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The Beginning / Part 1

There’s a whole lot of backstory to the amazing skate fueled journey that we’re on. Caravan Mobile Skate shop is exactly what it sounds like, but way more magical, than you can probably even imagine. Remember that part in Willy Wonka, where Gene Wilder said “WE are the music makers. and WE are the dreamers of the dreams.” ? Well. That is us. And we are certainly “living the dream” as everyone likes to tell us. This is our story.

10things

That blonde up there is me. My name is Abbey. I am a 25 year old girl from Richmond, Virginia..or Philadelphia, depending on who you ask. My husband, Jeremy is a 28 year old dude from Phoenix, Arizona. And this….well, this is going to be a log of our cross country travels, and how we got here.

When I met Jeremy, we immediately bonded over a love of skateboarding. I myself had been raised in my dad’s skate shop, for most of my life. Jeremy on the other hand- had been running a nonprofit of sorts, out of a 1986 Air force truck. (est. early 2012) He had gained quite a bit of momentum in the city of Seattle, where we met. Not only with art shows and contest circuits. Basically, he drove around to every skatepark he could in the Seattle metro: and dished out gear, clothing, shoes, helmets, and skate equipment that had been donated. You know, the kids you always see standing on the side of the park with no board? He believed in those kids enough, and knew that they might be brought some salvation and happiness with a simple skateboard and a lesson. He knew that if they hung around the parks long enough with nothing to do, that they might fall into something much worse. So he gave. And he gave. And he gave. The problem is, it didn’t bring any revenue. So when the truck broke down, he didn’t have the money to fix it. It was scrapped within a year. But his love and belief for it was shining bright, when he told me about it all. I was intrigued, and wanted to figure out a way to bring his dreams back into a reality.

caravan1

We were engaged not even two weeks after we met. I had literally been in Seattle for two and a half weeks. Everyone thought we were crazy. WE thought we were crazy. But both of us knew that we were destined to do something amazing together. We just weren’t sure of the magnitude of it, yet. He left 3 weeks later, to fly cross-country alone. He was teaching kids how to skate all summer, at a camp in Massachusetts. (Ironically, that was where my father and all of his shops were, so we were able to get them together for my dad’s “GO SKATE DAY” event in the summer of 2013. I’d put a picture here too, but I cant seem to find one.)

I lived with my grandma and worked all summer at this horrible consignment shop. And when I say horrible, I mean….it was slave labor at it’s finest. At least my checks were nice, but they had me (a 4’11” girl) lifting giant mahogany desks down two flights of stairs for 14 hours at a time with no AC. Stuff like that.  Meanwhile, Jeremy was the only guy at the camp who skated. He loved teaching the kids, but he wasn’t clicking with any of the adults. We were both pretty bummed in general.

He caught a gnarly shinner from one of the flimsy quarter pipes at the camp, and was sent home with 22 stitches a few days early. We were super hyped, but totally unprepared. I was still at my grandmas. I knew she wouldn’t want our honeymoon phase being broadcasted through the house. Thankfully our homie Jeff looked out. He took us under his wing with the swiftness, and we all ended up being roommates. In our free time, we would all three take our days to shred the local parks. Jeff is one of the most badass dudes we know, and still kills it at age 50. We couldn’t have done any of this without him.
jefe

 

Jeremy and I both switched jobs a few times, trying to find something that was comfortable. Something that we could make ends meet together with. We really thought we were just going to start a family and settle down. That wasn’t in the cards for us. It’s not really our style, anyway. Not like that, at least. I ended up with a live in nannying gig, and we both moved in. It was weird. It was really weird. For alot of reasons. (but, lets just say it was very “flowers in the attic” / “mommy dearest”)

I couldn’t put my finger on it, but neither of us were happy. We knew it wasn’t the relationship. We just felt unfulfilled. Entirely. We were stoked now that we had no rent to pay, so we saved every penny that we had. Every day, I was itching to just pack up and leave. I was always that kind of person. I’ve lived in more cities than I could count. But this time, I knew it wasn’t that easy. I was in a committed relationship now, and it had to be all planned. No matter how impulsive I wanted to be. Plus, Jeremy was heavy into the skate scene in Seattle. (Yeah, theres a pretty rad scene there. I know, it rains all the time.) But they also have quite a few amazing indoor parks, including Marginal Way and the Seattle Vert Ramp. Jeremy had actually gotten me into an amazing charity circuit he was a part of; where we would skate the whole waterfront of downtown Seattle, and give out clothing, food, and hygiene to the homeless and needy.

Cut to November, 2013. Jeremy rushed down to Idaho for a family emergency. I was feeling like the Seattle cage was getting smaller and smaller, and I was looking for any way to get out. Jeremy loved it there, but the weather was just killing me. All I knew was that the skate shop was something that we both wanted. I just didn’t know if starting an actual business up with my now husband was that great of an idea. I knew how my dad started his shop…but I didnt know if we could do it, too. Nobody taught my dad how to do it. So I figured we were safe.

It was pouring outside, and I was scouring craigslist in my room when I found it. It looked exactly like the photos of his first truck. It was a diesel. It was a 1988 version. It was in our budget. It was 3 hours away.

