Van Homan Talks About Two By Four Click here to see the  Photo Album from Van's shop. Photos by Rob Dolecki

Van Homan is one of the top riders in BMX, and he’s now even more a part of the BMX industry thanks to his New Jersey-based shop named Two By Four. Rob Dolecki sent us some great photos of the shop, and the Van gave us the details on what the bike shop business is like. Make sure to look through all 14 photos, because Van had a few comments about each for the captions.

When did you first think of opening your own shop?
Well it’s kind of funny. When I was about 12 I would take any old parts I had and set them up on my parents’ back porch with prices on them. That was my first shop (laughs). I don't think I ever sold too much... The idea of Two by Four started about a year before it opened. It started as just a thought in late summer of 2005, and as fall approached my vision started to become more clear. I noticed there were a lot of kids riding in the area where I had grown up. I wasn't really to happy with the area where I was living at the time and I felt ready to take on a project that involved something other than just riding. A shop just seemed perfect to me. I really enjoy being connected on the ground level, seeing the kids every day. It really keeps you grounded and makes you remember what BMX is about.  Sometimes we get caught up in industry gossip or drama and we forget that BMX pros and industry gurus are only a tiny part of what
BMX is.

What was the hardest part about getting the shop up and running?
I think just the business end of things. Just all the technical things you have to figure out to be legal and whatnot. It was also a challenge finding the right storefront.

Two By Four Parts Wall How much time do you personally spend in the shop?
A lot. I’m here most of the time during the week. I usually come in about two hours before we open to handle whatever random things need to be done. It could be anything from paying bills, ordering stock, returning e-mails, putting a bike together, etc. There are a lot of small things that need to be done to keep the shop running. Any one task alone isn't a big deal but they just add up so it keeps you busy. I try to sneak out on Wendesdays and Fridays for a couple hours to ride when I have Smurf working. I also try and make it a point not to come in to much on the weekends unless I’m needed. I’m still trying to ride a lot and stay sane. I would say I spend about 50 hours in the store per week on average. It’s really nice, though, that things are starting to get to a point where I don't have to be here all the time. It takes dependable, trustworthy people, and I'm lucky to have a few good guys on board.

How do you decide what you want to carry?
There are a few factors that decide what we carry. First of all I want to believe in the product. I think you have to choose the brands you are really behind and push those. I like to feel that the companies I carry have the best interest of BMX in mind. That even translates over to the skate stuff we carriy. I like carrying Zero and Mystery stuff because the guys over there seem to be in to BMX. I feel like BMXers and skaters have a common goal and it really bothers me how often you see them working against each other.  What I can afford also plays a huge part in what we carry. I would love to have a larger selection of clothing and shoes, but it takes time to grow. Hopefully we will eventually carry all the brands that we hope to have available at Two by Four.

Have there been things that were a lot different than you expected on this side of the business?
Not really. It’s basically what I pictured, which makes me really happy. It’s a lot of work, but not too much that I didn't expect. I feel like it has a good vibe and is helping make the scene around here even bigger and tighter.

You have a shop team. Who are they and why have a shop team?
The Pro team is Randy Brown, Garrett Byrnes, Geoff Slattery, Brian Wizmerski and Cesar Monzon. The skate team is a one-man-show right now. The team is to promote the store, but I don't really think of it that way. To me it’s just a bunch of people who I’m friends with and whom I respect as people and riders. Having a team gives us a good excuse to go out and do things together. We are going on a trip in less than two weeks and I am really looking forward to that.

Two By Four Complete Bikes What do you have planned for the shop in the near future?
It seems like we always have something going on. We have a video premiere coming up on January 26th for the new Bad Timing video titled "Just Kidding."  We are also having a poker tournament on February 24. Kids will be able to come in to the store and play poker with BMX pros. We will be giving away lots of prizes with the help of all the companies that have been showing their strong support to the store.

Does running the shop take away from your riding time?
I don't think it does too much. I just have to better use my time. I have a lot less lazy time and a lot less time to work on my house or whatever. There is basically time to run the shop and time to ride, but not much else. I might not have time for some other things, but I always make time to ride.

Do you do anything with the shop to support the local scene?
Yeah, I think we do. We have just been having a lot of events, a couple of which I explained above. I think it helps for the riders to have a place to go where people understand them and can relate. They are welcome here and that’s rare for a BMXer or skater. We even do little things like lending out tools to kids. Most shops won't do that but we are trying to be a little different than the average store.

What is the address and website?
The store is at 176 N. Broadway, Pennsville N.J. 08070. The website is www.twobyfourstore.com. We’re working a new site that should be up sometime mid-February.

  Click here to see the Photo Album from Two By Four. 

 

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