Superbored

Superbored Store Coverage
Words by Alan Ng & Jenkin Au
Photography by Jarvis Ho

Superbored is anything but boring. From the outside in, it’s definitely not your normal store. Outside – you see polka dots decorated all over the store front. Inside – you see vibrant red paint and random characters throughout the store. As Tony would say, “There is just too much to see!” We picked at Tony’s head to see what he was actually thinking when bringing his first store from the ground up and who was actually involved.

The name of the store is Superbored. Is this a word that you use a lot?

No. I would say, “I’m very bored”. But with the word “Superbored”, it’s kind of fun.

Why did you choose to open on West 4th? Did any of the nearby stores have anything to do with you opening there?

That’s one of the reasons. Another reason is because I’ve looked through Gastown, Main Street and others, but… I’m actually a really personal person. Gastown is HYPEd up but I don’t like Gastown – there’s so much trouble there! I don’t like having to live in such an atmosphere. This [store] is meant for business but I don’t weigh it that heavily. I really enjoyed opening a store on West 4th because I enjoy going to West 4th to buy clothes. I enjoy it more than making money. On Main Street is the same – I don’t like it there. I saw Livestock was here as well so why not us too? So I opened a store here.

Did you benefit from their traffic?

Not really, no. After opening Superbored, I figured out a lot of things. For one, [people that shop at Livestock] are a different audience. It’s totally separate. We sell Supreme and our customers come in and they don’t even look at Supreme. They look at it and say, “What’s this shit? Why so expensive?! I don’t get it!” We talked about it before – because it’s HYPEd up, people will pay for it. But when you think about it, how many people will actually buy it? They just want a box [tee]. All the other people just don’t care. For me, I don’t want to have that kind of brand. I want to have clothing that everyone can like. “Why do you like this? Because this and that magazine said it’s good stuff.” I don’t buy that philosophy. The people that go to Livestock buy Jordans and BBC but our customers won’t. I don’t focus on trends – Livestock’s stuff are from trends, like Jordans and Air Yeezy’s and the Hypebeast stuff. I like to look at it but that’s not what I’m selling. I’m selling to the everyday customer, like students and people like you. I want people to come in and like it because they have that connection to it, not because they saw it on a website or because they saw some celebrity wear it. I don’t buy that. Since I have this belief, I have aimed towards it. However, you still have those kinds of people doing that. Another thing I have noticed is that a lot of students don’t like to drive cars. Back then, it wasn’t like that. When we had the car, we would always drive.

Well that’s because it’s gotten a lot more expensive to drive.

That too. But back then, people loved to drive. When choosing the location, we had to think about how people could bus there because people don’t drive anymore.

Another reason is because of all the restrictions now. A driver with a class 7 isn’t allowed to drive more than one person!

Serious?! I didn’t know that! Do you know how old I am?

Well, you look 20 something.

I’m 30 tomorrow.

Wow, happy birthday! (Everyone laughs)

When you were designing this store, what were you trying to create and do you think this has been achieved?

Fun. I studied design so I wanted it to have an identity. Colour was first so it was either black or red. I like white, black and red. With red, a lot of people won’t do it. People won’t support this, especially Chinese people. I don’t purposely challenge the norm but I like to try things.

About the red colour, it’s really sharp and eye catching. Doesn’t this go backwards on the name “Superbored”?

Yes it does. The only thing that is Superbored is the word. You go inside and there are so many things going on. Even if the store had nothing, the red itself wouldn’t be boring. There are many books, figures, and other stuff to see; it’s really exciting and I like to play with people’s mind in that sense. If you were walking around downtown and you walked into a store, would you have any expectations? I want people to come and think, “Superbored, eh? HOW bored is it?” But when they come in, it hits them in the face and it’s actually so interesting.

Some people that go to Superbored will know Angela too, because her name on Facebook had changed to “Angela Superbored”. How has Angela contributed to the success of Superbored?

I think she is a really good sales. We always treat our customers really well and we try to fulfill the customer’s needs. For example, if someone bought something online and I shipped it out to you, it could have gotten lost, but there is no way to prove it. How do you prove it? What would I do? The only thing I can do is to send one more to you. Same with the second time. The most I would ever send something to you is three times. I always put myself in the shoes of the customers – how would I feel if the situation was reversed? We aren’t trying to rip people off for their money. Angela is a really good manager and the customers really like her because she has a really good memory. When a customer comes in, she can remember their name, what they’ve bought, who their friend is and when they came in.

What is the most HYPEd up thing about Superbored?

It’s not boring.


Interview with Angela (Superbored Manager)

The store has been running for almost a year. How have you contributed to the success of Superbored?

I treat my customers as a friend. When they come in I talk to them and I connect with them. A girl came in the other day and I had a talk with her and found out that she goes to UBC. A lot of our regular customers turn into part-timers or friends. When they come, I might ask them some personal questions and if they don’t mind, then it’s all good.

When a customer comes in, what do they usually ask for?

It depends if this is their first time here or not. I usually ask them how they found out about us, whether they saw their friends wearing it or if they saw it on a blog.

What is it usually like?

They usually say that their friends told them about us and I ask them who their friend is.

When was the first time you encountered something from WrongWroks?

In 2007.

What is your all time favourite product of WrongWroks?

I liked this shirt where it was Marge (from the Simpsons) and she’s being grabbed by a giant Mickey Mouse hand. I have kept on to this shirt for a very long time.

Is this shirt still for sale?

No, it’s no longer for sale.

This store has a lot of interesting aspects to it. What is your most favourite part of the store?

I like the polka dots on the windows. When we were making the store, I had a store that was red with white polka dots. White polka dots on a red background look pretty nice so we put it on. Besides, I really like it anyways. With the red, the renovators were really keen on having the ceiling black. They said that having it red was really annoying but we insisted on red. It was really hard to cover the past colours but it turned out great. We ended up using 15 gallons for the red.

Why are you always Superbored?

I love this word a lot. I changed my name on Facebook to “Angela Superbored” because on Facebook, everyone is on it because they are bored to begin with.

What is the most HYPEd up thing about Superbored?

The monster hoody. When you have it on display, it seems pretty normal. You really have to put it on and see yourself in it to understand. You won’t see anything special about it until you actually put it on