Meet your merchant: Grass Valley (more than just a) skateboard store evolves over two decades
Since Goodtimes opened in 1997 as a small skateboard store in Nevada City, it has evolved into far more than a shop for young skaters.
Located on Mill Street in Grass Valley since 2001, today the shop has become the go-to place for current styles and up-to-the-minute brands of clothing, shoes and accessories for males of all ages.
“We don’t cater to one demographic — we have everything for the guy who works at the bank to the skater,” said owner Sam Anderson. “From tank tops and board shorts to button down shirts. I think people have finally realized that we have a pretty broad inventory.”
Both Anderson and his store manager of 11 years, Ian Fuenzalida, say they listen to their customers and attend trade shows to stay abreast of trends. Popular brands include RVCA, Brixton, Volcom, LRG, Thrasher, Supra, Lakai, Emerica, Salty Crew, Vans, Adidas and Converse.
One wall is devoted exclusively to shoes, another to flat-billed hats, socks, sweatshirts and T-shirts. The front is dominated by an impressive selection of sunglasses, including Ray-Ban, Electric, VonZipper and Spy.
The back left wall is all skateboards and accessories — some of which are custom designed — a reminder of, and tribute to, the core customers who helped catapult the store into the successful retail venture it is today. In celebration of their 20th year, Goodtimes has commissioned several artists well known in the skater community to create custom mining/Gold Rush themes on their skateboards, T-shirts and posters. Artists include illustrator Michael Sieben, currently the managing editor of Thrasher Magazine, Jason Adams, Ben Horton and FOS.
For its modest size, Anderson says Grass Valley has a relatively large skating community, much of which can be attributed to a well-designed skate park.
“In small communities like ours, skate parks are usually built by someone’s dad who’s a contractor, but we had input from pro-skater Chris Senn, and that was huge,” he said. “People come from Southern California to skate in our park, and our shop has become known regionally by association.”
“We’re definitely on the map — it’s in L.A., Seattle and — Grass Valley,” said Fuenzalida, with a laugh. “One of the most rewarding parts of this job has been playing a role in keeping the local skating community alive and thriving. A lot of places don’t have this kind of community. We’re lucky.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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