I’m hoping this will be the case come January when the Holiday Window Display Contest winner is announced! There are several really wonderful displays in town this year, and sure, I could be politically correct and keep quiet about my favorite, but that’s just not me. If you haven’t been to the Ambler Skate Shop this month, then I suggest you get your hiney there ASAP! They have done an awesome job decorating their store for the contest; it is totally unique and creative, and not to be missed!
I was out the night of the parade taking pictures to post here, as I’ve done in years past, but after leaving the Skate Shop that night I realized that what I needed to write about was not only their fantastic effort, but what these guys are all about. Owned by Sean Khathavong, Mike McGuire and Craig Lutz, the Skate Shop is so much more than a shop. These three have created a place that encourages growth and community. Sure, they teach kids how to skate, but moreover, they teach kids respect and understanding. Reflecting on my childhood, I know that important life lessons are often learned when you don’t realize you’re learning them. This happens all the time at the shop, as the “teachers” are their buddies and role models; the kids are learning while having fun, building skills in not only physical, but mental acuity. Most of the guys at the shop are quite innovative and some posses amazing artistic talents, exposing kids to yet another creative outlet. McGuire is the one who did the holiday display, as well as all of the original Ambler Skate Shop gear that you’ll find in the store.
Spend a few moments talking with anyone associated with the shop and it is clear to see what a positive force they are within our community. I always enjoy seeing my friend Brittany’s photos from her sons Sunday morning classes at the skate park, so I asked her if she’d like to comment on her experience; as you’ll see below, she was thrilled to do so!
“The SkateShop! I LOVE the skate shop and the masterminds behind the operation!
I remember in middle school and high school, any of my friends who skated seemed to be automatically thrown into the “Punk” category by almost all adults! I have seen and heard Sean make so many strides to keep our Skaters from automatically being thrown into that category… I LOVE that a kid can walk into the Skate Shop without a dollar, ask for a bottle of water and Sean will hand him a broom or a bottle of windex and let him or her work for that bottle of water. ‘Nothing is free in this world, but you can work for what you want’, Sean lets them know.
I was so very pleasantly surprised, at our first Sunday morning Skate lesson, when I realized that my son wasn’t just being taught how to get around the park on the board.
He was learning:
1) how important it was for his body to stretch before any kind of physical activity
2) how to safely fall (WHAT A DIFFERENCE THAT HAS MADE IN ANTONIO’S EVERYDAY LIFE!)
3) proper skate park etiquette
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I met Sean about 12 years ago, we worked at Bennigan’s in Willow Grove together. Skating, snowboarding, fashion and the importance of being a respectable human being were CLEARLY his passion. I see him even more passionate about all of these things now. Lucky for us parents in the Ambler Area, Sean has set up shop to provide us great service and wonderful products but more importantly the wealth of his passions are offered and presented to our young ones with the best intentions.
I’m excited you are writing about the shop! I hope we can keep them for many many years!” – Brittany Javier Craveiro
Brittany’s comments really sum up what the Skate Shop is all about, and I’m sure you’d get a similar response from any parent who is involved with the organization. Although the kids may phrase it differently, it goes without saying that they have an equally ecstatic response when asked about their classes and friends at the shop. Whether you or your child have moderate ability, or have never stepped foot on a board in your life, there is a class, and gear, to accommodate you. I strongly encourage you to visit the Skate Shop and see for yourself, be sure to say hi to ShopCat!
Keep up with their latest offerings and info on their facebook page. Also, if you’re so inclined to vote for the Skate Shop in the contest, you can do so here.