Colony‘s always been a great company to work with and I have a lot of respect for Clint Millar who owns and operates the brand. I recently hit him up with some questions concerning Colony, his own riding and the Australian scene as a whole.
First off, name, age, where are you from?
Clint Millar, I am 36 years old & I am from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
What are your roots in BMX? How’d you get sponsored and start traveling, etc.
I have had a BMX bike since I was about nine years old, so that was 1983. I just rode around did skids, did little jumps off gutters & the like. It wasn’t until 1988 that I discovered you could actually do tricks as such. I travelled to the states for my first time in 1995 & became hooked on travel ever since. Ever since I started, I rode purely for the fun of it & being sponsored wasn’t even an option in my mind. That is until the mid ’90’s when I had various Australian distributor flow deals, which was the Australian version of a pro deal at the time. My first real major sponsor was wethepeople while at the 2000 worlds in Cologne, Germany. I rode for WTP for about 7 years & even was blessed with a signature frame, the Millar Lite. That was one of my biggest achievements in my riding career & for me, one I will always be thankful to WTP for. I rode for WTP up until it was apparent that I needed to go it alone when Colony started to become much more than a little side project. Nowadays, I wouldn’t consider myself a pro rider but I still get out there & have fun with it all. I guess that’s what it’s all about hey?
What is Colony?
Colony is the the combination of my life’s dedication to BMX & all that it has brought me. It is something that I feel very strongly about & feel very privileged to be a part of BMX for more than half of my life. Colony is my life now through & through.
What makes Colony different than every other company out there and what is the image you try to convey to your customers?
Colony is a brand that strives to make good, clean, high quality products that will cater to a large customer base & styles of riding. As for image we strive for? We’re Australian & I want to promote what Australian riders have to offer & what we’re all about. Just having fun on our bikes & not taking things too seriously.
What’s the Colony team like at this point? Is it a big deal to sponsor well known Americans as well as all your Aussie guys or do you think the brand can thrive off of just Australian pro’s?
For far too long Australian riders have always been over looked by the industry here. There is a good strong market here, yet the industry I felt, has not been very supportive of the local riders. Things are changing in recent years but mainly because of what we have been doing. We were the first Australian based brand to pay Australian riders monthly salaries, travel budgets & royalties on signature products. Something I am very proud of. We soon will be getting the pro guys on the team private health insurance as well. So in short, I just want to look after riders here in Australia first before I go looking for any major US riders. Plus I just haven’t had the right rider come along yet. I am very happy with the guys on my team right now. I could not wish for a better crew of riders. Road trips are always so much fun. We’re all great friends & there is no drama at all between anyone.
Describe the Australian BMX scene to someone reading this that has never been there.
The scene here in Australia I feel, is the strongest BMX scene in the world. Out of all the places I have travelled to around the world, we have the best & biggest scene of any country. I mean for the amount of population we have here (only about 22 million) we have the highest number of riders per capita. You can go to any small town, suburb in almost every corner of the country & see riders everywhere. The array of riders are also very varied from your contest killers, to pure street guys, trail riders, park riders, flat landers & even a handful of vert riders in the mix. We have a very strong & emerging BMX industry here as well.
There have been a bunch of different Australian BMX companies popping up lately even though I believe Colony was the first. What are your thoughts on that?
Yeah we were the first to get out there on any international level. I am stoked to see there are a bunch of other brands popping up. It just means that the scene here is alive & well. If I am the one to show them all that it is possible to focus on Australian BMX & take it to the world then that’s great. You got brands like Pilgrim, The Set & Tempered who are getting out there around the world & then you have a few more home based brands like Nightfall & Flatline who are doing it for the Australian scene.
My focus with Colony is to support riders here in Australia so that they may have a chance to earn somewhat of a living from BMX here. As big as our BMX scene is here, support for riders has always lacked. This is something I feel very strongly about & want to change the industry here in that regard. It has already started to happen with other companies having to step up & give the riders the support they deserve, which is great.
Are you happy when you see Australian guys start living in California or Greenville or does part of you wish they’d stay in Australia and help grow the scene out there? Does an Aussie pro these days need to move to American to make a real living at BMX or is it possible to do it back home at this point?
Nah I have no issue with that at all, they gotta go over there to make any decent money. That’s just a fact of life. The population base here is just a little too small for the guys to stay here & live off riding 100%. The larger corporate companies here like energy drinks, shoe brands, clothing brands just need a little kick start to get things going like they should be. I am hoping with more hard work, we will be able to get it to that stage one day though.
How has riding changed for you since you started Colony and what role does it play in your life these days?
Oh yeah… Back in 2005 I was like, Yeah I will start a little parts brand, that will be cool. It won’t take much work & I will be able to ride heaps still. How wrong was I? haha Starting Colony was the best thing I have ever done in my life but it also meant that my riding would suffer due to the amount of dedication needed to make Colony work. I am OK with it though, cause I have been riding for over 23 years now & have had a good run. My days aren’t over yet by any means but just slowed down a gear or two.
Yeah I would like to thank anyone that has ever supported Colony by either buying one of our products, riding with us or simply being down with what we’re about. I would like to thank my team riders all over Australia & the planet, you guys all rule. I would like to thank Cooper Brownlee & Glen McLaughlin for being such kick ass employees. Thanks to all our distributors around the world & the shops that carry our products. I would like to thank all the websites & magazines that show us love. I would like to thank Mark Mathews-Frederick for doing all our CAD work, thanks mate. I would like to thank all my family for being supportive & my wonderful wife, Niki. Thanks to The Come Up for this interview as well. Yo yo !!