What's in a Comunity? - Part 1

September 11, 2018

 

Truth. Cycling is a great people connector. I've always loved this aspect about riding a bike. The fact that such a simple machine can bring so many people together who inherently may never have met otherwise is amazing. I've made lifelong friends with perfect strangers from halfway around the world all because we rode bikes together.

And considering Rivet is located in the greater Los Angeles area it is no wonder we have such a diverse and inspiring cast of characters who share our passion for two wheels. Many of these people we find riding our bikes with on a weekly basis come from a vast array of professions - from lawyers to artists, CEO's to chefs, tech entrepreneurs to photographers, teachers to advertisers, all with a story to tell. It's no understatement in saying LA's cycling community boasts a truly deep bench when it comes to the variety of people we run into.

So after countless group rides it dawned on me, why don't we produce a mini blog series exploring a few of these LA based characters. Let's take a look into their everyday lives, their 9 to 5, the lives we don't see when we're hauling butt at 30mph down PCH. After all this is Rivet's home and don't the people we weekend-warrior with make up our cycling terroir as much as the twisting Malibu canyon roads do?

 

 

One such cyclist is Sean Scott, co-founder of LA based shoe company Comunity (yes the one "m" is purposeful). I first met Sean at one of my cycling events, the Rivet Raid. He had just attended our second gravel grinder held in the coastal Santa Monica Mountains. His legs and arms were covered in dust and sweat, caked on almost like mud from a spa treatment. Fatigue was written all over his body from the 70 miles of traversed dirt and tarmac but he had a mile wide grin on his face as he reveled with other event goers. 

I noticed Sean had slipped out of his rigid cycling shoes and into a pair of comfy, supple, suede kicks, almost sneaker like, but much classier. These looked like the kind of shoes that are comfortable enough to wear all day but chic enough to strut out to dinner with. I remarked "those are cool!" and Sean replied, "oh thanks, these come from the shoe company I founded." And that's when we got to talking. 

A couple weeks later I sat down with Sean and his business partner/co-founder Ryan Gumienny (Shannon Scott, Sean's wife and also co-founder wasn't present a the time) at Comunity's showroom in downtown LA, or DTLA as it's more colloquially known. DTLA is one of those places that reminds me of New York's Meatpacking district some 10 -15 years ago. Giant derelict industrial warehouses bearing the scars from decades of neglect, only to be resurrected into one of the city's most trending neighborhood's complete with art galleries, third wave coffee shops, hip eateries and stylish hotels. There's even a new Soho House slated to open in early 2019. The Comunity store itself is effortlessly relaxed - a cross of California cool meets boho-chic with its kilim rugs and tanned faded leather couches, coupled with touches of Scandinavian practicality in its blond wood shelving and easily reconfigurable work spaces. My eyes were immediately drawn to one corner of the shop. A booth dubbed the Comunity Cobbler. It's a mini workshop of sorts complete with all the tools, tanned leather, threading and foot molds. Everything you'd need to hand craft your shoes right there and it's flat out cool looking!

 

 

Settling into my seat I decided to get straight to the point and ask Sean why? Why start a shoe company and what makes you different from the rest? As Sean started to speak he began to give me a background story on his professional life. Turns out all three partners at Comunity share