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"That is what I know and love! BMX is my passion and life." Ethic BMX Instore

Reppin' H-Town

29 Aug 2023

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Interview by Rob Dolecki

Fresh on the thriving Houston, Texas scene, Ethic BMX has been making some waves and providing support for the riders in the area. Allen Kirkpatrick gives some insight into why he decided to start a shop, and why he keeps it 100% BMX.

The importance of BMX shops to local scenes (and BMX culture) can not be underestimated and that's why we support them. Throughout the year we'll continue to feature our DIG Partner Stores from around the world, so look for yet more local BMX shop articles soon!

https://feverup.com/m/163363
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How long have you been in business?

We opened the doors for the shop on May 6, 2022.

Can you explain how the idea for a store came to be?

I love BMX and always had a dream of having a brand within BMX, whether it was just shirts or a full-fledge shop as today. In high school me and my buddy back in Abilene, Texas came up with Ethic BMX as a brand and had some shirts and stickers made. We really felt like we made it when Joe Rich came through town and bought one of our shirts, hahaha.

Right out of High school I joined the Army Reserves. Once back from boot camp, I started college full-time for graphic design in hopes of doing more with what my buddy and I had started with ethic at the time. One semester in I got a call from my now wife that change my overall priorities forever. She was pregnant with our first daughter! Wow, life was coming fast and if that wasn’t fast enough, I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 just a short year after she was born. BMX never left my mind, I even built a quarter pipe to ride in Taji, Iraq but it wasn’t time for a shop or anything yet. God had a long path for me to get ready to be here.

When I returned from Iraq, it was the middle of the summer, and with a wife and kid, I couldn’t just sit around and college was not allowing enrollments, so I went to work. One thing led to another, and I got on with a large corporation working on wind turbines traveling all over the US, which eventually led to a promotion that eventually led me to move to Houston. This was soon after the birth of our second daughter. When I got to Houston, I really became focused on my career and was late to get involved in the Houston BMX scene. I had gained a bunch of weight, aged a lot and wasn’t sure I could ride anymore but the love was still there. I got directions to the local trails, where I met the Blue Groove crew, and my life was set back on path both spiritually and emotionally with BMX.

While sitting around at the Anthills talking about how there hadn’t been many kids riding the trails lately, I thought how we could change that. I kicked around the idea of a shop but lacked the confidence to really get it going till the Blue Groove crew eventually gave me enough motivation to get it going. They gave me the motivation, but as I said before I had a career, so the time wasn’t really there. This is where my family came in clutch. My oldest daughter jumped on the website one weekend and my wife, my partner, my hero, stepped up to run day to day operations including enrolling and completing college courses in order to accurately handle the book keeping. I cannot say enough about how much my wife has truly done for the shop and my dreams. She really has been mine and the shop's rock. It has now been a year of Ethic BMX and I cannot imagine how far it has come and where we are headed!

Who owns the shop? Who works there?

I, Allen Kirkpatrick and my wife Amber are the owners of the shop. Of course, my wife and kids are a huge part. But what is a BMX shop without a scene? IT ISN’T ONE. The shop really belongs to the Houston scene, and they are the ones who keep it going. I have gladly just been blessed with the ability to help show and grow what is already here! Thank you Houston BMX!

Why is Ethic a strictly BMX shop?

That is what I know and love! BMX is my passion and life. I will help out locals coming through as best I can with other types of bikes but we don’t stock anything but BMX so it is usually limited on what help we can provide. Honestly, I have never ridden anything more than a 22’’ BMX bike, so I just stick to what I am passionate about.

Who's on the shop team?

David, Jo, Hristo, Marshall, and Christian are our official team members. These guys all kill it with their own style of riding and are all just all-around great guys to be around. Hopefully we have many trips in the near future to show the rest of the world these guys riding.

Of course Blue Groove crew is up there also on my support list, as I couldn’t do it without them and really just anyone else in need. Life can be tough, so it’s nice to be able to help out where you can.

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What promotional events have you done at or near the shop since opening?

We have had a lot of events in the first year opening and have also been blessed to help out with some locals throwing jams. We have tried to do spot contests for the street cats around town pretty regularly. We have done a few pop-up jams at some of the local parks. Houston is so spread out that you can travel two hours one way and still be in town, so we try to move those around to give opportunity for everyone in town to join. The Blue Groove crew brought a trailered box jump and we have had a few jams with that out front in the parking lot.

The BSD crew came through for a shop stop a few months back which was awesome! So stoked and thankful to have the crew come through and throw a jam in the front parking lot. Everyone went off, but the highlight was many of the crew wallriding Curly's van off a kicker.

Any plans for more?

For sure, I don’t plan on quitting anytime soon!

How have you been affected by the increase in people solely buying online, and what have you done to combat that?

With the ability to have almost anything over-night shipped, a store front has to have a good atmosphere that makes people want to visit.

What changes have you noticed in the Houston area scene since Ethic opened?

The biggest change I have seen is that more riders are riding different disciplines of BMX. There are pockets all over town of BMX'ers, but now they all show up to the events, and the last trail jam was off the charts with riders. Many of them were locals that had never been to the Anthills, so that was cool.

Do you have any plans to produce a team video or something similar?

It is on my mind for sure. It has been tough finding videographers, but we have some things in the works.

How important is performing bike repairs and maintenance for your shop?

We do not do many repairs and only work on strictly BMX bikes, no gears or shocks. I would rather teach the local kids how to fix their own bike so when they are not near the shop they can keep riding.

What brands do you carry?

I carry the companies that I believe in and support. Over the years there has been some crappy parts put into BMX and I try to avoid anything that I feel won't last for the type of riding these kids are at these days. S&M, Fit, Terrible One, Odyssey, BSD, Sunday, Gsport, Flybikes, Cult, Shadow, Subrosa, Animal, Demolition, Fiend, Relic, Credence, Profile, S1, Box racing and most others.

Which brands are doing well for you right now?

BSD, Sunday, and Fiend have been big hits lately with Odyssey, Fit and S&M stay pretty consistent with sales. Relic is a hit with the trails guys.

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What’s the most commonly asked question?

"Do you have a restroom", or "Can you work on my e-bike?"

What is the weirdest request you’ve ever had in the shop?

We have had some addicts come through and do some pretty wild stuff but luckily no ones been harmed, just comical.

Amber: A man came in with a teddy bear with gum on its ear and a jug of juice, asked for a dollar, then sucked the gum off the teddy bears ear and walked out!

What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen happen out front?

Baby momma drama in the parking lot happens quite frequently.

What's something you never expected to happen after opening the shop?

I never expected the support the Houston community has given me thus far. Love truly is the answer.

Where do you want Ethic to be in five years?

In five years, I am hoping we are in our own building and have a ramp out back for rainy day rides. Other than that, we hope the shop is a light in community and keeps growing BMX.


Location: Houston, Texas
Shop address: 12511 North Freeway Houston, TX 77355
Hours: Tuesday -Saturday 10AM-6PM

Contact info: ethicbmx.net

ethicbmxco@gmail.com

832-797-9078

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