Don’t Sell Out: local entrepreneurs Crit and Josh Kiley redefine business casual

Don’t Sell Out: local entrepreneurs Crit and Josh Kiley redefine business casual

June 14
12:36 2013

Photos by Zac Switzer/ Visuals Editor

Audra Stamp/Staff Writer

The Kiley brothers stood behind the counter of G5Threads, Crit with his arms folded and his dirty-blond dreadlocks touching his shoulders, and Josh leaned on the counter, his red-tinted hair pulled back into a bun. Both wore t-shirts and jeans, normal work attire for the co-founders of the Denton’s only skate shop meets clothing brand meets car dealership.

The brothers had been tinkering with cars, skateboards and designing shirts for awhile, but only after years of working from the house, a few moments of doubt and a lot of hard work, would they have an official location of their own. On May 5, G5Threads, the skate and street wear shop, and Chief Motors, the auto shop, opened their doors at 805 S. Locust St.

“It’s just finally paid off to stick with it,” Josh said. “Honestly there were times where we were like ‘should we just stop?’ But we just never did and it got us this far.”

Growing up, both Crit and Josh watched their parents work hard. Their father worked many jobs and their mother cleaned houses. The boys decided they too would work hard for what they really wanted – a job where they didn’t have to work for “The Man.”

In high school, Crit started designing shirts online, and soon the brothers decided it was time to start printing themselves with a heat press, designing shirts for local businesses and teams.

They bought a six color screen printing press in order to perfect their orders, but they still weren’t quite satisfied. They wanted to make their own designs, and their brand G5Threads was born. G5 formed from G.roup F.ollowing i.ll V.isions E.veryday. and I.ll referring to cool. The two brothers and their friends wanted the chance to design their own original designs everyday.

It became too difficult for the brothers to maintain steady jobs, and design and make shirts on the side, so they sold the printing press and began to outsource, still designing for their own brand. But as they continued to work 8 to 5 jobs under a boss, they knew they couldn’t do it much longer.

“We just don’t want to work for ‘The Man,’” Crit said.  “I’ve always wanted to wear what I want to wear any day of the week and I can’t do that at those jobs. I don’t dress up – I’m not cool with that.”

For the last three years they sold their G5 street wear brand out of their house but wanted a brick-and-mortar location. Adding their love of skateboarding onto designing, they soon hoped they could open their own shop, knowing the local Denton community would be a great place to make it happen.

“I grew up as a skate rat, it’s all we ever did in the summer,” Crit said.

Crit and Josh also grew up knowing a lot about cars, buying classics in need of repair, fixing them up and selling them. Their father bought them a 1970 Chevelle, which sparked their interest and intrigue, especially when they realized restorations brought in quick money.

Hands dirty and hair pulled back, they often travel around the state to get the perfect classic car to rebuild, sometimes constructing entire engines.

After settling on their three loves, the duo searched for that perfect location where they could have a skate shop and a small dealership. They came across their current lot, and they decided it would be their new home for the next two years.

“It’s everything we wanted and more,” Josh said. “It’s the perfect spot. We like being able to walk to the Square. We’re in the area we want to be in.”

Crit is the numbers guy, with his past job experience doing bookkeeping and having “never made below a 100 in a math class,” and he handles the business’ money. While Crit would be busy at work with numbers, Josh excelled at customer service, giving a friendly wave and answering any questions for anyone who entered the shop.

Opening their doors wasn’t easy though. It was completely nerve wracking for the brothers and their friends when they finally put down the first payment for the building. They received the keys in March, but much work still had to be done in order to prepare the store for customers. At this point, the guys were all working hard on improving the look of the store.

Realizing that the shop and office space lacked air conditioning and heating, they ran into their first major hurdle as business owners. Working days in the shop to fix it up and giving it a new coat of grey and light blue paint, it began to fit their vision. Working hard, the guys didn’t mind the lack of pay. It was time for them to hang out and work together toward their ideal job.

“Anyone can start a small business, anyone can start a clothing line,” Josh said. “The hard part is making it successful and having a presence.”

Only about a month old, the store is just in the beginning phase. Hoping to continue designing more clothes and increasing the women’s selection of clothing working with their friend Rachel Sadler, they could also see expanding the store. But for now the laid-back vibe and hard work in the garage is enough for them.

“I never thought I’d be a manager of anything,” manager Joe Coffee said. “We’re all family here. It’s easy going, but we still got to keep it professional.”

Finally starting to realize that their dream of one day owning their business has come true, the Kiley brothers and their friends are excited to see what the next two years in the shop brings.

While business is slow now, they now have a new sign out front and hope that customers will soon be a daily sight. Although Chief Motors is bringing in the most money these days, they hope the skate culture and family in Denton will make G5Threads, the only skate shop in Denton, their new home for street wear and skate supplies.

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