The Isla Vista Movement Boardshop is hosting a grand opening party this Saturday from 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. after skating its way to a new location on Pardall Road.
The shop — open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday — moved from its previous storefront above Silvergreens into a new facility at 6556 Pardall Road. Saturday’s event will feature music, art, food and a skate rail.
Co-owner Ben Mahon, a six-year I.V. resident, said the previous location lacked the ability to attract customers.
“We did not really have much visibility or foot traffic above Silvergreens, so when we heard this location opened up, we took the opportunity in order to reach more people,” Mahon said. “The reaction has been really positive and more people are discovering the shop.”
According to Mahon, the shop aims to hold more skating-related events to bring local riders together.
“I pretty much grew up in a skate shop up in San Jose,” Mahon said. “It is sort of a social space for skaters, who normally are just out skating in the streets and don’t have a place to gather. They can go into shops to talk and sort of hang out with other skaters.”
Fourth-year mathematics major Alex O’Leary said Movement’s close proximity provides important services for a large niche in the community.
“I think it is great that we have a boardshop in I.V. because I do not own a car so it is really convenient — I can skate there from my house,” O’Leary said. “You can also get good skate decks for pretty cheap there, which is good because I go through a board every two months or so.”
After transferring from Santa Barbara City College to UCSB, Mahon said he realized his ambitions to focus on entrepreneurship would take him in a different direction than the typical college track.
“I wanted to bring a great skate shop to I.V. that wasn’t the typical Tilly’s type of store,” Mahon said. “I wanted to be able to put all my time and effort into it, and I did not want to have to half-ass either UCSB or the shop.”
Mahon spent three years working for I.V. Surf Company before partnering with Todd Griffiths, a former industry wholesaler, to start Movement.
According to Mahon, the Isla Vista culture is particularly well-suited to their business model.
“There are so many kids surfing and skating for fun or just back and forth to get to class, so it’s a great market,” Mahon said. “Todd had also had the idea of opening a shop — he had the money for it, but not very much time; I had the time but not the money and I’d learned a lot from I.V. Surf Company, so we got together and opened up Movement. It’s really worked out well in terms of a partnership. So far we’ve been able to focus on exactly what we want to focus on.”
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