Interview by Jeremy Townsend
Photos by Andy Roulston
Video by Anthony Rowe
Stacy, who are you and why did you open a Rollerblade shop?
I’ve been rollerblading since the 1990s, and I have been a skating instructor since 2003, so it has been a part of my life for a long time. In 2004, I discovered freestyle slalom skating. That really opened my eyes to a whole new world of things that were possible on skates, but it was hard to find good skates for that purpose. When the Seba brand was introduced they were the first skates specifically designed for freestyle skating, and I wanted to help make them available in the US.
I launched Skate Crazy at skatecrazy.net in 2008 as an online store that specialized in the Seba brand. That was going really well, but I knew it was time to start expanding. Then last fall I met Leon Basin, who owns Shop/Task up in Canada, and he really encouraged me to open up a shop. He had done the same thing – started online, before opening his first shop – and felt that having a store was a valuable step to take for building the business and connecting with skaters. A few months later an opportunity came along for the space I’m in and all the pieces fell into place.
SeattleSkaters are very excited about the shop opening. You’ve been open about a month now. How are things going? What’s your focus/goals for the shop in the future? Have you faced any complications thus far?
Things are going really well so far. Lots of people have been stopping in to check things out, and as you say, everyone is very excited to have a shop in Seattle again. It’s been a long time since they have had a chance to see things in person or try on skates before making a purchase. I really want the shop to be a place that can help support and build the rollerblading community. The shop is sponsoring local events such as ‘Beat The Chump’ etc. There is a bulletin board where people can post about events or meetups, and I’m meeting and talking to lots of different people so I can help make connections and spread the word about things that are going on. I also want to expand the brands and products that I have available, but that is a process as I get feedback from the community about what they want. I can’t say I’ve faced any huge complications. It’s a lot of work, and there are always challenges to be dealt with, but it is coming along better than I’d expected!
Being new to the aggressive community as a slalom skater how are things going?
I’m really amazed how welcoming the aggressive community has been. Leon Basin has been great, giving me loads of help and advice, and of course, Jeremy Townsend, the photos and publicity you, and Andy Roulston, and Anthony Rowe have given have been huge. The rollerbladers here in Seattle have been spreading the word, and have been very patient with my lack of knowledge. I definitely have a lot to learn about the aggressvie world, especially about the skates, all the different brands and parts, what things people like, all that, but I’m working on it! I learn more every day.
You’re the face of the shop but I’m sure you’ve had help along the way? If so, would you like to share and thank any individuals?
Of course, there is no way I could have done this on my own, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of everyone who has helped me along the way. First off is my husband, John, who has supported this crazy adventure every step of the way. Skate Crazy would not exist without his willingness to let me take this gamble. Naomi Grigg shares the space we rent, and put in a ton of work to help make the shop a success. And also puts up with me. I’ve already mentioned Leon, who has mentored me through this process. He is an all-around great guy, as is Taylor Ritchie, who came down with Leon for the opening, and did a lovely video of that event. Trish Alexander and Jeremy LaCivita have helped support and promote Skate Crazy from day one. The physical work on the shop was largely managed by Tom VV, who practically lived in the space for a while, with very generous help from Naomi, John, Stephen, Julian, Dan and Stephanie.
Anything special you’d like to say to potential customers? Add anything else to this interview that wasn’t asked that you think is important?
Come visit the shop, I look forward to meeting all of you! And let me know what you want. I want to carry the gear that you want to have, so just drop me a line at email@example.com if there is something in particular you are looking for!