Rattail started having some problems mid 2010 for sure. It got to the point where the work crew was minimized pretty much down to the owners Jon, Jan, & Brian to run things. Brian after being pretty much the face of the company w/ his skating had to actually start to manage his company & start to sell skate to make shit work or the company would fail. Honestly that was just a bad move because that guy can't sell for shit. I'll give him his skating because he can def does that good.
Other things were being done to raise money to help keep rattail afloat by its owners. This is when shima's plan started to come about w/ the push of his gf. The fact is the company is a solid company w/ 4x4, vicious, & nimh. Nimh was the real money for the distribution. Once numbers were drawn up on how the company could sustain itself & make a huge profit this is when the greed started to form. Knowing this could all be possible taken by him if done right a plan was then made. It’s the small things that take place that are done that you don't realize till the end that matter.
So shortly after things at rattail started getting tight the idea Jon, Brian, & Jan came up w/ was to focus their attention on Nimh because it was the money maker of the distribution. If Nimh could rise up again & sell well it would bring 4x4 & Vicious up as well. A new sales person also came into the office to help push the company & drive new sales. Shima at this time decided his plan was he had wanted to move to SF. The problem w/ that was he wanted to bring Nimh w/ him, but he didn't really want to leave any of his company behind. This is when shit started to go bad.
One major thing that separated the 3 owners from their work was shima's gf. Jon & Jan could not stand to be around someone that just waltz into the office & would makes demands to Jon & Jan. She came in like she was this long time rollerblader chick that knew the industry but didn't know shit & didn't even rollerblade. Brian also forgot to mention to his gf that Jon & Jan were also the owners as well. She figured that this was all Brian’s empire. HAHAHA. The second she found out that there were a total of 3 business partners his attitude changed. But the problem was still her. Brian also felt the need to bring her into the office all the time regardless if the others couldn't stand her. This made the others not want to be there & work outside from the rest. But w/ a new sales rep there as a neutral party, shit could still get done.
Things seem to get better w/ the new sales guys pushing for new accounts & selling tons of skates. After shit was getting done this is when the realization that shima was a shitty business man was seen. You can't sell a company because you’re "Brian Shima". I know some of you will disagree, but do you think the buyers @ dicks or play it again sports or big online sport websites know who Brian shima is. NOPE. They go by numbers & company info. Maybe in 2000 that would have worked. But regardless of the positive outcome, shima had already had a plan that would just wait to be released. The first real attack was really shitty.
With about 50k in V2's in the warehouse something had to been done so new skates could come in. The new sales rep had a great plan to get all the skates sold quickly, but that wouldn't work w/ shima's hidden plan. Instead shima decided it would be better to take the entire inventory rattail had & give to a second party to help distribute for rattail. So he got a U-Haul truck one morning before the Jon & Jan got to the warehouse & took everything. This was done by him w/o everyone agreeing to this. This also meant that no more sales could be made from rattail until the new skates arrived. The answer to this so called action from shima was he was sick of looking at all the old skates & now there out of the way. But the company still didn't have the money for that product until it was sold by the other party. Makes no sense if you think about it. Instead of discounting a great product for more shops to get Nimh into Brian had his own plan. It’s shitty to because it seems Brian could care less about the little shops. Like the mom & pop or core shops that were around.
At this point when our remaining stock was sent to this 2nd party the game plan was to really push the new skates. We still had a lot of the old stock to push so I thought though. Shima’s arrangement w/ the 2nd party as told to Jon, Jan, & I was that the skates are on consignment, but if we sold anything the 2nd party would ship them out for us, basically acting as a distributor for us. At first I thought this was great but I found out shit wasn’t. The second the skates left the warehouse I had already made a bunch of sales. So acting on shima’s agreement w/ the other party I would call them to let them know of the sales. Seems the other party was unaware of this agreement. After trying to make sales & get shit sorted the new agreement w/ this 2nd party was that shima was to handle the orders. I would have to email him the orders made & he would get the product released for the other party. Seemed weird but hey whatever it takes to make Nimh money. But when that wasn’t going right I started to question things. After talking to the owner of this other party the truth final came out. That the agreement w/ shima & them was that the skates were on consignment only & that rattail was not able to sell any of those products or to use them as a distributor. It seemed strange that someone would just let $50k in skates go like that without trying to make that money for themselves. Regardless we moved on worrying about the new skates coming to the warehouse in a few weeks. Around this time is when shima had made it clear that he wanted the company for himself & would do anything to take it. Jon & Jan were shocked that this came about & talked w/ shima to see what could come about & how shit could be resolved.
