A while back, I hit up Roy Van Kempen (co-founder) to see if he would be keen to answer a few Q’s about the site and its direction. Today I am extremely proud to present his insight into We Are Orange Juice.
I noticed WAOJ a while back now and ever so quickly, they have become one of the worlds leading lifestyle/BMX blogs releasing collaborations with Quintin as well as their own line of goods (available worldwide). They also added Crispy homie, Alex ‘Frenchie‘ Coumailleau to the blogging team. Thus, I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get a deeper look into the inner workings of WAOJ. So sit back, have a read and get stoked on BMX.
Weareorangejuice, the name, how did it come about?
When starting something new like a project or brand, finding the name for it is the hardest thing ever. Luckily, one day, Tom woke up in the middle of the night with the perfect name in his mind.
First of all Orange refers to the Dutch national color. Secondly in our opinion a good blog is a blog which is up to date, it needs to be fresh just like Orange Juice. The site name is Weareorangejuice because Orange Juice was already been taken and Orange Juice is a blog ran by Tom, myself and our group of close friends that why ‘We are Orange Juice’.
The site is ultimately run by yourself and Tom Lammerse, who else blogs and do you have a standard/percentage breakdown of BMX v lifestyle content?
Right now the people who are blogging are:
Tom Lammerse: he’s the creative mind behind the blog. He shoots all the videos, designs the logos, ads, lookbooks, stickers etc. He also posts most of the lifestyle content like the ‘Random Visual’ posts.
Alex “Frenchie” Coumailleau is the newest addition to the Family. Alex spreads the word in Australia and France, sends out interviews and posts features on the blog almost daily.
We gave two of our best friends (Bart Gijsbers and Hessel Schuurman) the space to post content on the blog every once in a while. Bart is a skateboarder who posts about skateboarding and Hessel is the guy behind all the music posts on the blog. Speaking for myself, I’m working on the blog every day, I’m taking care of: business stuff, sending out orders, posting stuff on the blog daily, sending out emails for interviews and so on. We are adding one new person to the team very soon. We will introduce him as soon as he finished his welcomes video.
As for the percentage of lifestyle and BMX posts, it’s our passion so you will always see a lot of BMX related posts on their but we try to add as much cool lifestyle content as possible. Tom is very busy with school but after June he will graduate and will be able to add more lifestyle posts.
You guys are both studying correct? Does it ever feel as though the site is taking precedence over your studies and if so, do you ever see a sustained future out of simply blogging?
Man, speaking for myself, if it wasn’t for the blog, I would already been graduated from school a year ago or so, haha. I study Sport Management and Business at the University of Applied Science, so right now I only need to finish my thesis to graduate but riding and working on the blog is way cooler than doing school stuff.
I feel that school is holding me back from doing the stuff that is more important. It would be awesome to have a sustained future with riding, blogging and the clothing brand but it’s not really the main goal. Our main goal is to show the world how amazing the BMX lifestyle is but as Tom and I don’t like to deliver half work I won’t be surprised if the blog and brand grows bigger and bigger every year. We are huge fans of Animal Bikes and they started the company with just a few shirts as well so who knows.
What is the scene like in Amsterdam? I can only imagine the craziest European spots out there…
Amsterdam doesn’t have a big scene and you have to live there for a while to know all the good street spots but I still love it. Cruising through this city searching for new spots is definitely one of the best feelings ever. Also Holland isn’t a big country so travelling to street heaven cities like Rotterdam isn’t much of a deal. I’m really glad to be a part of the Dutch BMX scene, it’s small but the vibes are always good. You ain’t much if you ain’t Dutch.
You recently added Crispy homie, Alex “Frenchie” Coumailleau to your blogging ranks, how was that all organized?
The magical world of social media! As you might know, Alex aka Frenchie is really present on Twitter @frenchiebmx ahha. When we started the blog in April somehow Alex noticed up the blog and started re-tweeting and tweeting to us ever since. Because the blog has grown so big, we needed someone to help us out.
We never met him in real life but after the first Skype call we knew that he was the perfect dude for the job. First of all, Alex is a super friendly dude who’s definitely passionate on riding, filming, photography etc. Secondly, Alex lives in Australia so he could spread the word in a total different area. Thirdly, he totally gets the Orange Juice vision which is support the friends who create and live their passion like we do. Last but not least he’s also stoked to meet new people, which is important to get the name out there. We are super stoked on all the work he already did for the blog we seriously can wait to meet him in real life.
