Griplocked started off as an attempt to clean up and improve a local course, Audubon DGC located in Garland, TX. Trash had become a real problem that no one was trying to solve. It didn't help that the city had removed the trash cans for some reason. Myself and friends would play casual rounds trying to pick up as much trash as we could, but it was a mess. The more we picked up, it seemed the more people littered.
Eventually I got tired of it and emailed and called every single city official working in the parks department until I got through to someone who said they could help. It was only a few days later there was a trash can at every single hole.
A few more nudges I was able to meet with the parks director. We discussed changes and updates that could be made to the park, primarily replacing the aging DGA Mach II that were in rough shape at the time with Innova Discatchers.
Originally there were no plans to open a store but with the improvements to the course surging forward, and my lack of desire to have a "real" job, I spent whatever savings I had and threw caution to the wind and purchased 25 discs from all the big manufacturers except Innova, as they required a brick and mortar store to be a dealer of theirs, so I purchased them at retail prices online. This was a sizable investment for me at the time as I had very little savings and even less experience in direct retail sales.
I sold out of my trunk at local events and to supportive friends but it wasn't anything booming. I spent weeks trying to sell my measly 100 discs or so while I'd see people online selling thousands of the same discs at prices I thought were gouging.
I decided a storefront was the next step and I wanted it near the course. A strip center across the street had a location that was vacant so I called to lease it out. I went through the application process and a few days later I was told it was already leased, but over the next several months no one moved in. I called every week for an update and was always told the same thing, but no one moved in and to this day the space is vacant.
That's when I reached out to a game store in the same strip center. They had a large space and a lot of it went unused during the pandemic preventing their customers from organizing in groups. I approached them about sub-leasing, something I still didn't fully understand. I was met with open arms from real people who shared many of the same values I do. They provided support, feedback, and advice over the next several months while I grew this dinky little corner into an inventory of over 6,000 items (and still growing!).
Griplocked is still a small business struggling to keep the lights on, but there are no compromises with this disc store. We take great pride in making sure every disc gets the attention it deserves. Every disc gets photographed, weighed, and individually labeled with each label getting dusted with chalk to prevent that nasty residue. Every order has it's discs individually bagged and we include the best quality stickers in every shipment.
We've returned over 1,000 discs (as of 5/17/2021) from the Audubon return bin we installed, donated over 1,000 free discs to new players and juniors and we now host one of the largest minis in the area where we're finally in a position where we can pay out more than we take in.
Below is pictured the very first disc I ever opened as a dealer. It's not for sale. :D