Two days later, Jeremy came back to Seattle. One day later, we found ourselves driving with Jeremy’s mom- from Seattle to Spokane, Washington. There was no question about it. We decided that no matter how much money we had, no matter where we were, no matter who believed in us, we were going to make it work.

buyingday

We bought the truck right there, after we kicked the tires and stood around for about 20 minutes. (See photo) It was too good to be true.After we picked it up, we had one more thing we had to do. I had found an ad online, that a farmer had put up in Spokane. They needed a baby goat transported back to Seattle, and they would pay 75 dollars and some hard cider. It paid for the drive home, in the weirdest way. Every bump we hit, the little goat would scream. And yeah, he pooped at one point. We drove with the windows down, laughing the whole time. It was ridiculous.

babygoat  (we named him “ollie bah-bah”)

We got it home, and immediately threw ourselves into renovating it. We wanted to leave within the next few months. Both of us wanted to revamp the entire idea of Caravan. We wanted to make it work, and the goal was to take it cross country.

 

I’m not going to lie. It was terrifying knowing that we were dumping all the money that we made, into something we had NO idea was going to work. But we continued. We had no other option than to keep going. We went through every emotion possible, and we worked through it all. Jeremy tore all the metal racks out of the back. We installed a display cabinet across the back wall, after he put in beautiful hardwood floors for us. I made curtains, and bought us a tent, for the nice nights. We donated close to EVERYTHING we had. We dwindled our clothing down to almost nothing, and were getting ready to live and work full time in the truck. We made sure all of our business licenses and resellers permits were up to par. We did all of the labor on our own. It became our baby. It was an ultimate sacrifice, to live the life of travel and skateboarding. But it was all in the name of those two things.

By January, we were ready for our kickoff / goodbye / grand opening event. The turnout was HUGE. We had no permits for it. But we figured, what was the worst that could happen? Impulsive work had gotten us this far. We ended up having live music and a cookout. We had a raffle where we donated our FRESHPARK quarter pipe. Home Skateboards consigned us some decks, shirts, hats, and jackets. We had our first merchandise. They shredded with us all night, and provided the grill we cooked with. (What’s up, Watson?) People from all over came to skate with us, and see us off. We weren’t going far, at first. Tacoma is only about an hour outside of Seattle. But I had accepted another nanny job for a month, to save up some more money. And THAT, was our kick off.

The difference now, is that we actually SELL things. It keeps us going. We do odd jobs, on the side. We DO still donate, and give. Boy, do we donate and give. We refurbish used decks, and sell them super cheap. Sometimes we give them to kids who need new stuff. It’s all out of pocket. BUT!  We get to see America. We get to camp at skate parks and meet people we would never have met if we just sat in one place. We have both bonded incredibly over this whole thing, and its still just beginning! Our destination point is to reach the east coast.

(Disclaimer: Caravan is currently in Montana, but I’ll catch everyone up on how we got to that as we go along. We’ve hit over 80 skateparks in four months. I’ll be giving the rundown on all of that, in the coming posts.)

 

Now that you guys know our story. I would like to say:  I’m super thankful for the chance to showcase our journey and our wacked out, unbelievable, weird ass life that we’re living right now.

 

Find our facebook at www.facebook.com/caravanmobileskateshop

 

It’s all in the name of shred.

 

While You Are At Tampa Pro

There are a few places when your at Tampa Pro that are just a must to go to . First off Bro Bowl. besides the history and for all you newbies who didnt get to experience you getting jacked for your stuff or car rocked back in the day when there were projects there . This is a must . Its not the best but it is what has to be skated before you leave Tampa, Next on the list is Ybor city at night will be a blast.Every year there is a live concert or something that the gang at S.P.O.T has put together to make your stay in Tampa just as fun during the contest then drag the fun into the night. After a long night of partying and caos wake up and visit The Bricks and get you some great food and beverages to wake you up and start your day . The Bricks will also have events going on at night so you don’t have to worry about that jock fuck head trying to prove he is the toughest skaters are 100 to 1 so don’t think you are in any danger of gettting messed with but do have a good time. Last but not least if you step outside The Bricks and feel like getting a new wooden flipping device psst no need to worry. S.P.O.T. has even got a skate shop next door to The Bricks. With friendly customer service and lots of gear and decks to choose from you won’t be disappointed.—Blair —DSC00478RhS0JqWb6wLPnTshopf19_12631759-Hampton-Inn-Suites-TampaYbor-CityDowntown-FL-Hotel-Exterior-2-DEF

Kevin Sandoval Full Part

 

Watch Metro Skate Shop’s team rider Kevin Sandoval’s full part from “Stop Filming Me”.

Epidemic Skateshop- Mikee Brown pt. 6

 

Epidemic Skateshop has some footage of Mikee Brown from the full length DVD titled “Blood, Sweat, and 12 Years”.

Pick up the DVD here for just $5.

Kevin Sandoval Teaser

 

Check out Metro team rider Kevin Sandoval’s teaser for “Stop Filming Me”.

Talent Skatepark x DC

 

Talent Skatepark was one of 30 shops chosen to do a review on DC Shoes new Mike Mo model. Check out their submission for the review featuring shop team rider Nate Benner.

Fifty Fifty

 

 

Fifteen Fucking Years celebration video at The DC Embassy for Fifty Fifty Skateshop