Shop Spotlight: Venice Skateboarding Stuff
Welcome back to our ongoing series highlighting the community hubs of stoke that are our retail partners. This time around we are highlighting a longstanding partner that happens to be located just down Venice blvd from Loaded HQ: Venice Skateboarding Stuff.
This year Venice Skateboarding Stuff are celebrating their 25th anniversary, and we couldn't be more honored to be apart of it. VSS was one of the first retail partners for Loaded (some 21 years ago), with founder Don Tashman hand delivering the first editions of Loaded Boards, and owners Ruben and Morena boldly taking a chance on some crazy flexy bamboo longboards. Since then VSS has been a hub in Venice beach, right on the boardwalk near the world famous skate park, for all levels of skaters.
We asked owner Morena a few questions to get to know the history of VSS, what motivates them, and how important family is for the business. Enjoy and cheers to 25 years!
Give me some history on the shop, how'd you start and what drove you to open the shop?
Venice Skateboarding Stuff started in 1998 with my husband and I. What drove us to open a shop was our kids. We wanted to raise our kids and not someone else raise them, so having our own business gave us that opportunity. Skating just fell into place for us. We started off simply selling Vans at Saugus swap meet and soon after opened a shop in Venice on Ocean Front. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. Venice is where skateboarding started as so did our skate shop. Skaters would come in asking for skateboards and taught us each a part of a board and how to build one. We started off with a few brands and soon turned into a full skate shop. Boards from wall to wall and displayed all the way up the ceiling. From old-skool Caballeros, Jay Adams, to popsicle decks, and longboards.
How would you describe your local scene?
Venice is such an open scene, there’s something different going on every day. I love how free people can be and despite it being a little crazy around here, it is home for my family I.
Running an independent shop for 25 years is hard, what keeps you motivated?
It’s crazy to think we have been here 25 years. We stayed standing as a family -my kids, the locals, and the strength to keep strong despite our difficulties. Running two independent shops five blocks of each other is not easy, especially during the winter which is slow season. We are eternally grateful for the locals to be huge supporters and to come together to keep us going. We do our best to keep it alive and also collaborate with the community that has supported us, to empower the youth through skating. Venice and skating is embedded in our family and we stand as one.
If you are skating to grab some food by the shop, where are you going and what are you ordering?
We are either eating some chicken bowls, Peruvian, or Maos [editors note, get the onion pancake], and then skating to Trading Post for some drinks.
Thanks Morena for taking the time to share your story with us and for the many many years of support. Check out Venice Skateboarding Stuff here, or give them a follow @veniceskateboardingstuff. If you here in Los Angeles this weekend, come celebrate VSS' 25 years at the Venice Beach Games on Saturday July 29th for a day full of games, raffles, skate lessons and competitions, and fun.