Ask The Expert: How Do I Open Up My Own Skate Shop (And Keep It Open)?

Steve Nesser gets ready for another day of hard work at his shop, Familia, in Minneapolis. photo: DBong


From our November issue, on sale now.

Words by Steve Nesser, pro for The High-Five Skateboards and owner of Familia Skateshop

Starting a shop is something I always wanted to do. I got sparked after years and years of ideas, traveling, meeting shop owners on trips, and also being a part of a strong skate scene in Minneapolis. It took a long time to figure out the things we'd need and to find a location we could afford, and we needed to get a couple people involved who had the same drive and passion for skateboarding. Having friends in the industry helps more than I can explain. Here's what I did to open the doors at Familia in 2006 and what I continue to do to keep it up and running:

Skaters don't always have a lot of money or cars, so your shop's gonna need to be somewhere easy to get to and also in a spot where you will hopefully get walk-by traffic from randoms who will help with your day-to-day sales.

Don't go crazy right off the bat--that's what the mall stores are for. Work tight with some brands in the beginning and see what works for you and listen to all the peeps that come in asking for what they want. Try to push the brands that you believe in and be open at the same time. Offer unique products and create a vibe in the store that will hopefully keep people coming back.

You will need a good skate scene and a little bit of money to throw events to generate hype for what you are trying to do with your store. We usually don’t have issues with getting permits. Most the time all things are smooth and everybody has a good time. We wanna give the kids positive things to be a part of. We just try and do good for the community and give people fun things to do.

Get ready to spend as much time as you can updating, tweeting, and collecting content for your website to keep things fresh and new and let the peeps know what your store's up to.

You’ve gotta have a good crew to make anything work, and I’m so hyped on the one we have! Thanks dudes.

That's the most important thing about having a skate shop.

If you’re ever in Minneapolis, Familia Skateshop is located at: 2833 Hennepin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55408.

Or you can call them at:

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