How much influence did you have in the site design? Do you have any formal qualifications in design?
I work as a store manager at the BMX shop in Amsterdam called Soulcycle. While working for Soulcycle I became really good friends with Marijn, who is the website guy for Soulcycle. As soon as we got the idea of starting a blog he was the first person that came to my mind for designing our blog. Tom and I started the process by hanging pieces of papers on a wall to check what categories we wanted on the blog. Then we showed the categories to Marijn and he came up with a few options. Tom and I wanted a clean look, which needed to be user friendly. Through the first year we did some changes on the site like adding the skateboard button, the travel section and the online store but we love the design so that will stick around for a while, I guess.
How much influence do you think social media has in today’s society, more specifically in the development and progression of WAOJ?
In our opinion social media is the future. It’s funny because I had a whole discussion about it with my Marketing teacher at school because she didn’t see the point of using not only Facebook but also Twitter and Instagram. These teachers are stuck in the time when TV commercials and ads were the only way of promoting your brand. As we see it face-to-face promotion is the best way to get people aware of your brand in the BMX world. If one of your friends asks you: ‘did you checked out Weareorangejuice.com already’ you are way more down to check it out then when you see a small ad in a magazine.
It’s impossible to have that face-to-face contact with everyone out there but Twitter, Facebook and Instagram allows you to communicate personally with everybody around the world. That makes it so good. One of the things that we aim for is two-way communication. Whether it’s an email, Facebook message or a tweet, we want to answers every message from the people who support the blog in anyway. Because of that we were able two add a new contributors to the blog. As said before we never met Alex Coumailleau in real life but through the world of social media we get in contact. We couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out with him.
Progression wise social media really helped us out to get our name out there by throwing giveaways on the blog every now and then. The more people know the blog the more face-to-face promotion you will get.
So in terms of the future, you would like to see WAOJ travel a similar avenue to that of Animal? Would you ever consider branching into BMX products?
Good question, first of all you should know that Orange Juice isn’t just a clothing brand. With the brand we want to make products of what we think is dope. If we come up with a cool idea we are going to work really hard to get it done. We don’t want to say that we are a clothing brand because we want to make other products in the future as well. Right now I can already say that we are working on an Limited edition Orange Juice skateboard deck. With this interview we also give a sneak preview of our new Tanktops (shown below), which will be available around the end of June.
The second reason why we don’t want to be just a clothing brand is because we don’t want to release whole season lines (yet). If we have a good idea for a product we don’t want to wait and think of other products. We want to fully focus on every single product we bring out. This is the reason why, right now all our products are limited edition products, if it’s sold out you are simply too late, haha.
Animal Bikes is definitely one of the brands that really influence us. It’s so sick that Ralph Sinisi started the brand in his parents garage in 2000 and now, 12 years later it has grown to one of the most known bmx brands with both BMX products and streetwear fashion apparel. At the moment I’m riding for United Bike co and Animal Bikes. Those brands are amazing and are taking good care of me and my bike. Therefore I don’t really see it happen that we are going to make BMX products. Maybe if we come up with a good idea and the opportunity is there we can make some small parts like a seat in the future. But for now we just want to focus on being a blog, which showcases the BMX lifestyle together with a brand that makes cool products.
Thanks and shout-outs?
First of all thanks to all the people who support the blog in anyway, whenever you are checking the blog, send over videos and news, buying our products or just spreading the word without your support we wouldn’t have grown so fast in the first year, the support really means a lot to us.
Other than that we would like to thank Tom’s and my mom for stitching up the pockets on our new tanktops, haha. Thanks to Soulcycle and Jack from DUB BMX for all the help businesswise. Thanks to all the shops who added Orange Juice to their collection. If you want our products in your store shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks to the guys over at Quintin co. for doing the amazing Quintin x Orange Juice collab hat. You can expect more collabs with them in the future! Thanks to you Mike for giving us this opportunity to tell the world about the Orange Juice story. This is actually our first internationally interview stoked on that.
Deadly! Check out the site here lations….
Posted by VockoOn 30/05Comment »