The Come Up, and now with a new parts brand OSS. Officially launched just a few months ago, OSS is taking their time with their first run of product, which includes bars, stems, seat, soft goods and OSS's first video, Football (scheduled for release this summer.) Read on to learn more about the impetus behind OSS, what it takes to get an independent BMX component business off the ground and how Adam and the OSS team are doing things their own way.
Name: Adam Grandmaison, owner of OSS.
Location: Currently Brooklyn, NY. Six months from now, who knows.
Web site: The OSS site isn't ready yet so for now, http://www.thembmx.com
ESPN.com: What made you want to start your own brand?
Grandmaison: Basically around a year ago, I was kind of at the point where I realized I wanted to do something else with my life besides just run The Come Up. I love running TCU. But I feed off of being really busy, and didn't feel like I was realizing my full potential with TCU. I was really close to going back to college and trying to work in advertising, but I decided that I owed it to myself to really give everything I had to start my own bike company. I'm glad I went for it. Even though we haven't even really launched yet, I feel like it was the right choice.
What brands inspired you to do your own thing?
Animal has always inspired me. It's just such a direct manifestation of how Ralph [Sinisi] sees BMX, which is how things should be. No image, it's just all about the riding. S&M too. I like people who are forward thinkers. [Chris] Moeller could have stuck with S&M and been successful, but he showed unbelievable foresight by starting Fit and starting his own distribution. He saw the big picture and knew how BMX was changing before certain things happened.
What direction would you like OSS to head in?
I don't think we really have a direction besides just being ourselves. I feel like when your heart is in the right place in a situation like this, that will kind of guide us where we need to go. We don't necessarily want to be the biggest company, we just want to be ourselves and see how big that allows us to become.
Who's on the team?
I didn't really want to set a team in stone early on, I just wanted to film with a lot of my friends and dudes who I didn't know whose riding I liked. The guys who ended up filming full sections are Garrett Reeves, Rory Ellis, Jake Seeley, Mike Mastroni, Alex Platt, Craig Passero and Charlie Crumlish. And then Chris Zeppieri and Devin Feil don't have full parts in the video but they are really good friends of ours who have a lot of clips in the video. And then you have Chris Long who isn't really that great on a bike, but he will knock your teeth out if you look at anyone on the team wrong, so he's an important asset to the company as well.
What does OSS offer the BMX market that other brands don't?
I wouldn't necessarily say that we offer anything that other brands don't. We are just doing things our own way. If you watch our DVD or look at our stuff and you feel like we're doing something you can relate to, then we've got love for you and are stoked you like what we're doing.
What products are you manufacturing?
We're starting off with bars, stems and seats, then just going from there. We don't want to come out with a full range of parts right away, even though that might be the most profitable thing to do. I think we need time to pay a lot of attention to everything and really give everything we sell an identity.
Right now, it looks as though OSS are only doing US-made products. Do you have plans to explore options overseas or would you rather keep everything made in the US?
You can't really do a parts company all American-made. Even S&M and Fit, they do a lot of stuff in house but they have to make certain things overseas because you just can't do them in America. I'm not married to doing stuff in America, it just worked out for us to work with [Chris] Moeller on everything to start, although we certainly might stay American-made if we feel like that's the best decision for us, the team and the people who dig our stuff.
OSS is also working on a DVD. Why is it important for the brand to have a video well under way before the full range of products is available?
I hate to mention Animal again, but if you look at their history, those DVD's defined them as a company. I don't think that a Web ad, or a magazine ad, or even a Web video can necessarily do that. I wanted to show everyone what a BMX video from our team would look like. I'm a student of BMX videos, I was always obsessed with them as a kid and when I think about the effect that videos like Don't Quit You Day Job and Criminal Mischief had on me, it was just an obvious thing to do a video even though it doesn't make any sense financially. I don't think any company has ever come out with a DVD with the release of their first product line either. That to me was just the perfect way to let everyone in BMX know who we are both as a company and as people.
Can you explain the relationship between OSS and Them?
Them is an online store that focuses on Stranger, OSS and Fremont plus selling other select items that we are into, like the Bone Deth DVD for example. The idea with starting Them wasn't to try to start something that could compete with the big mail-orders, we just wanted a way to sell our stuff direct and to be able to sell limited shirts or items that are too controversial for a place like Dan's to carry. I don't have a problem with that, that makes sense, they have little kids looking at their catalogs and don't want that kind of liability. But it works out good for us because a kid might buy a set of OSS bars from Dan's Comp, Albe's or their local bike shop and then figure out that they can buy other stuff directly from Them that they can't get anywhere else. It gives us a way to connect with the people who are into our stuff, so we don't have to necessarily play by the rules set in place by traditional BMX mail-orders and distributors. Plus we update the blog on there with news, photos and videos of all the dudes who represent our brands, so even if you aren't really trying to buy something right now, it's worth checking out.
How has the reception to OSS been so far?
We haven't really put out much besides the trailer for our DVD but everyone seems stoked. Every time I go out riding I get asked when the DVD and our parts are going to be available, so I'm feeling real good about it. We timed things so Stranger could take the lead and come out first, and they are already doing super well. We're just trying to keep the momentum going once OSS drops.
The most important part is being able to sponsor my friends so they have the opportunity to travel and really make the most out of their talent.
What's the most important part of running OSS?
The most important part is being able to sponsor my friends so they have the opportunity to travel and really make the most out of their talent, and so they don't have to go and get sponsored by some company who doesn't understand them. The second most important thing is just to present BMX the way we see it through our videos and products. Whether it's a sticker design or the stuff we choose to film, this is what BMX looks like to us, from our perspective.
Anything we didn't touch upon?
Not really, I appreciate the interview and if you have any questions about OSS, Stranger or Them, feel free to e-mail me (my full name at gmail.com), hit me up on Facebook or Tweet at me. Sometimes people seem surprised that I respond to every message. I don't have any ego about this BMX stuff, I am thankful for every single person who supports what I do.
View OSS's introductory trailer here.