ROBERT WINDFELDER, 51, of Fishtown, and Stefanie Jolles, 42, of South Philadelphia, are co-owners of Crash Bang Boom on 4th Street near South. The punk boutique, which also offers items on its website, sells clothes, shoes and accessories for men and women. I spoke to Windfelder, who also fronts the rock band Live Not On Evil.
Q: The store used to be on South Street and was called Zipperhead back in the day.
A: We both worked at Zipperhead on South Street and, for the last five years it was there, we owned it. When rent got too high at the end of our lease in 2005, we needed a new location. When we moved, we wanted a new name. Stefanie came up with Crash Bang Boom and we liked the ring.
Q: What's the concept behind Crash Bang Boom?
A: Its roots are punk-rock fashion. We have functional clothing you can wear every day like black combat boots; black, straight-leg jeans; a black, punk T-shirt or black-leather motorcycle jacket. We buy from small, independent designers so we can offer something unique you won't find in a big-box store.
Q: Your customers?
A: They range in age from 5 to 65. We also attract touring bands. As for regular customers, we get young and older females, and in October we get button-down businessmen. Maybe they wanted to be a rock star and get to be one on Halloween. I'd say our customers skew more toward locals than tourists.
Q: What are your most popular items?
A: We design, produce and sell T-shirts and hoodies you aren't going to get anywhere else and aren't generic Philly. Our leather jackets, stuff that's spiked and studded, are made of solid leather that will last for years.
Q: How about cost?
A: T-shirts start at $15 and go up, jeans are $45 to $65. Women's dresses can range from $40 to $80 and leather jackets go from $119 to $139.
Q: What sets Crash Bang Boom apart from other shops?
A: We carry a lot of cut-and-sew clothing from designers like Lip Service, Tripp and Voodoo Vixen. We also carry Special Effects and Manic Panic hair dye. It's popular with everybody from guitar players to nurses and it's not going to damage your hair.
Q: What's been the biggest challenge you faced growing or sustaining the business?
A: The economy, for one, has taught us to operate lean and wise. It's also very important to keep up with what's trending in fashion and music.
Q: How do you and Stefanie divvy up job duties?
A: Stef is the buyer and always has an eye on what's coming around the bend and I tend to be the one who focuses on building websites, doing bookkeeping. The most important thing which we're both involved in is sales and customer service.