Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

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City Hall Philadelphia

Posted: February 8, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Story Developing…

Photo-Nelly Mundo

We recently did a interview with Voyage Skateboards and we talked a little bit about Brian. Well he has popped up on the net again with another quality clip. Check it out!

Voyage Skateboards is based out of Philadelphia and they recently put out a promo that generated a buzz in the streets. I recently had a chance to interview Bill Reeves over at Voyage.

EE: Bill-You are the man behind the scenes, could you please give everyone the background of Voyage?

Bill: Shortly after I started skating I dreamed of owning my own brand. In high school I would doodle logo ideas and write lists of not only tricks I wanted to film or learn, but also what I thought may be good names for a company. Even though Voyage is a little over a year old, I had been sitting on the name for at least 5 years before that. The story behind the name Voyage is about moving, traveling and experiencing new people and places. We all need to travel more, whether it is straying from skating the same go to spot we all have or traveling to a new country you have never been to.

I went to Temple University in Philadelphia for entrepreneurship for this reason of wanting to start a company and met all my closest friends who I still skate with today. I finally got the balls to pull the trigger and start the brand, but little do people know that although it is a board brand, it was originally going to be a wheel company. I switched it to a board brand because my good friend Rob started a small wheel company called Pusher before me and out of respect and pure friendship, I didn’t want to step on his toes and now we work together which ultimately worked out for the both of us. Philly has a lot of history in skateboarding and we need people to not over look that, which I feel the industry has been as of late, so I thought I would throw my little part in with Voyage and see what happens. Of course I want the brand to grow and succeed, but bottom line if I ever have kids and grandkids that happen to skateboard, I won’t just say, “yeah I used to skate,” I did a little bit more.

EE: I personally think it’s awesome that the all the details were done before the brand was built, many brands start before they even have a vision and I think that’s the reason why they fail. Being a board company out of Philadelphia, how tough is it to compete with other board brands from the same area?

Bill: Being based out of Philadelphia has up and downs, but everything has its ups and downs. There are some competing brands out there but it’s just a part of the gig. I would be a rich if there was barely any competition, it’s just our job to make people want to want our product. We are fortunate enough to have a lot of support in our city, and we are chipping away at the surrounding ones. Voyage doesn’t have any super star well known pros, or pros at all for that matter. Everyone on the team is a blue collar 20 something that loves to skate for the fun of it and from my perspective; they are all well respected around the city. Being sincerely a nice bunch of guys always help too. Not sure if that answered your question but that’s what I got.

 

EE: That’s awesome that it is a bunch of friends rather than people from different areas competing for the top spot. Can you give us run down on who is on the team?

Bill: Well there are 4 other guys on the team besides myself. I’m kind of the player/coach. Other than me we have Brian Douglas whose promo just came out. He is pretty much the new Kalis in Philly, he kind of runs Love Park; I don’t care what anyone says. Then we have Pat Heid who has good style, trick selection and pop. He’s really lanky so some tricks look a lot cooler when he does them compared to someone else. Walt Wolfe we just added to team and are psyched to have his new younger blood. He skates like he lives in Philadelphia, and that’s because he lives in Philadelphia. If you don’t understand what I mean his promo will be out soon enough. Last but not least there is Bill Sands who you don’t see a ton of footage from, but when you do it’s crazy. Bottom line, nice guys that love skating.

 

EE: The team sounds very well rounded. Let’s talk about the Brian Douglas clip that was just released. What’s the story behind it and how did it all come about?

Bill: Oh man well, we are all good friends with Chris Mulhern and have been skating together for years so he was obviously the first choice as far as filmers are concerned. He is an amazing videographer and we are very lucky to have him on board. The actually promo was supposed to be absolutely nothing like it is now. It was only supposed to take a few days to make just skating through the city which we started this past summer and it came out on Christmas. It got closer and closer to the holidays so Chris just decided to hold it back and focus on one person each promo instead of everyone. I think the next one will be with Walt or Pat and maybe a few more but it is all leading up to a longer promo hopefully coming out this spring. It will have all the team riders and I would like to have a section of any of our friends that have gotten HD footage with Chris. All in all Chris is doing a great job and he may take his time but we all know it will be worth it.

EE: I personally watched that switch flip he did like twenty times.    How has the response been from the promo?

Bill: Yeah he did that switch flip quite a few times and that made the promo but that is not the only thing that he did down that gap, the other stuff we are holding for the longer version. As for Brian’s promo, we got a really good reaction. Considering we are a Philly based small board brand we had a lot of views thank you to Transworld’s website and the Skateboard Mag who both posted on their sites. It’s a really cool feeling knowing that my company got put up on sites that I have checked for years and read their magazines since I can remember. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that people who I looked up to all these years in skateboarding that I have been skating

(pros, ams and industry people )  are now seeing my contribution to the industry whether they like and respect it or not.

EE: It seems most coverage in Philly really goes unnoticed, how do you feel about the current state of skateboarding in Philadelphia?

Bill: Well the weather is horrible right now, but other than that it’s good. People are skating Love and City Hall again my buddy Jesse is building little parks or revamping old ones. I am actually moving the business west towards the end of the summer but hopefully some here can handle the shops out here that have supported us while I try my hand at expanding to the West. A couple of the riders are considering doing the same thing but we will see. People are getting fed up with the east it seems and going west, and they have been here all their life, than I can understand that from a skateboarders perspective. I’m also going to head to Europe for a little Holiday as well.

EE: Europe sounds great! What’s next for Voyage as a company?

Bill: Well like I said, I am most likely moving the company either to Colorado or Portland Oregon. That will be determined rather soon hopefully. Besides that we have recently launched a sister brand called Meat & Potatoes Collective which is a clothing brand. We are also just working on getting a few more short videos out there before we come out with the longer one in the spring summer. We are always looking for new shops to carry our product as well so if you are reading this give us a call or email us; our info is on the website.

EE: Do you plan on showcasing Voyage at events such as Agenda next year?

Bill: As a company we have only done one trade show which was last January in Philadelphia hosted by Focus Magazine. I have been considering doing another one in the near future but not sure where to go. I would like to make it out to Crossroads because it’s just a good simple to the point show. The Agenda seems a bit hokey to me and unless they can prove otherwise or give a good price to the smaller guys and help us out like they always have claimed to do, I really don’t see us doing it. I don’t want to say we always will be, but in our position as we speak, we are more of a word of mouth type company. 5boro is a great example of a company like that. We want to grow but money is tight and I would rather own a well respected small company than a mediocre big giant one.

EE: Do you have any final words or shout outs you would like to give?

Bill: I would like to give thanks to anyone who has helped me out first and foremost. My friends and family, all the shops, anyone who has supported us and the guys on the team. Owning my own company was always something I wanted to do and I did it. No matter what happens to Voyage in the years to come whether we go under, get big or stay the way we are I’m just glad I could cross it off my list of things I wanted to accomplish in life. Stay tuned for the next promo coming out soon. If anyone has any questions about the company or shops out there that are interested feel free to hit me up.

 

Check out Voyage Skateboards at http://www.voyageskateboards.com

Please check out this clip I found featuring some Voyage homies.