Good morning! Today I am afforded the pleasure of introducing to you, a look into the world of Twenty Fifty Two, a BMX, skateboarding and culture shop based out in charming Adelaide. Shaun and Al, the dudes who own/run the shop, have created a dope space supporting a niche avenue of brands that are doing it right. In an online world, it is more difficult than ever to stay afloat, so have a read and support local industry!
Firstly, for all the dudes who aren’t aware, explain what 2052 is all about?
What we are all about has progressed and developed with experience. But our foundation was always about some pretty basic core values. We’re a store in Adelaide, but have always looked at it like a space for shit we love. We don’t do retail the way ‘successful’ people have said is ‘right’. But our version of success is different to numbers on a screen.
In a nut shell, we’re a handful of like minded dudes, pushing creativity in a town that could do with some support.
The store is run by you guys, Al and Shaun, can you give us a brief insight into how you guys met, your background and how the idea for a store came about?
Al: I grew up overseas and came to ADL when I was 18. Me and Shaun worked together for a while and I always wanted to create a space, and Shaun was keen to get on board and support it. There was nothing worse than slaving away week in week out for some one else’s gain, when we knew we could do it for ourselves. Head first in the deep end we went.
Shaun: Me and Big Al met at our last (shit) job and hung out rolling or going to gigs from there, we were always keen to start something. We always had the same mind set of what we wanted to see in Adelaide and I was always keen to get out of working for someone else and start something different!
You guys have departed from the boundaries of strictly skating/BMX/lifestyle, opting to combine the 3. What was the reasoning for this and how has your audience responded?
Genres are so gnarly these days. We always knew it would be hard, especially in Adelaide, but I think it’s started to work out for the best. People can judge, question, and have an opinion – we promote thinking for yourself, if only more people did it. But in the end to really get what we’re all about they have to meet us. Thats been missing from so much skate/bmx/lifestyle stores and even brands, for so long. Fuck mis-guided or second hand judgement. In the end we’re all just dudes doing what we love in our own way. We’re not mis-representing anything, we’re transparent about our values and why we do it, and people have been stoked on it.
Adelaide’s so small, and people are super judgemental, wary almost, of people coming into their scene. Especially in skateboarding and BMX, because finding something ‘real’ and local can be tough. We understand it, and we always said right form the start we have to earn respect before we can demand it. We aren’t the popular kids at school, we’re those kids that ditched school and traveled, and i think crew are seeing that there’s more to it than they thought.
So really, we’re combining the things we love as a collective. BMX, skateboarding, music, our local community and creativity. Our version of all those is mashed into what we’ve got. It changes and evolves, but in the end its ours.
You only do a select range of BMX brands, how do you decide what to stock and what not to stock?
You try to get as much info and understanding of a brand as you can and if it suits what we’re into and the store, then its sweet. You cant argue with Animal and S&M as staples, history is one thing, but to be solid brands still to this day, is next level. Its about doing the research, checking out who’s behind it, brand direction, product quality, what they are creating and whether it fits with what we’re presenting. We stock brands that no-ones putting out, like SAVAKAS and 90EAST, the dudes behind it are down, creating real shit, unique, focused. We want to present brands and gear that no ones seen or is hard to get, plus represent the brands that have done it right since day one.
Your based in Adelaide, SA, a little out of the city. What is your relationship like with Adelaide’s premiere BMX shop, Little Black Bike?
Such a sick question man. We hate them. haha nah man, no way, fuck that. Matt’s got history that goes way back, you gotta respect history. They’re just another rad store with good dudes that do good BMX stuff. Funny though, because I guess people almost expect that rivalry. Not just local crew or customers either, but people in the industry too. I think thats what people need to realise, is we’re not trying to create another LBB or Daily Grind or whatever store, we want to create a Twenty Fifty Two. We dont want to copy, we want our own.
We’ve always concentrated on what we’re creating, what our reasons are and whether they are worthy. If you’re thinking about someone else’s game, you’re losing yours.
I’m aware of the tight-knit and expanding BMX scene in ADL, what is your perspective on the BMX scene and does the skating community compare?
That comparison is a hard one man – skateboarding as an industry has a much bigger element of maturity than BMX, and i think that can be picked up in the scenes themselves. With Adelaide being small, sometimes you get an exaggeration.
We’ve always been outcast, punk kids growing up, and with an open mind to different things, that helped us progress. When you come into a tight-knit scene, its hard to be respected for one (understandably) and even harder for people to give you a go. There’s a lot of real good dudes, and some amazing riders, just like any other scene.
The skate side has been, most of the time, all open arms. They haven’t had a store thats stood up for their best interests, so they’ve accepted us and thats why we have a lot going on with our skate crew. BMX in Adelaide has a store that supports that scene, so its hard to squeeze in without it looking like we’re trying to compete.
But if you look at the types of stores that are in the skate world, you get your big skate stores and your smaller, hate to say it, but for lack of a better term, ‘Boutique’ stores. They do some different stuff, some stuff is similar, but in the end you can have both for different crew. Thats what we’re pushing for BMX and its starting to grow pretty rapidly.
Things change, BMX has grown a lot, especially with crew growing up, having open minds and seeing thats its all gravy.
So with no formal business qualifications, what has the process been like building a space/store up from next to nothing?
Its like those moments you say “we’re gonna laugh about this shit one day…” but on repeat, weekly. We’ve learnt the hard way, and made plenty of mistakes, but in the end we’ve always tried to maintain the basics for why we do what we do. When we first started we had no idea what to expect, and have progressed a bunch in 2 and half years. And we’re still learning too, which is a good thing. Sometimes it’s hard man, when you make a mistake with money, when you’re already tight, it can mess you up. But it always came back to enjoying the reasons why we wanted to go through the gauntlet in the first place, and that reminds us of the awesome shit that BMX and skateboarding can bring.
What can we expect from 2052 in the future?
Wish we knew. Acutally nah, fuck that, its the journey not the destination! There’s so much stuff we want to do, so we’ll keep working towards that. Dont think we can give too much away, but we’ll keep stepping up the standard for ADL, keep offering quality, real brands, support dudes that are creating their own, and make sure we enjoy doing this everyday.
We’ll just keep pushing and pedalling man!
Shaun: Thanks to the big crew of people that have backed us up from the start, we have had so much support from people in different crews/scenes around Adelaide and Australia. From skate and bmx to art and music, the response has been awesome. We are stoked to be a part of that and thanks to everyone who wants to join us! Cheers!
Al: Anyone who ever walked in to check us out. Especially in those early days, some of our first customers are now our real good friends. And to anyone who still comes in with no idea who we are, just giving us that chance, that’s rad. Also the brands and distros that let us in, heard us out and got stoked on what we’re doing, despite the politics. Plus the usual family/crew love, you guys know who you are, cheers for putting up with our shit and supporting us through it all.
Cheers again to you too Mike, appreciate the opportunity brother, you sir, are a gentlemen and a scholar.
-Al / Shaun.
So if your in ADL, pop in for a look or sus out their website here.