As Liz, Otto and I are putting the finishing touches on the store this late evening/early morning, it occurs to me that we have new stickers. Excitement builds! Where are we going to put one? Eyes are flashing toward this work bench, and that bike, or that computer… “Put it on something that looks like its hard at work!” Liz bursts out with a big smile on her face, pointing towards the bench vice. Brown, black, blue, white and orange stickers spread across my bamboo work area, enticing us.
No, I thought. There’s only one place stickers go in this shop. We walked into the back room, Otto trotting beside us as if he had a significant role to play in what was going to happen next. The sticker was going on something that works very hard. Everyday this tool gets used without being seen. Sometimes you’ll hear it if you listen close and The Current cuts out, or there’s a lull in the coffee shop bustle. Cycling on, pushing and pumping.
You see, as much as we may like other brands’ designs and decals, we have a “no sticker rule.” You’ll find shops all over the city, and the rest of the country with stickers on their doors, windows, toolboxes, repair stands, floors, ceilings, filing cabinets…well, you get the idea. But we wanted Angry Catfish to be different. We wanted it to be clean. Not just mop the floors, scrub the bathrooms clean, but CLEAN. Clear of the typical clutter that can find its way into bicycle shops. We wanted an open shop where people could see their bikes being professionally repaired. No offices for me to hide away from reps and customers. Friends working together to create beautiful bikes that would inspire all those that see them. A gathering place that attracted people of a like mind to enjoy two of life’s simplest and most rewarding pleasures.