Tell us a little bit about your shop and it’s history in the shred scene.
Casualties opened its doors in Marquette, MI on July 1st, 2000; owned by myself (Andy) and my brother Matt, we were only 19 & 21 years old at the time. We came up in the business as Midwest rep riders, so we’ve always been closely connected to the scene since the early 1990’s. Even by 2000 the entire industry had evolved so since the beginning, and it hasn’t stopped since.
Marquette (located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) has always had a great scene. Marquette Mountain offers night riding, and the local college, Northern Michigan University has been attracting riders from all over the Midwest from day one. Today, many Midwest riders make their decision to attend school here entirely based on the fact that we have such great riding access. Marquette has a great variety of street riding, terrain park access, as well as top notch groomers. Some of the riding you’ll see in the major shred films this year will feature rails right here in Marquette; well, we were one of the only cities to get snow last year!
What makes your shop different then all the others?
Everything! For the most part, it’s our geographic location. Our town only has 20,000 people, and we’re so far away from any cities or major mountain resorts, we’ve had to be creative to stay in the game. The majority of our economy is based on iron ore mining, so the people here are very hard working and down to earth. We don’t have rich kids throwing cash at the register all day long, so we’ve had to adopt a business model that fits the overall vibe and lifestyle of the residents. On the plus side, you’ll never see a major chain store setting up shop in our town, but for the people that want some of that luxury, we’ve had to up our game in the area of accessories & soft goods…etc. All in all, after 12 years of working hard we’ve managed to really become the type of shop that our community appreciates.
Do you have the “couch vibe” or is it more about the product? What is the vibe in general?
Couch vibe?? No. It’s all products here. We only have 1,200 sq feet to work with, so we typically have product stacked from floor to ceiling. We always have to be careful about how to use the space so the store doesn’t look messy. Overall, I would describe our vibe as inviting; product is always well lit and we’re constantly changing the displays. Many regulars come in every week, so having a different layout every so often keeps them from thinking the product is stale.
Does your shop carry skate and surf or is it all snow? Briefly describe what we can find on the shelves.
Casualties Skate, Snow, & Surf does it all; hard goods, soft goods, and accessories for all 3 major action sports. In addition, we do a good shop-logo apparel business, along with a ton of hats & sunglasses. We have no lids or sunglass hut type shops here, so we get after that accessory business real hard as well.
What are three things it takes to work in the store?
- RETAIL EXPERIENCE!
- Usually 21 years of walking the earth (or more); we don’t babysit our employees.
- True ability to sell product; no standing behind the counter waiting for people to ask for help.
No, we’re not hiring.
If it’s a hammering snow day and some of the best pow ever, what do you do to keep employees in the store?
Pow day, in Michigan??? Hill is open till 9pm kids, shop closes at 6!
Describe your crew that works there.
Andy – bossman
Matty – Dad
Billy – resident pervert/dick-joke guy
Nick – hockey nerd/weed/scooter tech
Dean – art guy/Guido
Wallie – O.G.
What is the most played shred flick in the history of the shop and why?
Sleepaway Camp - Why? The surprise ending!...Youtube it.
Who are some riders on the come-up that visit your shop... a rider people should look out for?
McCarty Jones; he’s only 15 months old and already shreds the vinyl cruisers. Give him a few years; he’ll be legit on the MiniSHRED.
Where is the shop local hang out? The best place to grab a drink after hours, or chill with some friends?
The Vierling; seafood stuffed white fish and local brewed beers are on point. Locals only! Stop in and throw a few bucks at Brooke, Carly, and the gals.
If the Rome crew came through would you be cautious to let them in or does the reputation surpass them?
Those pansies? Yeah, they’ve been here. If they ever come back I’ll be sure to stock the fridge with some light beer! Nah, I’m just playin’; we’ve had some great times with the SDS. Shout outs go to Rich Winnie, LNP, Marie Hucal, all the guys from Lower Michigan (you know who you are!), and former crew members Pete Harvieux & Mike Forester. We would be remiss not to mention them.
Have a great 2012/2013, and we’ll see you on the slopes. Casualties