Back in the summer of '19, we met up at the office to drive across the country and back. As we were packing up the van, Rahim realized he left his board at home! LMAO. With a drive like this, there was no going back. After an hour of driving Heem did what anyone would do, pull out your phone and scroll! But wait, he forgot his phone too! Not even making this up.
Fast forward about 2 weeks, Heem got a board setup and we were rounding the corner to Memphis. Contact was our first official demo/signing on the trip so we really didn't know what to expect. But after we pulled up Zac welcomed us like family. We drank coffee, shared some piff (pre-covid obvi) and skated the park like we had all known each other forever. We left that night wondering when we would ever get to see our new friends again. Sure enough, they made it out to Sacramento to return the favor.
Zac and the Contact crew have been major supporters and we wanted to spotlight their shop to help spread the love. Get to know Contact and what they stand for.
When did Contact start?
Z: Contact opened in December of 2018. I worked on the shop, as in the build out of the retail space, for about a year and a half before opening. Myself and a couple of the locals completely renovated the front of the warehouse where we are located.
We rent space from the indoor skatepark and coffee shop, Society Memphis. In exchange for my efforts to help run the park and the coffee shop, I receive a profit share at the end of each fiscal year from Society Memphis. So, I am very heavily involved in that space as well!
Who are the locals?
Z: Our locals are sick. The shop kids rule. All around good people. They support the shop, and I try to support them whenever possible. The folks who are at the shop all the time are Dalton Miller, Cody Miller, Asher Kelly, Skyler Henson, Sage Beasley, Kay Kay Holloway, David Binkowitz, Dutch Hansen, Jason Weiner, Nico Disalvo, Cannon Thakkar, Tate Somers, Joe Hudson, August Clawson, Kris Koll, Eli Berry, Andrew Bailey, Evan French, John Paul Dubriel, Dexter Boywid, Alex Hurdle, Quinn Breese, and many many more. The community is rich in diversity. All races, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, genders, are welcome here.
What is your shop doing for the surrounding neighborhood/its positive impact on the skate scene?
Z: The shop, and the locals, are always donating boards for raffles or giving away completes to new kids. It is pretty incredible to witness. One of our locals, Wes Eaton of Neighborhood Print Co. and his family, recently experienced a house fire where they lost a pet and a ton of their most cherished possessions. The community rallied together and put up a go fund me which raised over $6,886.00 on the first day. It is stuff like that, that makes me want to get out of bed every day and come to the shop. Getting to provide that type of community, a service, is what I am most grateful for. I think it is most important for myself, and my team, to be positive role models for the youth in the skate scene and neighborhood of Binghampton. I don't hold my team accountable for much, but that is one thing I will hold them accountable for.
How does the shop, park, and coffee shop coexist and what are the benefits of that?
Z: The shop exists as the retail component of the space. We rent 950 Sq. Ft from Society Memphis Indoor Skatepark and Coffee Shop. We are a family. We help each other all the time. If the barista is bogged down with orders, ill jump behind the coffee bar and start making drinks. If I am gripping a board or changing a customer's trucks over to a new board, Kay Kay or one of the baristas will jump behind the shop counter and help the next customer. We have both Point of Sale systems logged in to both IPads behind both counters so we can help each other out. The most important part of that, is it is free of charge. We do it because we like to help one another. We share customers and experiences, so we dont see the need to make it about money. The skatepark obviously helps with my sales as well. If someone breaks a board while skating the indoor park, they can walk 25 ft over to the skate shop and buy a new one. Plus, we are always stocked with Pizza Skateboards...so you don't have to worry about getting a solid deck for a great price. LOL.
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