There are two types of people in the world. There’s the type that lets life’s often unfortunate twists and turns hold them down, and then there are people who respond to a setback with action, passion, and perseverance. Terry Gockley of Spyt Shyne is the latter.
He’s a man who has learned the hard way that you have to take control of your own future and be ready to step up. Terry works during the week digging ditches as a union laborer. He’s done so for over 20 years. Additionally, he started producing and selling Spyt Shyne after having already built a name for himself in the motorcycle world.
On the weekends, you’ll find Terry at just about any bike show or event on the West Coast. Before Spyt Shyne came to be, Terry sold another line of motorcycle care products. He was such a fixture at various shows and events that he more or less became the face of the brand. At a certain point, the company made a shift and Terry was no longer able to continue to sell their product.
Suddenly, Terry found himself without a product to sell. Without much of a reason to go to the shows and do what he truly loved doing.
A New Beginning
Terry wasn’t without an income. His job as a union laborer kept him busy. He joked that his day job and passion project are basically opposites. “I work in the dirt during the week, and I clean it off on the weekends.”
So, despite not being able to do what he’s passionate about, he was still able to provide for his family. The father of three daughters—two of which are now grown women—Terry still had to think of his 16-year-old daughter and his wife’s well-being.
One evening Terry sat in his living room with a bottle of the product he once sold and asked himself, “I wonder what’s in this stuff anyway?” He decided to find out. What he ended up with was a list of ingredients. Four ingredients.
From there, he worked with a chemist and blender to put together a new product. “I told them what I needed it to do,” Terry said.
Before he could get things off the ground, Terry had an issue. He needed money to kickstart his new venture. With his duties as a father and husband, he didn’t have the extra cash sitting around to get things started.
He was forced to sell one of his prized possessions. A 1995 Eddie Bauer top-trim Ford Bronco. It was a truck that had been in the family since new. Terry didn’t part with it easily. “When they came to get it and paid me, I had to rush into the house because I couldn’t watch it leave.”
With the Bronco sold, and money in hand, Terry was able to get his business off the ground.
What Terry had his chemist come up with was a product with seven components as opposed to four. One of the things he had them put in was real wax. They went through four different iterations of the formula before really hitting it right.
“When I saw the final product in action, I couldn’t believe it,” Terry said.
All the while he was developing the product, he was also developing a name, a logo, and the brand’s image. This is something his 16-year-old daughter helped him on. Terry knew it had to be something catchy and memorable, but he didn’t want it to be stupid or kitschy either.
He settled on the name Spyt Shyne, a grinning skull that’s hard to forget once you see it and a bright orange color that you can’t overlook.
With product in hand and fans from his days selling other products waiting eagerly for him to debut his own product, Terry went back to the biker shows and events. He was met with a lot of enthusiasm.
“I had very conservative expectations, but I couldn’t have the stuff made fast enough.”
Terry’s operation consists of only him. He bottles and labels everything himself in a storage shed after he gets off work from his regular union job. Then, on the weekends, he loads it up himself and heads out to the shows where he spends hours selling Spyt Shyne to guys with dirty bikes and cars.
Terry said the biggest reason he’s doing well is that he has a product that is better than the others out there. He said once people see it work, they buy it.
He’s not just making sales at shows and events either. Terry said he’s getting placed in stores and shops, too. Even some Harley-Davidson dealers have reached out to him to have Spyt Shyne for their showrooms.
Spyt Shyne is more than just a good product, though. It’s the culmination of Terry’s hard work. It’s his enthusiasm and his energy blended up and bottled. The man is on a mission.
That mission is to sell his product, but it doesn’t end there. It’s about him making his mark on the industry and the world. It’s about him setting a good example for his daughters through hard work, dedication, and pure grit. It’s about using the tools, skills, and personality you have to better yourself and change your future. Spyt Shyne is about unmatched passion, and it is a product as good as the man behind the bottle.