Interview: Ashley Charles & Relic BMX

bmx trails dirt jumping

Call me jaded, but having lived through the mid to late 2000s era of every schmo who had ever swung a leg over a twenty inch starting a BMX company, I generally don’t get too excited when I hear about a new brand being launched. There have been a few exceptions though, and hearing that UK legend Ashley Charles was starting his own brand was one of them. It’s been a little over a year and a half since Ash launched Relic BMX, and in that time their line has slowly and thoughtfully grown to include two stems, a sprocket, bars, a railed (yes railed!) seat and post, and a collection of softgoods. Their products have a classic aesthetic to them that I personally find to be quite appealing. When it was announced earlier this summer that Clint Reynolds would be riding for Relic, I knew I had to shoot some questions over to Ash to find out more about how the brand came to be and where it was heading…

Interview By Jon Saunders

Getting right into it, what made you want to start a BMX brand?

Just the simple fact of not really being into many of the brands that were around at the time, feeling that I wanted to contribute back to something that has given me so much for the past 20 plus years.

bmx trails dirt jumping

Counter Sprocket

What was the inspiration behind the name?

My wife actually said the name Relic when we were trying to think of a good name. As soon as she said it I knew it was perfect and fit with what I wanted to do with the brand.

Elect Stem

Elect Stem

What have been some of the challenges so far?

I would say experiences more than challenges. Things always work out how they are supposed to, and for me it’s about trying to treat all situations the same, it’s only yourself that can make something more stressful than it needs to be.

Relic BMX Void Bars

Void Bars

Parts-wise, everything that Relic has made so far has sold out pretty quickly. Has that surprised you?

I guess I knew there was a market for what we are trying to do that wasn’t being catered to, so I wasn’t really surprised, if that doesn’t sound too naive! We also haven’t thrown it in peoples faces, and I think that has helped create interest in itself. A lot of BMX has turned into consumer culture these days and that is something that I never buy into in any aspects of my life. Just because someone tells you something doesn’t make it so. We want people to find us of their own accord and because they want to.

Relic BMX Eon Stem

Eon Stem

When do you expect to have more stuff in stock?

We just got a delivery of all our new hard goods and it is going out to all our dealers right now.

Relic BMX Choice Slim Seat

Choice Slim Seat

Any plans for the brand or future products you’d be keen to let us in on?

We are still small and growing slowly, just taking things as they come at the moment. We’re enjoying what we have achieved already and trying to stay in alignment with our values and goals.

bmx trails dirt jumping

Choice Post

Aside from you, who else is involved with running Relic?

I take care of all the main operation of the brand. Art direction is all done by my good friend Aron Leah and all our CAD work is done by another good friend of mine, Ollie Stewart. Both of them are from the UK and have been a huge part of getting us to this point!

Relic BMX Ouroboros Hoodie

Ouroboros Hoodie

You recently added Clint Reynolds to the team, how did that come about?

Happy to say pretty naturally. After moving to Austin 18 months ago we have been riding together a bunch, and as anyone that knows him can attest to he is a sweet dude. Of course he is incredible on a bike but more than that he fits the brand.

bmx trails dirt jumping

Creation Shirt

You’re originally from the UK but are now living in Austin, Texas. What brought on the move?

I have been living in the states for just over 5 years now. Originally, I was in Long Beach and then we moved to Austin because my wife was gonna go to school down here.

bmx trails dirt jumping

Heirloom Shirt

Where can people pick up Relic’s products?

In the US; at Empire, Seattle BMX, Goods, Herb Bauer, Circuit BMX, Backdoor BMX. Internationally, in the UK through 4down Distribution, Japan through ZEN Distribution and Australia through Selekt Distribution.