Episode 10: Ryen Motzek – Co-Founder of Atlas
I believe that working to be organized and really working to be a good communicator is what's helped me stay on a good path in my life either in business or just in my relationships.
Consistency, trustworthy and reliable are all characteristics that have kept Ryen successful throughout the years of being an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur seed got planted when Ryen was a child when he and his father were at a local store and he saw little wooden American Flags for sale. Ryen knew he could re-sell those flags to his neighbors, so his father bought those flags for him and Ryen went door-to-door selling those flags to his neighbors for the Fourth of July. It was his first business success and his first taste of entrepreneurship. That experience describes what Ryen does as an entrepreneur; he sees a potential opportunity and seizes the moment to make something out of it.
In 2007, he saw another opportunity with two other co-founders to build a skateboard shop in San Mateo called Atlas. Eleven years later, Atlas continues to thrive and has become a local retail staple in the skateboarding industry. On their website they say it perfectly what Atlas is all about, "the store and brand are the result of hard work and collaboration by a group of dedicated individuals driven by passion over profit, to preserve the true definition of skateboarding and the culture that surrounds it."
...so whatever I do in my life whether I was a mailman, a graphic designer or whatever I would choose to do with my life; I would want to be trustworthy and reliable, so that’s my legacy.
Building a store and brand like Atlas does not happen overnight. Even back in 2007, Ryen believed in being patient and doing things precisely for the future success of Atlas. In fact, they waited six months to make sure the shop was explicitly designed the way they wanted it. Eleven years later, besides a few minor wear and tear issues, the shop layout has consistently stayed the same, and their business foundation is still what it was from the beginning. When you walk into his shop, the wall of skateboards is breathtaking. It's like looking at individual art pieces with all their clothing, backpacks, hats, socks and accessories sitting flawlessly within the shop. Their goal was to create a welcoming experience as a retail store part art gallery and they accomplish that purpose every day.
In this podcast, Ryen and I talk about his journey as an entrepreneur, where the name Atlas came from, the visions behind the shop design and where he sees his industry going. Ryen also gives invaluable advice to those who are looking to build a brand, some social media strategies that have worked for Atlas and two traits that has kept him successful. We also talk about Ryen's hobbies, his cocktail of choice and how he wants to be known as.
Enjoy the episode and keep being a "DOER."
In this episode, here are Some Questions I ask & what You will learn:
Ryen Introduction (1:08)
When did the entrepreneur journey start for Ryen? (1:15)
What is Atlas? (3:13)
Ryen talks about getting a job at Deluxe. (4:00)
Where was the name "Atlas" inspired from? (5:40)
How Atlas and Skateboarding go together. (6:22)
The store design. (7:20)
The Wall of Boards. (9:28)
Where does Ryen see his industry going? (10:08)
Ryen shares advice for someone who is looking to build a brand. (12:20)
What has been Ryen's reason for his on-going success? (13:56)
What's next for Atlas? (14:45)
What's Ryen's typical day like? (15:35)
What has been Ryen's biggest learning experience? (16:30)
What is Ryen's two strengths he sees in himself that has kept him successful (18:15)
The "To-Do-List." (18:55)
Ryen shares advice for someone who wants to start a business. (20:32)
What is Ryen's next move? (23:25)
Multiple Businesses as an entrepreneur. (24:42)
Ryen's hobbies? (27:15)
How Ryen stays motivated? (28:33)
Ryen's cocktail of choice? (30:07)
How Ryen wants to define his legacy. (30:37)
Ryen is... (31:23)
Contact Info. (31:40)
FOLLOW RYEN MOTZEK & ATLAS
Editor’s Note: This story was shared through a Scotch Parlor Podcast. Photography was done by Rick Scotch at Atlas in San Mateo, CA