The guys over at Rely Scooter Shop have been holding it down for the Michigan scene for just under a year now. Rely, reached out to us to help bring some exposure to their story & it's our pleasure for us to share the story of their rider owned shop. To begin we'll give you a brief introduction about Rely & their owner:
Neal Morrison is the founder of Rely Scooter Shop in Michigan. Neal has been riding for 10 years and at 22 is already taking the initiative to give back to his local community through the creation of his shop: Rely. Since the debut of Neal’s shop on August 2, 2018 Neal has put in an immense amount of effort to provide back to his local community and has faced many struggles & successes on the way. Neal is incredibly passionate about riding & pushing Scootering forward, thus we are more than happy to share Neal’s story of Rely with you, from the words of Neal: "Rely is coming up on one year old in August. A lot has happened, so I want to take some time to talk about Rely. I feel a lot of people don’t know what Rely is and how it started, so I want to put it into perspective. The events were a big reason for starting Rely, specifically the Zero Ride Day. I felt having a shop under the events would solidify the local scene and put us on the map. So, I began thinking of every way possible to start a shop, something manageable, small, and still be enough to get some momentum going.
Around late 2017 I had some health issues, it felt like my body was calling a quits on riding. Luckily having a stubborn attitude, I rode doing mannys and foot plants for a few months and began thinking about more events. If I couldn’t ride, I was at least going to stay involved in scootering. That’s when I planned the second Zero Ride Day on February 3rd, 2018. Before the event came, Joe Vos invited, me, TJ and Carson Miller to come stay with him for a weekend, judged a battlegrounds comp and filmed Freezer Sesh at the tilt warehouse. Before we left back home, we talked about a Michigan crew, all the riders, and that’s when talk of a shop came up. I knew I couldn’t run a shop alone but having the support from them and the scene made it possible. The Ride Day happened and turned out amazing, then few months pass. I finished college up and sent in papers to register a business. The next step was finding a location.
Transitions Skatepark (TRP) is where our shop is located. Within the lobby of the park they have given us some booths, a wall, and a platform to put parts and completes. It’s just enough to work with and more than we could have asked for. Isaac Short is a local rider from that area, if it wasn’t for him, I don’t think we’d be at trp. He was throwing a jam and invited us to come out and be a part of it. That’s where I met the owner Jason Suchan. Despite not being a part of the local park scene, living an hour away, nor having any form of store; Jason and the community let us set up shop with open arms. August 2nd is the day we opened for business, so now it was time to grow and see what will happen.
I knew I wasn’t going to make enough money or even anything off the shop, at least for a while. I just need a name to hold events under, and a shop to support it. So, the shop being located in TRP, an hour away from where I live, I go when I can to run the shop. But for a while, any day or afternoon I had off, I spent it trying to further Rely. Working on a website, trying to plan/finance events, setting up dealer accounts, finishing registration, and looking into loans. There was a time that I was investing more into rely than I was working to earn money. As time passed, things where moving, but slow. I was good though because I worked a retail job making enough to get by. My friends and the experiences makes everything worth it. Since August 2nd we’ve had quite a few events, multiple TRP lock-ins, auburn hills sessions, concrete jungle session, game of scoot at TRP, TRP video contest, zero gravity lock-in, third zero gravity ride day, TRP park comp and street comp, plus we had the opportunity of judging ISA at modern skatepark and Woodward PA.
All the events, the shop and everything involving rely, good or bad, has been a lesson. To be honest, some events have failed, for example, the game of scoot, we had 2 people show up, TRP video contest, no one entered. Sales at the shop are small and its hard to get turnouts for events. It gets hard trying to throw events because now there’s a worry of making enough money, you have to charge for events, you need a flyer made, you need to plan a few weeks ahead, and company’s no longer wanted to sponsor our events because we aren’t buying enough, so giveaways had to be bought out of pocket. Nothing against companies not sponsoring, there is a bit of a struggle in the market, during the past year we have lost a few shops. Other events have gone so well, the Zero Gravity lock-in was a success ,auburn hills session was a success. Times we go to parks, ride with the locals, and get everyone to ride together, create the best memories and times. It’s only a blessing on top of a blessing when we can make something off events.
I just want to show you some of the struggles and my honesty with scootering. There were times that I got caught up in the idea of being a “shop”, be known, be big, run a full website and store. It’s not impossible, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how big or profitable a shop is for it to be relevant, if people have scooters and are out riding, what else could you ask for? I like keeping things simple, and honest to the core of what is being attempted. We are here to do more than sell scooter parts. Attempting to cultivate a community of riders, on a big or small scale. You are not just a rider in a big scene, you are a part of the scene! I hope to get a better rhythm down with the shop, looking at recent successes has given us an idea of where to go. Focus on the experience of riding.
Regards to zero ride day video, the event was a success, but there wasn’t a designated Filmer. With multiple cameras all being filmed SD, some tapes were lost but there still is a lot of footage that was eventually collected. I can tell you that the ride days mean a lot to me, so I put a lot of stress on myself for the footy. So, apology for the missing footage and mostly, the delay of the video. Here is the
2019 Ride Day video.
Sincerely, Neal Morrison"