Episode 24 - Rolling Positivity into the Community with Skips Skateboard Shop, Eaglehawk

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Coffee, donuts and a mini ramp.

Skips Skateboard Shop caters for people all ages and is giving back to the community in a multitude of ways. While the name may attract the obvious crowd who are keen to fuel their passion for skateboarding, the shop also serves as a cafe. You will often find the older generation sitting back drinking a coffee watching younger people working on their boards across the room, which has helped bridge the generational gap and build respect across all ages.

Albert Skipper aka 'Skip' sums it up beautifully with "The community is my family". Having a long history in the Eaglehawk and Bendigo areas, Skip has been giving back for years with a heavy background in music teaching. In more recent years however he was reintroduced to an old love of skateboarding.

Skip saw an opportunity to blend his reacquainted love with his passion to contribute to his wider family.

Since opening in January 2018, Skips Skateboard Shop has become a central hub for people of all ages. Not only covering coffee and skateboarding, the shop is a social space which gives many people a place to go, creating a sense of community.

Most recently, Skip has expanded his services to work with a barber who is also utilising the space to bring the community more value. A one stop shop of service to others.

Skip believes in the power of positivity and after living through his own darker moments in years gone by, he uses his experiences to help others. His shop is an extension of his personality and a demonstration of how much he cares for those around him.

There are big plans in the future for Skip and the business. He's never short of an idea as you will hear in this episode. As long as Skip continues to provide value to the community then no doubt the community will ensure the continued success of Skips Skateboard Shop.

What did you get out of this episode? Here’s what I learnt;

1. Contributing to the community – This is a common theme throughout the Self Starter podcast series. Skip has totally embraced the community and identified that not only does the area need a shop like this but with everything now up and running, he is seeing his efforts attract people from all walks of life who are seeing value in what he is doing. When you get the buy in from the wider community, you can almost guarantee your business having longevity.

2. Power of positivity – It's sounds a little religious in the way it's expressed but the concept is true. Listening to Skip's story of working with the community through music and now his shop, you can see that this isn't just about teaching others the practical skill of those interests. A lot of Skip's work is mindset and getting people to think more positively. His efforts have built deep connections and support from many people in the area who he has directly or indirectly impacted. Want some extra stuff to check out? Have a look at this and this.

3. Providing the power of skating – We can all stereotype. Stereotypes come from our environment, what we've been exposed to, and what we *think* we know (which is often not the reality). Skip through his own experiences and his story has made considerable efforts in breaking through the stereotypes of what skateboarding is and the types of people that partake in it. When others can see the positive attributes of what you are passionate about, the judgement of others begins to wash away.

4. Trial run everything – What an exciting time to be in business. Albert's shop has been up and running for several months and as he said in the episode, it's too just early to tell what is really working. The data isn't there yet to spot seasonal trends and where the peaks and troughs are and how to adjust through each period. For now though, he is just throwing everything against the wall to see what sticks and what doesn't.

This can be such a liberating time for a new business and more people should embrace these earlier stages in a positive way. Opening hours, product trials, social media interaction, community involved projects, collaborations with other business owners are just a few of many things that Skip is experimenting with during the infancy stage of the shop. A great time to have a stack of ideas!

Follow Skip's Skateboard Shop via Main Website | Facebook | Instagram |

Location – 8 Sailors Gully Rd, Eaglehawk VIC 3556

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