The guys from JANE Motorcycles may be implants to #Brooklyn but Adam and Alex have earned their stripes, and have grown roots in the hood of Williamsburg. And though they’re here to stay, they sure are going far!!
5 years ago I watched these two guys fix up a tiny 800 sqr ft. store front across the street on Grand and turn it into a slick, streamlined micro Cafe/Custom Motorcycle showroom, complete with a merch and accessories. It was everything boutique, intimate, a minimalistic design, great coffee and likable guys hanging out listening to great music all day. After a few visits of chatting and hanging out I realized that they were the Brand, that they had “something”, that there was more to it, and there was more to come.
I would hang out there and work on my iPad when I wanted to get out of the house but still do my TrulyBrooklyn R&D over a nice cappuccino, listening to Biggie, Peter Tosh, and some cool bands. I remember they never played a wack track or artist. I tell you it was like funk master flex or Bobbi Conders up in there sometimes. On Sundays it was all day Reggae, where artists like Bob Marley, Gregory Issac, Sugar Minott and other classic artist would soothe the soul. I was so impressed with their music collection/selection/station that I could stay and hang out there for hours, and did at times…. many times.
But all the while, I would buy a cappuccino, or hot chocolate, or a tea and a T-shirt. Making what modest contributions I could because I wanted to see them succeed. They weren’t making that ¢.50 coffee from the old bakery that used to be on the corner, we’re talking about a proper cappuccino at a couple bucks, easy. but I liked them, and I knew that every coffee, cappuccino, tea and t-shirt would all add up.
Some weekend mornings Mysun and I would hang out and chat with the guys, they were always so awesome with him that even now, years later, Mysun still loves going to visit them. At times the guys would let me sit him up on one of the bikes displayed inside. I always thought it was a perfect way to introduce him to motorcycles, as I held him up and made motorbike sounds!
So after all the Back yard BBQ’s and social shindigs, and the very convenient living situation for one of the guys for a while, the landlord was the one to kick the bucket down the road for another (not)much needed bar in its place. (We the people) were all thrown off, it’d only been like two years since they moved to the neighborhood and people were just starting to learn where the spot was. Having to relocate so early in the game can have a huge effect on a small startup. If Brick and mortar POS was their only stream of revenue, they would have been in big trouble. But they were ecommerce guru’s with an Brand image the likes of James Dean and Elvis Presley. There was no way they were going down.
And like one of Alex’s block-long wheelies down Grand Str. they came out blazing through in a great open space three times the size of the original storefront on Grand, and decked out with a new look and a higher standard, just a few blocks in the right direction!!
The new place, located at 396 Wythe Ave. has this great big open and lofty layout that draws you in through the cafe, along the Motorcycles on display and the hanging art,… into its streamlined retail space with simple single racks for their shirts and jackets and a few shelves of boots and helmets lining the walls.
Among the motorcycles and accessories you’ll find the racks filled with some really choice pieces of JANE Branded gear. I gotta tell you, I didn’t know these two would start designing clothes when I first met them, I thought of them as two cool grease Bikers that took showers and were trying to be responsible. Little did I know that Adam and Alex have a seriously keen eye on the fashion standards of the motorcycle community, and have tapped in with others who have raised the bar. The team behind the brand are full-on with their social engagement and public relations, gaining JANE Motorcycle world wide recognition.
Now with a sister shop, JANE Motorcycles LA, in Los Angeles there’s no doubt these guys have captured the hearts of their demographic. Having recently celebrated their 5th year anniversary and going strong. I’m happy to witness that they have made it over the threshold of start-up uncertainty from a small and obscure Brooklyn storefront, into an American brand positioning itself to scale globally, and successfully sail off into the sunset.
Funny thing is… they’re just getting started! All the best!
Words and images by: Damani Higgins
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