After starting out as a door-to-door tuning business under the name “Shred Rescue”, owner James Meade has launched “The Mountain Garage” snowboard store in Manly Vale. A veteran of numerous seasons, both locally and overseas, James lives and breathes snowboarding. We caught up with James for a chat about his new venture and what it’s all about.
Store Name: THE MOUNTAIN GARAGE
Location: Sydney - Shop 7/259 Condamine St, Manly Vale, NSW, 2093
Established: 2015 Baby!
Store crew: We’re a 2 man crew, myself (James Meade) and B(r)eau Armstrong
Online Store: themountaingarage.com.au
How would you describe your shop? What makes it unique? What do you think you’re best known for?
We’re a boutique snowboard shop, with a focus on supporting the niche brands in snowboarding. I think we have a very unique position; we carry brands that are under represented in the Australian market, and believe in backing companies that give back to snowboarding. We’re the only store in Australia this season to carry Airblaster, and have been working with them to bring their presence back in to the Australian scene. If you haven’t heard of Airblaster and what they’re about they’re definitely worth a look up!
Though The Mountain Garage is a brand new shop this season, our workshop, Shred Rescue was our original venture and has been going for 3 years, so we get a lot of customers bringing their boards in to be tuned and repaired.
I’d say we’re best known for stocking brands that people want but can’t get anywhere else.
What are your best selling categories in the winter and the summer?
So far, we’ve seen hardware do really well, which is a change from other shops I’ve worked in previously where there were a lot of softwoods sales. Bataleon is a big brand for us, along with Switchback bindings, and they have been doing really well. We’re 100% snowboarding all year round so summer looks like it could be pow boards and balaclavas!
What three things are you most proud of about your shop?
I’m so proud to see that people are digging what we’re doing. If I had to pick 3 things they’d be:
- The positive feedback we get from customers when they see the shop. We have a very DIY approach to everything we do here and I think that shines through in the fit-out. People can see the hard work and long hours we put in.
- Our workshop’s reputation for quality and consistency.
- The brands we bring in to Australia: Airblaster, Ass Industries Wax and Yobeat Apparel.
What three things would you change if you could?
I wouldn’t change much in terms of our position, general vibe and where we want to be headed. However I wouldn’t say no to paying off our loans quicker. There are also a few other brands I’d like to be in the store that we’re working on at the moment.
What are the standout events that you host or programs that you run for consumers?
Being a new store we are yet to hold an event, BUT we’re working with DWD on something special for the end of this season. Look out for the first annual ‘Dinosaurs Will DIY or Die’. We’re not calling it a competition, more of a community event in the mountains with a focus on DIY snowboarding. Stay tuned to our Facebook and DWD Australia for more info. On the program side, we run waxing and tuning workshops for people wanting to learn how to maintain and service their own equipment. We try to run group sessions once a month, and can cater private sessions to groups of 3 or more.
Where is the Australian snowboarding market at these days?
In general, I think it’s an exciting time for snowboarding across the globe. There seems to be so many different segments of snowboarding these days and it’s exciting to watch these scenes emerge. I’m seeing a lot more people venturing out in to the backcountry in Australia, both young and old, and this is something we plan on focusing on as a store as it’s a personal focus of mine also. Home grown brands seem to be killing it these days too. We try to support Aussie brands wherever possible, and guys like Rad Gloves, Blak Apparel, Catalyst Snowboards and Offshore Snowshapes are putting in the hard work and getting results.
In terms of the consumer market, that’s always a hard question. There’s always going to be the people just hunting for cheap product, but I think the general consumer these days is more educated, and can actually understand and appreciate what goes into making a great board, or whatever they’re looking at.
Are there any profound trends that you’re noticing right now in your region?
There’s a lot more filtered coffee going around these days, milks done. But if you’re talking about snowboarding trends in Sydney, I’d say there’s definitely a more skate or street styled look that people are after. Jackets that don’t look like you’ve come straight from the colour run. Thanks god the tall look seems to be getting a rest. We were only 3 or 4 years behind on that one.
Tell us about your team riders, who is riding for the shop and what have they been up to?
This is something I’ve got in the plans. We’ve got a number of friends ripping these days, and also want to support some grommies, especially if they hail from Sydney. If you’re a youthful soul from Sydney that rides your snowboard well and could use some support, get in contact with me at email@example.com
Do you operate a private label brand?
As well as bringing in Airblaster, Ass Industries (Pat Moore’s wax brand) and Yobeat Apparel, we manufacture a line of tuning kits and accessories under the brand Shred Rescue. You can find everything you need to tune or wax at home at shredrescue.com.au
If your into snowboarding come and see us. And if you’re into music, and motorbikes as well, you’ll probably wet your pants. We’re right next to a record store and a custom bike shop.
Thankyou from the bottom of my heart to my family, friends, continued customers, suppliers and anyone else who has supported and believed in us and allowed The Mountain Garage to come to fruition.