The state of the industry with Willie McMillon
14 Jun, 2009
Times are rough in the snowboard industry where each day we hear of companies cutting employees, pro riders getting dropped and shops going under but what about companies working hard to survive and still giving the fans an opportunity to love a product?
Owner of Bluebird Wax, Willie McMillon is trying to stay afloat during these times, offering up rad giveaways that even poor people can afford and with many changes in store, there’s a lot to be discussed on the state of the industry with Willie McMillon.
Shay: Recently Bluebird became free of investors, why the change and how do you feel about it?
Willie: We spent 8 years with them. They provided money, knowledge, resources and a warehouse. Ray taught me everything I know about business. He also taught me how to gamble. He got me into blackjack at our first trade show together. You have to be a good gambler to be a good business man. A responsible, profitable gamblin’ man. Anyway, the past 8 years were preparation for what I’m doing today. We had limitations working with them, and we have limitations doing this shit out of my basement on our own. I think we are running our own version of a tight ship. Ray taught me business. I already knew how to have fun running a company. Now I am just combining the two. Business in the front, party in the back. Enjoy the show.
Shay: What are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?
Willie: Same in every Industry. There’s some real shit, then there’s some shit that’s really shitty. You know who you are . The kids know who you are. The real shit’s about to make a comeback. DUCKMOTHERFUKKRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…
Shay: How is Bluebird holding up during these economic times?
Willie: If I fuck up one thing, I’m done. We are tight on cash. So I am training in the art of “Making Something out of Nothing”. But it’s the same with snowboarding for me. I’m gonna do this shit forever whether I’m getting paid or not. And I’m not afraid to fuck up. Because that’s how you learn for real.. And I’ve got roughly 12 years of fuck ups since this brand started. I know a lot of “What not to do’s” I’m working on the “To Do’s”
When times are tough, work harder. Don’t sit around and whine. This is a changing of the guard. Companies are dropping like flies.
And certain people will be prosperous. I see this economic situation as nothing but opportunity. People are spending money more wisely. And if your brand ain’t for real, bubba-fuckin-bye. I am just doing everything I possibly can to keep this thing alive. It’s gnarley work. But satisfying as all hell.
Shay: What are the challenges you are facing and how do you overcome them?
Willie: Money. People say it doesn’t grow on trees. But I beg to differ. Your business is your tree. You water it and nurture it and it will be fruitful and/or grow money.
How’s that saying go? “You grow the plant, then you fuck the plant.” But in a nice sensual kinda way. With Ranch and Buffalo Jerky.
The kids entering the T.Rice Mega GiveAway are the ones truly keeping us in business right now. The truth is. I will do my best to take care of all my homeys the best I can.
Shay: If an ex team member calls you up and wants a block of wax, your answer is….
Willie: Id be like “Fuck you Clancy” That’s right Clancy, you’re cut. No more free keychains for you.
Shay: What were the reasons behind doing the Bluebird Trice Giveaway?
Willie: When our investors let us go, we were left with no money. But a ton of product I owed a ton of money for. I also acquired 2 of Rice’s next year’s boards from LIB.
Travis and I decided this might be a way to pay off the product, hook up some kids, and also get some momentum during slow months. We are in the planning stages of a new GIVEAWAY. We are going to fly one kid out to Jackson During Natural Selection2 and give him a taste of the good life. He will go home a sinner.
Now we are at the point where I am making new shit for the contest packages. We actually ran out of shit. We also have some dope ass companies sending us product to hook the kids up with. Right now we have tons of Clancy’s DVDs, some are signed. We are getting some skate decks. Also some outerwear. And mad IAM tees. We are getting new shit all the time. One of a kind hats, just shit the team and I have been making in the basement. My girl’s been making us some dope shit too.
I’m actually going to raid Rice’s garage next week while he is out of town. Look out for the episode! Kids are gonna get some crazy shit.
Shay: Do you feel the contest is a success?
Willie: We have accomplished everything we set out to do. And then some. I hope the kids are stoked. We really need people to spread the word. We are hooking mad kids up, and the kids are keeping Bluebird Alive.
We aren’t trying to get rich, we are trying to stay around. And this season is the most crucial.
Shay: What’s new coming up for Bluebird?
Willie: We are starting a new movie this winter. Running Giveaways. Making random shit. And shredding our nuts off. And maybe buying a new Van. Hopefully the kids are stoked and they keep us in business. Without your support, we are done.
Thanks for supporting the Real Shit.