ZJ Boarding House

Interview by: Tim Martinez

What year was your store established?
December. It was raining.

How many locations do you have?
We have one location…in Dogtown.

What drove you to want to start a skate shop?
Seemed like a great idea at the time! We grew up surfing and skateboarding and having a chance to be in that business seemed like a dream. Who knew we had to learn about business too! Ha!

What's the most rewarding part of running a skate shop?
Honestly, being a part of the lives of the kids in the neighborhood. Watching and helping the employees, skate team and local kids grow up. I love that part!

What's the biggest challenge of running your store?
Right now it's the economy. Business has really changed lately. Skating is still strong, but people are a lot more careful with their money. I don't blame them, but it's been a challenge.

Do you have a team?
We have an amazing shop skate team. The guys are amazing skaters and a lot of them work in the shop. Noah does a great job running the team.

How do you determine which brands to work with?
It's always a mix of what the local kids want and what we love and want them to see. It comes down to product, the rep, marketing and demand.

How are you involved in your local community?
We are involved in many ways. We run and participate in local contests. We do movie premieres. We sponsor local amateur kids. We donate to a huge number of the local kids and non-profits. We teach kids how to skate. We hire local kids!

What advice would you give to anyone considering opening a skate shop?
Do it because you're passionate about the skate culture, but always be a student of the business. Find mentors. Act with honor.

What would you like the skate community to know about your Shop?
We live and breath skating.

Make sure you check out ZJ Boarding House at SKATE SHOP SHOWCASE event on June 20th in Downtown LA.