As Phoenix am falls into the past and all the great times and chaos become faded, an experience still stands out in my mind. That experience is my visit to Cowtown...and I mean the shop not a weird farm spot or something like that. The shop was killer...definitely a place I could go broke and staff was welcoming. I decided "hey why not rep the folks who do a bunch for the local scene on the blog." And here we are. Photos don't do the shop justice, but I tried, and the interview scratches the surface of good folks. Hell yea for your local shop!!
C: How long ago did the shop open?
J: Trent and ED opened the first Cowtown in downtown phoenix in 1996. The first store used to be inhabited by a boot repair shop. the sign in the window was cool looking so they kept the name... "Cowtown" The local street skating scene was strong, and the first customer base was just a large tight circle of friends. It was the first skateboarder owned and operated shop in town.Glendale shop opened a year later and Laura became a partner. Ed, Trent and Laura were all main figureheads in the local skate scene for many years prior to the opening of the shops.
C: How deep is the team that runs the store?
J: Deep. All of Cowtown's employees and team are part of an extended local family of skateboarders. most have been raised in and around the shop and by the local independent skate scene most of their lives.
C: You guys have quite a bit of square footage. Has the store always been as big as it is?
J: The first shops were much smaller. We stayed in the same building, but eventually ended up leasing bigger spaces.
C: I have seen on your web site you guys do some collaborations with artists. Could you talk to us a bit about that?
J: Most of the artist collaborations come naturally, from just working with our friends. The local skate scene has always been intertwined with local art and music. We have been known to have periodic skate art and photography shows.
C: How do you guys help/work with the community?
J: Laura is one of three people credited with getting Arizonans first public free skate park. She, Damon Alire, and Dan Shircliff got the ball rolling with concert/contest fundraisers, and many city council meetings. After the first park was built, the others just fell in line. Those early contest fundraisers were called "The Worlds Greatest shows", and set the building blocks for what would later be Phx Am. We still work closely with our friends, and local communities to throw local contests, demos, video premieres, art shows etc.We also stay close to our locals, offering help, advice, or any spare parts we may have to help keep them rolling, and hopefully in the right direction.
C: Thoughts on how to keep business strong?
J: We just try to be nice to everybody, keep our stores stocked,stay inspired, and stay active! Good Karma helps:)
C: You have multiple locations all in AZ. Ever thought of getting out of state?
J: Az is our home. Well probably just keep holdin' it down locally for now. We do have our online store though for all our out of state homies Cowtownskateboards.com
C: Sweet! Thanks so much for your time and for fielding my questions. Any shout outs or things to look forward to from the folks at Cowtown?
J: Thanks to all of our friends in the skateboard world, past, present, and beyond, for all of their continual help and support through out the years:) We plan on ridin' this thing till the wheels fall off, and momentum keeps building. Keep an eye out for a lesson in progression! Maybe Phx Pro!? And that should do it.
C: I just wanted to inject that the competition was epic, had a great time, and meeting folks at the shop was definitely a high light!