With one of their first-ever gifted e-bikes, Vaughn Lowery envisioned an intuitive tribe of sustainability, fabricating an internal micromobility system. Instead of throwing away the previous unit, we partnered with Good Vibe Gliders to design a bespoke version which has travelled all over North America as a symbol of ecology. It reminds us all to maintain carbon neutrality.
- What is your main source of passion that led to creating custom-designed artistic scooters?
I’ve always had a creative spirit that most likely stems from my mom, who was an event and party decorator. In my late teens, I worked for the costume shop at the Gaslight Theatre in Tucson, AZ. Around that same time, my dad gifted me with his 1977 El Camino Classic. I loved TV shows like Overhaulin’ and Pimp My Ride. Naturally, I started spending time customizing my El Camino with my Dad, creating custom upholstery at the costume shop. I rocked blue-tinted glasses all the time and wore my hair all funky. It was cool that I had parents who let me figure myself out in that way. I never felt impeded. But then I went to college and life changed from muscle cars to academia. While in college, my design eye flourished. My frat room was a pretty ridiculous sight to see. The room and loft resembled all the colors featured on a Buzz Lightyear. My room was Star Command, complete with black and white checkered tile, cosmic blue walls, bright orange curtains, red trimming, clouds on the roof, and of course, glow-in-the-dark stars. It was just cool.
I was always out there with the things I wanted to do, and it was cool that I found a way to do them.
- What motivated you to focus on scooter products rather than another form of transportation?
The reason for the electric scooter is a direct result of my experience at camping festivals. At the first-ever Good Vibe Getdown (the company name is a forever homage to this festival), I set up my camp way too far from everybody else. Although it was the most beautiful spot onsite (right on the banks of Apache Lake) it took FOREVER to walk back and forth. A bicycle wouldn’t work because you still have to exert energy and I was not about that life. So, I thought of the most effective form of transportation at a camping festival: an electric scooter. I bought an e-scooter and decorated it entirely in jewels. When we got to Good Vibe 2 that next year, I didn’t even get to ride it. It was a smashing success. I remember seeing grown men fight over the chance to ride it next. That’s when I realized, “Wow, people are loving this. No one has ever really seen anything like this before.” My Gliders are fun, exaggerated, over-the-top, extra in every way, shape, & form, and instantaneously make you the center of attention. That’s crazy. You honestly can’t help but be the center of attention when a scooter looks like that. Put a Good Vibe Glider next to a regular scooter, and the answer is simple.
Lastly, there’s an element of luck to which I give credit. It turned out to be perfect timing to start decorating scooters because no more than a year later, rideshare scooters started popping up all over my city. I didn’t start GVG because of the scooter trend. I started GVG because it helped direct my creative energy in a positive way, and soon I had a fleet and started helping my friends run their festivals more efficiently.
- What was the first festival where you chose to implement the gliders and why did you choose that specific one?
Good Vibe 2 is where I had my ah-ha moment, but Good Vibe 3 was full-on intentional. I designed and created one Glider for the festival coordinator and made two more Gliders for the festival attendees to glide around on. I even built a charging station in the middle of the desert so that when the batteries got low, riders would pull up and plug in their scooters. It was very cool to see my vision come to life: homies helping homies hold it down, faster, stronger, and more efficiently.
- How did your past design experience help you succeed in producing these Good Vibe Gliders?
As you know, I’ve always had it in me. My early work at the Gaslight Costume Shop, helping produce costumes and props was pivotal. I had great direction and instruction from two of the best designers in the business, MaryAnne and Renee. Most of my designer confidence came out of working with them.
- How have Festival Event staff and Coordinators reacted to their use of gliders?
Simple: they lose their freakin‘ minds. They can’t get enough of it. If they didn’t understand it before they definitely understood it after. It’s cool being the guy with the electric scooters because there are so many instances at a festival where you need to get somewhere quickly. So many situations – medical assistance, needing to find somebody or lost equipment. Other times, equipment needs to be transported long distances without access to a truck. I’ve been able to directly help those folks just by having a scooter present. There was this one stagehand at Juniper Jam who said, “Seriously, I don’t ever want to do another festival without one of these things. Can you go talk with my boss please?”
