Creating timeless pieces of art through vintage motorcycles and beautifully curated apparel, Gabrielle Jones sifts through her many passions as she grows One Down Four Up. She remains fierce in her built up arsenal of skills and unapologetically herself in the endeavors to contribute to and build up the motorcycle scene at large.
Breaking down barriers in the business side of an industry that is known for being unforgiving, Gabrielle Jones, co-founder of One Down Four Up, is a testament to the payoff of relentlessly chasing one’s passion. For those unfamiliar with One Down Four Up, Gabrielle and Wayne (her partner in crime) have developed a business that captures a nostalgic, bright, vintage aesthetic in the mediums of moto-themed clothing and vintage bike builds.
Gabrielle granted us the privilege of getting to know a little bit more about her, her business, and what led her to create a life balanced on two wheels. What we found therein was a woman so genuine and driven, that it is no surprise that she has found success in her endeavors.
Tracing us back to her roots, Gabrielle began riding in 2011 in San Francisco. Wayne (her now partner-in-crime) rode his bike from South Carolina all the way to San Fran in search of a graphics design job, but little did he know he would spark a fire in Gabrielle too big to extinguish. After her first ride on the back of his classic Honda, she knew she had to be the one behind the bars. She quickly began the search for the bike that would best encapsulate her personal identity, something raw and beautiful in its shell, but one that still allowed her to experiment with her own hands and infuse her style into. She fell in love with a 1971 Yamaha HT1. It is this motorcycle that has crystallized her love for vintage Yamahas.
Avidly conquering her home terrain, Gabrielle shared that although she struggled through years of anxiety and severe depression, she has discovered a new level of strength and perseverance from the process of learning how to ride. From the countless times of pushing herself to what she recounts as “too far or too hard”, no matter how many tears were shed she never stayed down for too long when it came to her motorcycle.
Her sincere personality and passion for riding came through as she shared with us the story of how she spontaneously befriended another Yamaha-riding girl in the area. Ecstatic to see another woman in her town on two wheels, every whiz of the two-stroke riding by would cause a wide-eyed burst- “Look, Wayne, it’s a girl.. It’s a GIRL”. Occasional sightings, and a few months later would intersect them at a quaint Thai restaurant. Gabrielle eagerly tucked her business card into the seat of the YJ2 and waited for a response. A few hours later, an Instagram post magnetized their relationship. They rode everywhere together and Gabrielle even got the chance to teach her how to work on her own bike.
“It was a huge confidence building moment in my life. I had someone learning from me and willing to learn, just like I had learned from Wayne”.
It was through this experience that Gabrielle learned the strength of the bond built between motorcyclists. She fell in love with the feeling of inspiring other women, and hopes to continue to do so through her work.
A certified Ophthalmic Assistant by trade, Gabrielle balances her day job with the pursuit of her passion in One Down Four Up. Every aspect of the business is developed in the hands of it’s makers. Between Gabrielle and Wayne’s combined wrenching/building skills, her natural knack for math and numbers, his eye for photography and graphics, and her abilities to create upholstery for their vintage builds, One Down Four Up organically became a self-sustaining enterprise.
What their industry has yielded is a body of work that exudes their mission of creating a brand that is clean and timeless, staying true to the aesthetic of the vintage enthusiast. When asked what was next for the brand, Gabrielle replied, “I hope that we can appeal to a broader range of motorcyclist; men and women both. I just want to put out an image that would inspire every type of rider and make them genuinely happy.”
A notable triumph for the One Down Four Up team came with their first win at The One Moto Show in Portland. Since then, they have taken home an award each of the last three years and have been asked to make the trophies for the upcoming show. Her excitement for all things vintage moto is palpable as she recounts the events that thrust this passion project further along.
We inquired as to her advice for women looking to break into the moto-industry. Gabrielle honestly answered, “Start small and work your way into it. I see a lot of people try to go big and blow a bunch of money. It doesn’t always work out. Keep your day job and build your business roots.” She emphasized that remaining realistic has been an asset to keeping their business afloat. She was quick to add, “I don’t view men and women differently, this is advice I would give any person. The only specific thing that I could say to a women would be to be prepared to have your feelings hurt on occasion.” She humorously cited times where people would immediately approach her business partner and fail to acknowledge the possibility that she was an equal partner in the business.
Looking to the future, Gabrielle hopes that One Down Four Up will continue to grow and that their apparel will be carried in more stores in the U.S. and internationally. Having just recently relocated to South Carolina, Gabrielle has been able to take this winter to focus on maintaining and caring for her motorcycles and explore this new terrain.
Her dedication to riding and the development of her business make Gabrielle Jones an obvious embodiment of the core values of DotR, and even more endearing is her genuine personality and effortless nature that make her, and the business she has evolved, relatable and successful within the motorcycle community.