When Mike Bricke and his brother Ted opened the doors to The House of Vista in March of 2015, they didn't care about anything besides having a place to call their own. They do a lot for the skate scene in North County SD, (from BBQs to demos to local video premieres and more), so if you're ever in the area, The House should be a mandatory stop. Bums might be banging in the back parking lot when you roll up, but if you use the front door you'll be all good. Just follow the chuckles and that sweet scent of skunk. —Brian Blakely
Who started the shop and how long have the doors been open?
I started the shop with my brother, Ted. We got the keys to our spot in January of 2015 and opened our doors March 15th (2015).
Is it just you and your brother running the show or do you have other employees?
It's mostly just my brother and I, but we recently hired our friend/shop rider/shop artist, Garret Lekas for a couple of days a week.
You're at the shop pretty much all day so I'm sure you get waves of lurkers in there on a daily basis. What are some of the funny things customers say or ask for?
I don't know… tons of lurkers roll through for sure. Tweakers claiming they know old pros, I guess. I caught some bums banging in the back once. It was fucked up because I knew the dude—that shit was ratchet. Seen some crazy shit in our year and a half, that's for sure.
Where does the name "The House of Vista" come from?
It's kind of funny. It comes from us hanging out at my parent's house back in the day. We would always skate on the weekends and my parent's place was kind of a meet up spot, so we'd always say, "Meet up at the house." We'd capture footage there and drink and smoke in the garage so it was totally like a little zone for us. I'm sure my parents weren't too hyped on it at the time [laughs], but yeah, when the opportunity arose to start this up, I knew I wanted to have that vibe at the shop. One day while I was bored in class at community college the name just popped into my head. I wrote it down in my notebook and ran it from there.
What are some of the struggles of owning a skate shop in 2017? What are the perks?
The perks are endless—not having a real boss being number one [laughs]. But really just seeing my local skateboard community in all of its aspects. There are kids that are coming in super excited to buy their first completes and hit the parks or streets or whatever; then there are the older guys coming in to switch out their bushings and everyone in between. It's rad to see all of that and be a part of it. The struggles are also sort of endless [laughs], but the pros always out way the cons.
Say a kid in his early 20's has dreams of opening his own skate shop one day. What is some advice you can offer?
Ah shit, that is a really tough question. I think the best advice would be to get a lot of advice. Talk with people involved in the industry if you can. Have a good feel for the area you are in and what they are lacking and might need in the skateboard community. Keep overhead low, work every day and night, and above all—love skateboarding.
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