Tree has been a name people recognize in BMX for the last few years. When running a company between two people and that is just about it, it can be a little crazy. I had a chance to get Andy Chapman some questions about the company and this is what he had to say. Somehow I managed to get 20 photos and like 5 videos into this interview also. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Tree bikes have been around for a while now, who are the creators, when did it all get started, and where are you guys located?
Sam Schulte Creator and owner has known he wanted to start a bike company since he was 16. The ideas behind Tree started in high school when Sam wasn’t paying attention in class and was doodling in his notebook. Tree the official company started in 2002. It started with a ½” inch thick sprocket sold out of Sam’s backpack at contests. I think people were into it because they could tell Sam was sensier and put a lot of thought into the design of the products. Tree has continued to grow from there. The tree world headquarters is currently located in Saint Louis, Missouri.
What was the main reason for the company to start, and what is the main goal of Tree as a company?
Get rich and pick up chicks duh. Just kidding. Sam started the company to make all the ideas he had in his head, a reality. The main goal of tree is make the best parts we can come up with and let the parts sell themselves not the advertising.
Is it just you (Andy) and Sam who run the whole show or are there more people involved and who are those people that nobody ever hears about? and is there any plans on hiring more people?
It’s just me and Sam full time but we have friends that help us out a little bit.
Sam’s girlfriend Crystal helps us with graphic design and web work
Jeff Brockmeyer does video and photo stuff.
Right now, we run a pretty tight ship so we don’t need much help right now. In the future it would be nice to have a massage therapist on staff maybe.
With the popularity of Tree growing (no pun intended). Do you guys ever plan on expanding into a bigger location or is the house you guys work out of really all you guys need?
I think its every company’s dream to have there own warehouse with ramps in it but right now the house works fine.
What is the product line looking like these days and what are the plans you guys have for your hard goods? I know you guys have a frame in the works? What can people expect from Tree in the coming years?
Right now we have headsetcap bolts, bar ends, handlebars, pegs, and of course sprockets. Later on this year we should have our new straight pull front hub and frames out. Shortly followed by our straight pull rear hub. After that we have some top secret stuff planed.
How about the other things like shirts, stickers, and small pieces of your guys product line? Do you have any new designs or anything in the works that will be available soon? Any plans you can tell us about?
This last year we decided to let our team design their own shirts. So lately we’ve had some interesting designs like skeletons doing table tops and unicorns battling dragons. We do have a new design we are working on below it’s a ruff sketch but I think its awesome check it out.
Who are the pros, flows, and bros you guys hook up these days? What is the plan with the team such as changes and additions?
Right now our riders are zack warden, eben fischer, cole todoravich, Nathan parker, zak early, ty Stuyvesant, and Thomas stellwag. Along with some new young gun flow riders bobbie altiser, adam “ginch” guilliams, and David gamble. We are always looking for cool new people to hang out with.
How do you guys go about picking new people for the team? What are some of the most important things you guys look at when picking these new guys?
I Think the easiest way to pick a new team rider is to imagine yourself on a roadtrip with that person and see what that person would add to the trip. For example would that person make a 15 hour drive feel like a 4 hour drive or a 20 hour drive. Also when you get were your going and you go do some bike riding how many times that day would that person make your jaw hit the floor.
Is there any plans for road trips, filming for web videos or DVD, or anything else related to the team coming up at some point?
Definitely we try to do at least 1 big trip every year and we try to make it to Woodward sometime during the summer. Other than that we have been concentrating on some web video stuff we just had one from eben and from bobby come out so check those also we should have a little miny roadtrip one coming out soon
When somebody has an issue with there Tree product, who should they contact to possibly get it warranteed? What are the typical procedures for getting a damaged good to you and a new product to the rider?
Sam is the warranty man email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 314-352-1501. Send us a picture over and we will help you at.
How about just getting in contact with you guys or to check out what you guys got going on?
Keep up to date with what we are up to at treebicycleco.com The best way is either emailing us at email@example.com or if you want an instant update give us a call don’t be scared. 314-352-1501 we would love to here from you. Also since I just posted our phone number to the world wide web I’m expecting some awesome prank calls and sweet drunk dials in the middle of the night please leave us a funny message it makes our day much better in the morning when there is a funny message on the machine.
Where can people pick up Tree stuff? And who should a shop or distributor contact to get you guys in their store or warehouse?
People can pick our stuff up at their local bikeshop or mailorder. If your bikeshop doesn’t carry us have them pick our stuff up from blackout distribution. Or seventies in the uk
Oh yeah before I forget, How do you feel about Kyle Carlson?
Its hard to explain in words how much I love kyle so I will just tell you one of our conversations and you will be able to tell from there.
Kyle: if I were a chick would you leave your girlfriend for me?
Andy: mmmmm not sure, but more importantly if I were a chick and you were a chick would we be lesbians?
Tree Bicycle Co. Commercial from andy chapman on Vimeo.