How long have you been at GT, and what do you do there?
Coming up on two years now. I am the product manager for GT BMX Freestyle and Race, with a little bit of crossover into MTB. I’m officially the BMX Freestyle team manager too.
How’s everything been going since you took over the design of the product line?
Things have been pretty incredible; I’ve been given full control. It was a little bit of pressure. There are crazy long nights where I’m at the office until 4AM, then back in at 8AM, but when we have a day like we did at our launch and the jam afterward, it makes it all worth it.
You worked for a few companies in the past, like at Odyssey/ Sunday and FIT/ S&M; how are you doing things differently at GT?
I’m so thankful for those years. Working with the team at Odyssey taught me some amazing things, and it really changed the way I approached the work. And working with Moeller…the dude has a lot of amazing experience to give you. My work style isn’t much different at GT, but it is a different brand and a different audience. It’s one of the original BMX brands. It’s a huge responsibility.
What do you think separates the 2017 line from previous years’ releases?
Almost everything is new in the 2017 line. I’ve learned some really good things from the previous brands I’ve worked for on what makes a complete bike a good thing. At GT, I want to bring in reliable complete bikes at a price point that more kids can afford, so hopefully it introduces more riders to BMX. They’re all new frames, re-designed from top to bottom.
How do you think GT’s new complete bikes are different than other companies?
We want to offer a great product at an affordable price point to match our consumer’s budget. The other brands we compete against have strong reputations and are established, and that is something I’m working to improve for GT. GT is a small brand, and we are growing back our core audience because even though we’ve been around since 1972, we are the new kid on the block again.
What’s your take on the GT four-piece bar controversy?
In the 90's all of our bikes had GT parts. Those parts inspired a lot of today's products, including but not limited to the handlebars. For a while no one was making the bars, and I wanted to update them and bring them back to the brand where they began. These are true to the originals not just in appearance, but also construction, making a stiffer stronger handlebar.
GT has been pretty quiet over the past few years, before you were hired. What are your plans?
GT BMX has been out of the public eye in recent years, and my focus is on our Freestyle team. I learned a lot over the years on building teams, and this is 100% me. My secret to design was always, I make the products I want and need, and I find the right rider to make it a signature part of the line.
I don’t know what the future holds yet. I have ideas, but with the state of the industry, you need to have flexibility. Today, it’s a product launch, but later, it’s a BMX jam for the NY community. I want to use this vessel to do cool things. The brand’s success isn’t for me; it’s to put us in a position where I can get people excited about BMX.