At this point shit got bad. With no old stock to sell & shima pulling money out of rattail’s account on a weekly to daily event shit dried up fast. The new product was going to be the main source of income to push for the new line to come out in December. What people need to realize about Jon is that as long as Rattail existed he never took any money made w/ that company. Everything he ever did was from GC. Shima would consistently use the money. So as time got closer w/ for the skates to come the guns were drawn & shima drew first blood. He served Jon & Jan w/ papers suing them for Nimh, 4x4, & Vicious. Not Rattail but just the companies. The reason he was doing this was because he wanted the companies & not the debt that came w/ Rattail. He figured that the loans were for Jon & Jan to keep & not him. Not only did this come at them, but someone else got involved w/ things. Shima’s mom started to go after Jon. It seems shima borrowed money from his mom to help Nimh at one point. She felt that Jon should have to pay her back for the loan, not Brian. So with all of this going on the skates finally came in to the warehouse to get money back & hopefully fix things.
With the new skates coming shortly many things were going on at Rattail. First we were trying to figure out WTF was going on with the video. Brian’s answer was that there were problems w/ merging the different video formats & that’s what was taking so long. The footage was done moths before this point mind you. Also Jon, Jan, & Brian were trying to some to a solution on how to work out things with the companies. A great solution was for Shima to take Nimh & Jon & Jan to take 4x4 & Vicious & they go there ways. This would be done after the new skates were gone so the money can be split properly & both can fund there new projects. Other scenarios were being worked out between lawyers to come to a fair agreement.
Soon enough the skates came into the warehouse & it was time to get these things cleared out so shit could be sorted between the owners & the standing of the companies. Unfortunately there was a shortage of the Oli skates that came to the US. The order was for 180 skates which only about half of that came. This cause a huge problem for all the shops that pre-book there skates. After going over the orders & seeing what the inventory was my best solution was to shorten everyone’s orders by a few skates allowing all the shops to get some Oli’s rather than none. Especially because some shops pre-sold skates & both Shima & I promised skates to almost all shops. I had brought up this idea up w/ Jon & Jan as well & the idea was good to make all the shops happy. But when it came time to break the pallets down Shima GF came to the warehouse to “help out”. This forced Jon & Jan to not want to be back in the warehouse because of the conflict she brought to the table with her presence.
After telling Shima what the plan was to do for accommodating all the shops w/ a few Oli’s to please most, he began to argue with me about how the orders were to be done. His main concern was the big shops that ordered a large quantity of skates & they would get what there order was. He felt they spent the most with Nimh & would get priority over the other shops regardless of who had their pre-orders in first. This pissed me off bad. He continued to say he called all the shops & told them of the shortage & how they would not get skates because of the situation. The funny thing about that is when I had called the shops about 30 mins before he got to the office about the shortage, no one had known about this. What a fucking liar. I tried to explain that the smaller shops that are core shops & are what keep things alive in these small town or cities is where we all came from & what keeps rollerblading alive. He didn’t give a fuck. All he saw was how to make the most money from this order & not the business relationships he had with people. After many words exchanged with Brian & his GF (who though she had some power to join in on the conversation), shit really started to hit the fan. Thankful his GF left leaving just Brian & I to sort out the skates.
