Tyrone Williams and Dah Shop:

How long have you been in business?
For three years now.

Can you explain how the idea for a store came to be?
My friend Q and I used to work for a bigger shop, and wanted to do things a little bit simpler in the way that we wanted to do it. We just wanted to work for ourselves, that’s what it really came down to.

How did the Dah Shop 2 Year Anniversary Jam and Dah Rail Jam go last year?
The Anniversary Jam at the L.E.S. Park was a fun day. We gave away some money, and a bunch of stuff from a lot of sponsors.  The highest barspin was 36 inches and the highest 360 were tied for 27 or 28 inches; that were the highlights. Dah Rail Jam was a collaboration with Nigel and FU-Let’s Ride.  It was a cool contest. Because my hand was hurt I couldn’t ride, and had to be a judge. It was more fun to watch everybody ride. I saw a lot of crazy shit go down; a lot of fire.  It was very motivating, and just fun to see something different in the city that you probably wouldn’t see on a regular day. It showcased the talent from a lot of the Animal riders and affiliates. It was a good day.  Thank you Matthew for setting it up.

What changes have you noticed in the scene since Dah Shop opened?
I’d say a lot more people riding in general- more people riding different styles, adults who work during the day. A lot of kids hang out at the L.E.S. Park, now that the Banks are closed.  It’s a good spot for that.

Being located close to the Brooklyn Banks, have you noticed an effect on the scene since they were closed?
I think it’s affected it in a positive way. More kids are not stuck in that spot per se. You’d think a lot of people would quit riding or not be as into it because the Banks aren’t there- there definitely are people who fall into that category- but I think it helped for more people to branch out and find more spots, use your head more creatively.

What does Dah Shop offer that mail order doesn’t?
Customer service, plain and simple. You can come here and talk to someone in person, and figure out what it is you need for your particular setup.  You have a place to go to get you the right product the first time. You may pay a little bit more but you don’t have to wait for it, and you don’t have to pay shipping.

What are the top three best-selling Animal products?
Edwin grips, Hamilton plastic pedals, GLH tires.

What’s been the strangest experience selling an Animal product?
People wanting to buy Animal parts to put on weird bikes. The Piff bars, when those were still out, I sold them to people because wanted a higher rise bar with a BMX feel on their mountain bikes. “Yeah, sure, we’ll put them on, if that’s the way you want it.”

Why carry Animal?
I ride for Animal, plain and simple. “Why not carry Animal?” is the real question.

What’s something you never expected to happen after opening the shop?
I would never expect people coming from across the world to be like, “Oh, yeah, my son told me to come to Dah Shop to get these pedals”.

How many trends have you seen come and go since Dah Shop has been open?
It’s real hard to say. The color stuff; nowadays you see people mostly just rocking black, raw, very simple; nothing too crazy with colors. And the tight pants. I don’t see too many tight pants; they’ve gotten a little bit looser. Bars are getting bigger, it’s still going. I have ten-inch bars in stock right now. That’s the idea though, it’s freestyle.

What is the best thing you gained or witnessed from owning/ starting the shop?
I’ve witnessed so much shit, I could barely remember.  I got tons of jokes, a lot of laughter in this place. Kids coming in, talking amongst themselves about random shit they do all day.  It keeps me young, being around younger people and doing something that I did when I was young. I’m an adult now, and still feel like a child riding a twenty-inch bike and doing tricks. It gives me a drive to keep riding, keep trying to learn new stuff, and just inspire others to do the same, because they are doing it to me.

If you can have one BMX product that doesn’t exist yet, what would it be?
If I tell you what product that is, how am I going to make money off of it?  We got Dah Shop products coming out, and one of them is something that hasn’t been made yet.

How have the frames been going?
The idea for the shop frames came about because my old frame sponsor wanted me to continue riding for them as a “pro” without compensation in any way. I could ride any frame out there. I called FBM to buy a frame, and they didn’t have any frames my size in stock.  I started talking about getting a custom frame, and it turned into, “How about I make ten frames, have people ride them and test them out.”  We figured doing a limited run of frames, and to make them different from all the others, I’ll do artwork on the head tubes, and we’ll take it from there.  We’re up to twenty frames in production; people seem to like them.

Any immediate plans for Dah Shop?
Come out with a video with the Dah shop team, who ride the frame, which is Andy Gregory, Jose Castillo, Chris Johnsson, Ikeem from Coney Island.   Maybe put that out at the end of the summer or in the fall, so people have something to watch through the winter. Maybe throw some sort of jam at the end of the summer before everybody goes back to school, since we really didn’t celebrate our third anniversary. We’re working on a website too; where we also sell our products and t-shirts. Be on the lookout for it.

Where do you see Dah Shop in ten years?
That’s a long way from now; I really don’t know. It’s going to be an evolution of The Dah Shop. Ten years comes, you’ll see then.  I remember doing an interview in Dig, and I said see where I’m at in five years. Five years from that interview, I opened Dah Shop. All I was hoping was I’d still be riding my bike, and I ended up opening a shop in that five-year span, not really knowing it would happen. It just evolved into that.  The evolution continues; we’ll definitely be here.

Shop address: 134 Division St New York City, New York 10002 (between Orchard St. and Ludlow St., one block south of Canal St, one block east of Allen St.)
Hours: Mon – Sat 11AM to 7PM/ Sun 12PM to 6PM
Contact info: 212-925-0155