Back Issue__ Amy Gunther and KCDC Skate Shop
Photos by Jody Rogac
KCDC skate shop in Brooklyn, New York works like this: gear, mini ramp, shows, parties. It's a place where the i pod is always shuffling between Children and Lil Wayne while kids are skating the ramp, a primal attraction in the big brick loft. Colorful shoes and decks line the walls like candy in a vending machine. Actress, WESC activist and co-owner, Amy Gunther has called this place home since the day the shop opened up in 2001.
"I grew up in Eastern Long Island, listened to punk rock and hung out with skateboarders," explains Amy. "They became a security blanket. In a way, a second family. When I was just started out modeling and traveling a lot, having an interest in skating allowed me to discover a home base in other countries. Skateboarders have a respect for each other worldwide and it made it easier to acclimate to a place having that bond. A definite juxtaposition to the modeling world."
There is no question that Amy feels confident in this dude dominated world, although she does admit that it took some time before she was taken seriously. Today, it's a non issue. "I have an equal staff of women to men. They all have similar job requirements. Actually, the girls set up boards quicker than the guys!" Amy laughs. "Besides that, I just hope that I am a role model as an entrepreneur and New Yorker.
Amy, along with partner Nevett Steele, run the world-famous shop under a collective mission statement that works to incorporate skating, art, music and community into a retail space. KCDC has collaborated with industry luminaries such as Vans, Neck Face, Real Skateboarders, David Foote to name a few. Recently, Amy teamed up with pal Dennis McNett and WESC to design her signature Sailor Bong WESC headphones. The design was inspired by nautical themes of Long Island and the anchor tattoo Amy sports.
KCDC has hosted skate clinics, Go Skate Day, punk shows and even Dan Pensyl's Going Pro party where they had a girl pop out of a giant Pabst Blue Ribbon can. Needless to say, the shop is a safe haven for NY skate culture--a world away from what Amy describes as downtown Manhattan's hazardous architecture.
"We do not alienate anyone interested in skating," confirms Amy. "The feeling at KCDC is positive and promotes kids to gain confidence to be better skaters. A lot of out-of-towners come to check out the store because of this and are so psyched to skate the famous KCDC ramp."
Employees: Mike, Lisa, Ashleigh, Tim, Keith, Danny, Jahmal, Mayra, Henry, and Luke.
Where are you located: 90 North 11th street, Brooklyn.
What are some brands you carry: Altamont, Four Star, WeSc, Insight, Hopps, 5Boro, Substance, Nike, Supra, Emerica, Vans, es, Lakai, GShock, Nixon, and a ton more.
Nearby lunch spots: Joe's Busy Corner.