After opening up skate boxes to check quality control we noticed something had happened w/ the white shamans. We all freaked out, Brian especially. It had looked that possible the whole order of skate might have had to be sent back due to an error w/ manufacturing. Shima became so upset that he ran out off the warehouse & cried his ass off in a park nearby. He spent hours there while Jon & me sorted out the problem & realized that shit was all good. We had a solution & fixed it. It took Jon & me hours & hours, skate by skate to check everything & send shit out. Yep it was Jon & me, not Shima. We busted our asses to make sure people got there orders & things are done right & took care of the small shops as well.
At this point in time getting the skates cleared out so we could bring a Montre skate in for the holidays was a goal regardless of the outcome of the company’s owner turnover. I pushed the white shaman’s everyday to old & new shops all over. This was the only inventory rattail had at the time. Things between Brian, Jon, & Jan seemed to go up & down as the days went. For a while everything seemed to be in limbo. Jon had even confronted Brain about what was going on, especially the shit about Brian's mom suing Jon. Shima’s answer was that she was suing him as well for the money that was borrowed by Brian. HAHA, Brian’s own mom was suing her son. BULLSHIT. He would sit there & say he didn’t know anything & didn’t want to talk or work shit out between friends & business partners. But behind Jon & Jan’s back Brian started to make moves. Shima started to clean the bank account for rattail from all the new skates that came in. It was just shortly after that that Brian went to took all the money, closed the account down & started a new one using him as the only person on the company. He was able to do this being slack & sneaky. Back when Rattail was formed many years again on a drunken night in Jan’s apartment. Brian, Jan, & Jon all did there corporate papers. It was all a joke to them at the time because they were all young. So when they named there places in the company they made Brain Shima – CEO, Jon Elliott – CFO, & Jan Welsh – Secretary. So when Brian went to the bank he was able to convince the bank manager that Jon & Jan were no longer with the company & because he was the CEO he closed the account & reopened a new account as the sole proprietor. Sounds super shady. But if you think about it sounds about right for him. This also made us think about the old inventory that was on “consignment”. Because Rattail never got a check for months & it seems weird that not one skate was sold in that time. But now it would make sense because any agreement made with Brian & this other party could now work better. Brain could now cash any checks that were in his name only for the skates. Things started to unravel fast behind Shima’s plans.
With everything going bad for Rattail, but mostly Jon & Jan personally they still stuck by the company because it’s everything they put into it for their love of rollerblading. But there were only so many things that could be done. We still sold skates to shops hoping things would change, but all was lost within a few days.
Brian waited till it was a Monday to strike a heavy blow. He knew Bedouin was closed this day & no one would be around to go in the shop. I had called Jon that morning to tell him to meet me over there so I could sell some skates. He told me not to worry about it & to take the day off & get on it the next day (Tuesday). Maybe 2 hours after that conversation Jon had to go to the warehouse & talk to the landlord about a rent check that Brian bounced on him. After getting there he noticed something had happened while they were away. Jon immediately called me flipping out. Either early in the morning or late Sunday night after the store front closed, Brian went to the warehouse & loaded up every skate & Rattail product around. This included the business computer, shipping scale, samples, EVERYTHING. He then brought everything over to he’s moms house to store it for the time being. Since this happen Brian has not been around San Diego much. No one as seen him or heard from him. There was a few emails sent to all the shops after the skates disappeared from the warehouse that told all shop owners that Jon & Jan were no longer with Rattail or NIMH, 4x4, or Vicious, & not associate with them. If any shop owners had concerns that there were to contact Brian Shima only for anything. Email signatures from Shima changed from “Brian Shima” to Brian Shima – CEO”. His plan to start his new company was started now. Brian has teamed up with a financial backing partner to help him w/ the funds of his new company. So is Shima Skate Manufacturing a 100% owned company? NO. He will again just be the guy skating around while others do the work on selling his skates.
This story is what has happened over the months of June till holiday time. You can think what you want of what I said but it is all true. I was there to see it & hear it from either Brian, Jon, & Jan. I’ve read emails from Brian, legal letters, & everything else there was to know what the fuck happened. So if you want to support a company that was started with blood money, go for it. Nimh was awesome. Support companies that do well for the community.