Rockaway’s underground entrepreneurs: business owners with the skills and vision to adapt an idea to uncommon challenges!
The Rockaway Advocate went out and investigated unconventional small business practices in Rockaway — people who don’t need a storefront or a standard working environment to build and sustain a successful business. These are Rockaway’s underground entrepreneurs: business owners with the skills and vision to adapt an idea to uncommon challenges, and create a product or service that resonates with people in Rockaway.
In a small community, if you lead with integrity, and your product is good, you will find success.
Far Rock Shop, with the iconic A train “A” logo, creates apparel to build community. It’s a family business founded by Rockaway native Phil Groves and his brother. The goal for Groves was to help create and help bring out the culture of Far Rockaway — he wanted to build an iconic image for people to come together under, the way Brooklyn’s orange and blue has become symbolic. Groves says that the name “Far Rock” comes from listening to people in the area: “we’ve heard ‘sixth borough’, ‘Far Rock, America’…people out here look at Rockaway as bigger than it might be, and we want to magnify that perspective”.
The business launched in 2016 out of Phil’s basement, with the goal that it would spread organically and foster a community — that people would “have to do some research to find out about us” or hear by word of mouth. After envisioning the brand, Groves connected with Brooklyn apparel company Twnty Two, and later on with Bronx-based Final Piece Productions to bring the designs to life. In 2017, they launched an Instagram account, and the demand for the product just keeps growing. Far Rock Shop recently joined the Rockaway Business Alliance, and frequently appears at pop-up markets around the area.
More on this story by Rockaway Advocate’s Gabby Preston here: