Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Interesting Or Not So Interesting With Becky
Q. Beck, you make some of the most interesting things out of used skateboards but I have to ask, are you interesting or not so interesting, reason?
A. Haha, I am not sure if I'm interesting or not.. I guess my friends think I am. My life seems pretty normal. I hang out with my dog a lot, spend a lot of time making things and try to see movies and live music as much as possible!
Q. Your from New York, so I must ask what is the one thing you would recommend anyone visiting goes and sees whilst there?
A. I think New York is a great city to just walk around. In the summer I like to spend lots of time outside people watching. Central Park is great for that, but you can get alot of people watching done by just walking down any street in the city! I also walked over the Brooklyn bridge for the first time recently and I must say that it's a pretty amazing spot.
Q. What was it that first inspired you to create bags and accessories out of used skateboards?
A. I was having a really bad day one day.. got fired from my waitress job, and was walking home broke and bummed out. I decided to stop in the Prada store on Broadway. I guess just to look at all the beautiful things I couldn't afford.. The store was designed by Rem Koolhaas and the entrance looks like a half-pipe. I was thinking about whether anyone ever tried to skate it before.. then inside, i was looking at cute little handbags. Suddenly I just had an idea to combine rough old skateboards with smooth satin. I ran home and started sketching.
Q. Using similar items myself in my art, it’s at time hard to get hold of such used goods. In helping you do so you’ve set up a Boards for Bowls program, what is it about?
A. In the beginning I had alot of help from so many people and so I thought the boards for bowls program would be a nice way to help out other people as well as encourage people to send me their old boards. I've donated to a few public skate park programs, but now I mostly work with the Tony Hawk Foundation. They issue grants to help build public skateparks in low income neighborhoods and towns. I donate money to them as well as provide bags for their charity auction each year.
Q. Have you looked into any other recycled mediums or will it just be about skateboard decks?
A. People have asked me to make bags out of old snowboards and surfboards, but all that fiberglass scares me! Wood is in my comfort zone. I've also worked on bags made from recycled leather, but still skatebags are where it's at.
Q. In 2003 you started Sk8bags, since then what have been some of the biggest turning points?
A. A couple years ago Element skateboards asked me to be part of their "Advocate Program" for their Eden clothing line. They were selecting artists and musicians who were eco-conscious and who they felt would be inspirational to their customers. They had some really talented women already in the program, and I was blown away that they would even consider me. They do alot of charity fundraisers and art shows, so it's a lot of fun and really has a positive message. They just recently launched a big campaign called 'Power to the Planet'.. you can check it out at www.powertotheplanet.tv
Q. What are some key tips you would pass on to anyone wanting to start their own creative business?
A. I think the key is just staying positive. Running your own business is hard, especially if you're doing it alone. Don't be afraid to ask friends for help. And the biggest thing is staying organized.
Q. Any big plans for what is left of 2009?
A. I just got back from a trip to Rome.. ran the marathon there. So for now my plan is rest :)
Q.Where online can people go to check out your recycled skateboard bags and accesories?
A. my site is www.beckycity.com stock is low right now, but i'm making more!
Q. Thank you for your time Beck and I hope you’ve enjoyed answering these few questions.
A. It was a pleasure, thank you for supporting the bags!