- Do you have any plans to expand your market for these scooters? And if so, how will you do so?
If you’d asked me this about five months ago, my answer would have been much more different. Because of the virus, the hospitality industry took a huge hit and people are definitely not riding electric scooters like they used to. These days GVG has naturally expanded into accessories. Not long after I made my first Glider did people start asking me to bedazzle and theme other stuff, as well. By no means are we leaving the bedazzled PEV market, that’s our bread and butter. However, I also consider us lucky to have an alternative direction to pivot. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well-received my Good Vibe Shine Goggles have been. Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Winner George Clinton even rocks a pair.
- Do you work with or have any plans to work with any non-profit, community service, or charity organizations?
More than ever, we are willing to work with community and charity organizations to help make an impact on the lives of others. Last month, we sponsored a 24-hour Virtual Festival fundraiser featuring 24 DJs, 8 live artists, and 4 workshops. Our fundraiser achieved over $1,500.00.
Earlier this year, Sprinkles (the 360 Glider made by Good Vibe Gliders) lent a helping hand at the AIDS Walk Arizona 2020. My neighbor Nancy is one of the event coordinators and was amazed by Sprinkles! Right before the event, Nancy sprained her knee and was scheduled to undergo surgery the following week. She was depressed about the situation and bummed to think she wouldn’t be of much use at the event. However, once we offered her the Glider, her frown turned upside down and she killed it. She still thanks me to this day.
- What would you say is the greater purpose of selling these glider products?
Generating pure happiness. What’s most amazing to me is that we have a product that genuinely creates happiness in the minds of the rider. It’s something I see every time, whether the scooter belongs to you or not. The first time you sit on a Glider, the next 15 seconds of your life is bliss. You forget about absolutely everything. The rider smiles uncontrollably, scootin’ and zippin’ around, like, “oh my gosh, I totally forgot how awesome scooters are!” They are childlike once again, if only for a few moments, and that’s unbelievable to me. In every project, our goal is to produce something the customer won’t just like, but something they will love.
- How did you assemble your team of glider creators together?
Most of my co-creators stem from the amazing group of artists I met during the Good Vibe Getdown years. These guys & gals are creative juggernauts, powerhouses at their trade, and a driving force that can’t be stopped. I quickly realized the more I worked with other artists, the better my final product would be. Soon, other artists started taking interest. I would bring a Glider with me almost everywhere I went. Artists saw what I was doing and often would say, “Oh – you’re weird and unique; Here’s what I do, I bet we can collaborate together.” And just like that, I create friends. My products are generating work for local artists with tangible, green-in-their-pocket work. So as sales began to pick up and people started trusting the GVG brand, I could keep my artists happy based on the rate I charge my clients. Collaboration is now baked right into our business model. More so, I really like showcasing other artists. I want to show people what they can do – and if you like their work, you can work with them specifically to design yourself a custom Glider.
- Are these scooters just meant for festivals or are any other parties interested in buying them?
Our Gliders are made for any reason at all. We cater to large events because of our festival roots, but your Glider can be absolutely anything you want it to be. We love getting wild, so go wild! Scooters are no longer fringe transportation; people use them all the time so it’s much easier to pitch a decorated scooter to just about any industry and event. Gliders are perfect for expos, conventions, street fairs, tailgates, food trucks, personal use, business marketing, festivals & production, sports & teams, schools & clubs, weddings & gifts, restaurant & service industry, festivals & production, fairgrounds, business retreats, birthdays, schools & church, parties, etc.
On a personal note, back in November, I was married to my best friend, Addie. Our wedding was three days long, hosted at the base of the Bulldog Buttes at Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch. That place is gorgeous, and sprawling. Hands down, the most incredible weekend of my life! But I can tell you this: without a doubt, if we didn’t have the Gliders there, many things would not have worked out. The unexpected need to get from one side of the property to the other was anticipated, but little did I know these Gliders would play such a major role in getting us out of some tight situations.