Jim Cielencki left KinkBMX and started a BMX/Skate shop called Sunday. Now Jim has started a bike company called Sunday so we had to fire off some questions to learn more about it all.
FATBMX: You recently started a BMX/skate shop. Was it always a dream to have your own shop?Jim Cielencki: Well, my partner J.P. and I have been talking about doing a shop for almost 8 years now, so I guess it was a dream. I have always hated going to shops where you couldn't find exactly what you wanted, the people were not riders and they were trying to nickel and dime you for the products. We all want instant gratification, so it is the best to be able to go and get a new video when you are bored. So yeah it was a dream, it is great and my video collection is getting bigger.
What shop did you drool over when you were a little kid?
Jim Cielencki: We didn't have any really good bike shops, they were only good because of the products. The people weren't anything great, but our skateshop was really cool. It was called Endless Summer and we would skate the 5 miles to get to it if our parents wouldn't give us a ride. They just had everything and they were super cool. There would be contests and jams, so it was great. One of the biggest influences was this shop in Rochester, New York called Samurai. To this day people still talk about it and how much fun it was to skate out front. We purposely put the shop on a one way street like Samurai, so kids could skate and ride out front without worrying
about getting hit by cars. They only have to look one direction and it is
residential, so cars are going slower. We just want to have a place that kids can meet up and go ride or skate, basically a destination point, but it ends up uniting the scene a little better.
After spending years with KinkBMX, you are now starting your own bike brand as well called Sunday. Is it to promote your shop in your area or are we dealing with a serious player here?
Jim Cielencki: Well, I spent seven years with Kink, it is wild to think that it has been that long. I have seen so much in those past seven years and I would love to keep doing this role, but there are bigger and better fish to fry. Life is once and in the end I would love to tell my grandkids that I had a bike company that took riders around the world and did all this wild stuff. It isn't just to promote my shop, I want to do as much as I can with it. Right now, I have a lot of ideas that I would like to do and they only seem possible doing them by myself.
What products are you going to bring out soon next to T-shirts and stickers?
Jim Cielencki: I am starting with forks and bars for the moment, but there should be a frame sample poking around here soon enough. My fork sample just came in and I think it is good right now, but I want to ride it for a little bit. There will probably be some other products coming as the idea of Sunday becomes clearer. Otherwise I want to improve what I am riding right now and make stuff that riders would be psyched on.
Taiwan or USA made? and for what reason?
Jim Cielencki: Sunday is going through Taiwan for a few reasons. First is cost, I remember how expensive it was for a 15 year old blue collar kid to ride. I didn't have much money and my friends didn't either, so have times changed? I don't think so. Products have gotten so much more expensive especially with titanium that I don't understand how people afford it. My goal is to provide respectively priced products that are as best quality as they can be. I don't want to design ridiculous stuff that is expensive only because of the process of making them. When my pedal was designed, I specifically wanted a pedal that was affordable because people were grinding them. I never got the ti-peg thing, $100 dollar pegs? So you grind away a $100?
Another reason is that doing them in Taiwan makes it affordable all over the world? Do you think someone cares if their frame will last 2 months more if it cost twice the price? I would say no. People just want to ride and that is all I want them to do. Besides after riding for Odyssey, I don't really see any difference in quality of products, their stuff does just fine for me.
Third, is that it seems in Taiwan you can actually achieve certain things in design. At Kink, it seemed like we couldn't design a certain way because it would cost too much more. Just trying to get stuff done seemed impossible. With the pedal experience, it seems in Taiwan you can actually have an idea and get it done.
Are you already thinking of having a team, website, video, doing a tour, what's first?
Jim Cielencki: Yes, yes, yes, yes and I don't know. I want to do it all, but it seems like nothing is taken precedent over the other. I guess team before video and tour, but...well I guess website could be first. Actually products, website and team at the same time and then video and tour. There are a million ideas it is just figuring out which is possible and making the ones that don't seem possible, possible.
How does it feel to be on the other side of the fence running a business dealing with suppliers and selling to the customers?
Jim Cielencki: Actually, I have been crossing the fence a lot when I was at Kink. I was team manager and designer for awhile. So I was basically the guy trying to organize the team into going on trips and doing events and contests. I think I have worn almost ever hat except owner, so now I am doing that one. I just hope the hat fits. Besides I like being busy, so I can't wait to talk with customers especially people that are psyched on bmx.
Are we going to get to see some more original riding from "The professor" or are you done and all business now?
Jim Cielencki: Done? I like the hard hitting questions. So, hell know, my mind doesn't stop even though I am busy. I built a rail at the skatepark and have been working on some new ideas. I learned a bunch of Vic Ayala's predator grind stuff, no name dropping just paying respect. Otherwise I am still as motivated as ever, actually maybe even more since I have less time to ride.
Thanks for your time Jim and good luck with both the shop and the BMX company.
Jim Cielencki: Thanks so much for giving me an outlet for both Sundays, I guess I should say how people can get a hold of me. Well, the bike company's website is www.sundaybikes.com and it should have something real soon.
The shop website is www.sundayskatebmx.com and it should also have something more real soon.
The shop's number is 716-362-1523 and the bike company's number is 716-362-1525, so dealers and riders can give me a call anytime.
The shop address is 587 Potomac Ave Buffalo, NY 14222, so send hate mail there. Thanks again.