After the unmanned Girl Skateboards booth, complete with “I Love ASR” T-shirts, stirred a buzz at the September ASR trade show in San Diego, it didn’t come as much of a surprise to attendees at the January Long Beach ASR show when Girl failed to show up at all.
Instead, Girl decided to have an open house at their office in Torrance-a short fifteen-minute drive from the Long Beach Convention Center. “It was more effective and more our style,” says Girl Team Manager Sam Smyth. “All the distributors were super stoked. Most of them came by anyway, even when we were showing at ASR-so that just eliminated the middleman.”
Girl Distribution’s airy art-gallery-esque office space displayed the Girl, Chocolate, Royal Trucks, and Ruby lines. A lunch buffet kept the visitors content, alongside a TV setup showing classic Girl and Chocolate videos. Megan Baltimore, Andy Jenkins, Sam Smyth, Greg Carroll, and Bob Kronbauer, among other staffers, were all hanging out and meeting with accounts.
Visitors could session the warehouse training facility or be lucky enough to play Brandon Biebel in a game of HORSE on the parking lot basketball hoop.
“Tons of people from skate shops came and skated the park, which they would normally never get to do,” says Smyth. “And I think people also wrote a lot of orders.”
Attending retailers seemed happy. Alan Lusk of Crooks in Riverside, California is supportive: “I think it was the best thing about ASR, being able to go to Girl. It had a relaxed atmosphere, I was able to do walk-throughs, got treated well, got food, and there were pros skating the Girl training facility. All in all, for me, it was great.”
Lizzie Lee from San Francisco’s Purple Skunk agrees. “That was one of the most awesome places I’ve ever been to-as far as feeling comfortable and Stacy (Guy) making us feel comfortable. It was real nice-it made me want to spend money,” she says. “It was real professional but still had a lax atmosphere. We walked through the warehouse and got what we needed, and then Stacy says, ‘Okay, you guys can go skate now’-and she opened up this door to their big warehouse with the skatepark.”
Leave it to Girl, a company known for doing things their way, to find a unique way to get their accounts stoked.