On a recent episode of 99% Invisible, one of our favorite podcasts, an argument for the close connection of architecture, landscape design and skateboarding was made. While listening to it and envisioning the Z-Boys of California in empty backyard pools, another group came to mind. Salemtown Board Company wasn’t around in the 70’s, but are a part of the skateboard’s ongoing history of American youth. Founded in Nashville’s Salemtown neighborhood in 2012, they use local responsibly harvested woods to make classic cruisers, long boards and short boards. Salemtown Board Co. started with two brothers who wanted to build boards and be a part of bettering the world around them.
Fast forward and not only are they building boards with collaborators like Motion City Soundtrack and Jack White, but they have developed deep connection to their community through empowering young men in the neighborhood. Maple Built is a non-profit created in conjunction with Salemtown Board Co. that trains, mentors and employees young adults in low income neighborhoods that rarely have entry level jobs not filled by older adults.
“Our hope is to be able to be the first line on many resumes as young guys come and work for us and then go on to further pursue their passions. We believe that we best serve and empower our employees by making the primary focus of what we do producing excellent products. It is important to us that our employees are proud of what they do.” -Salemtown Board Co.
images via @salemtownboardco
Salemtown Board Company has expanded their collection beyond skateboards to include apparel, home goods, and woodshop classes. If you’re ever in Nashville, be sure to check out their store and their community impact.