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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Polite Conversations w/ David Dowd of Division East

[Jesus loves the little children.]

For those that need some background on the skate shop, would you do the honor on giving us the history of it all.
Division East is a skateboard shop located on Bloomfield Ave. in Montclair,NJ. Its been opened for 8 years. We spent our first four years in Verona,NJ and the last four years here in Montclair. We've got a team of the best skaters from around NJ and we've put out two full length skate board videos and numerous promos. We've got a new video in the works due out this spring.

What brands do you carry in the shop?
Way too many brands to name them all. Footwear wise: Nike, Vans, Converse, etc. We've got our own skateboard and clothing line under the Division East name. I've been pretty psyched on Upper Playground's stuff lately as far as a non skate brand that we carry.

What separates the shop from other skate shops?
I think Division East is different from many shops because I grew up skateboarding and still skateboard and that's not the case with all shops but it is the case with the good shops. I've also often tried to carry more local brands and give smaller companies a shot rather then always just bringing in the same big companies that every shop carries. I think we also put on more events then your average store and we've got our own record label.

You mentioned that there is no more Division East/Garden SK8 Skatepark. What the heck happened? I'm quite sad.
It's complicated and a long story but the quick version it was a bad situation for me up there. My "partner" and I had two very different visions of what a skatepark/skateshop should be like and that's about all Ican say about that.

How do you handle tough situations?
I handle tough situations by working harder. This isn't an easy way to make a living but the harder things get the longer the hours become. I just try and stay focused and remember why I started this in the first place. I try and remember that I never want to work for anyone other then myself.

Division East has an enormous following. What's the hardest part when dealing with a busy shop?
A lot of people love just hanging out here and I'm flattered but the hardest part is drawing a line. I mean at the end of the day this is a business and sometimes when there are ten plus guys in here laughing and hanging out it doesn't exactly create the best environment for a mother shopping for her kids.

You're big on hip hop culture. What do you respect about it most?
I respect that hard work and dedication it takes to be good at any facet of hip hop and in that way it reminds me a lot of skateboarding and most of the time like skateboarding there is no big payoff. You've got to participate because you love it not because you get something back from it other than enjoyment.

In closing, do you have any words of wisdom, things you want to let out, shoutouts?
Thanks to everyone who has supported Division East over the past 8 years. We have big things planned for the future and fuck all of the haters and shit talkers. There are two sides to every story and every situation and the real heads who've shown that they can think for themselves have come back around and I appreciate that. Special thanks to my parents, my wife, and my brother and sister.

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