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Crushing it: New gallery/boutique open in Nevada City

Hollie Dilley shows off some of her new roller skate designs that she has for sale at her new Nevada City shop called Crush, located in the former Crumbunny Coffee location off Commercial Street.
Photo: Elias Funez

Hollie Dilley has been a lifetime roller skating aficionado. It was only natural she’d open a business catering to the hobby.

Crush, at 405 Commercial St., is a new gallery/boutique in downtown Nevada City. Ninety percent of the items on sale were hand-crafted by Dilley, including the custom-made roller skates.

Dilley said it’s been exhilarating to see how residents have responded to her endeavors.

“The community has been welcoming,”she said. “There’s a lot of facets of what Crush is. It is a gallery, a skate shop, a place to have workshops for artists and it’s a place to get involved in the skate community and sign up for skate classes.”

Dilley was always a roller skater and she played derby for seven years. After the birth of her second child, she wanted to hit the local skate park. She ordered a pair of skates, though with supply chain delays mushrooming across the globe she instead bought a pair of Nike sneakers. She then got the plate, wheels and toe stop online to craft her own skates.

Hollie Dilley stands behind a rack of her skate shop’s own line of clothing, now on sale at Crush, 405 Commercial St., in Nevada City.
Photo: Elias Funez

After fashioning several more pairs for friends, Dilley had breakfast with a friend she formerly did derby with. She was encouraged to find a retail space.

“Her current fascination with ramp/park skating has always been a part of the active side of her life,” said husband Robb Savage. “She recently found a way to inject her creativity into the world of roller skating. To satisfy her unreal artistic output, she needed a brick-and-mortar store to sell her creations.”

The store’s name — Crush — has different meanings, Savage said.

“‘Crushing’ something means to do it well, to make a statement,” he added. “Having a ‘crush’ on something means to love it. This business is for all genders and identities, but it definitely has a feminine undertone, being run and sustained by female skaters/artists.”

Hollie Dilley’s artistic talents are also on display at her Commercial Street skate shop, containing her line of Art Crush mugs inspired by her animal taxidermy artistry.
Photo: Elias Funez

The grand opening happened April 30. About 200 to 300 people attended. There was a display of roller skates and accessories, ceramic mugs and lots of roller skate-themed gifts.


Although he has known Dilley for 15 years, Savage said he’s still surprised by her creative art output.

“She has a deep seeded passion for roller skating,” he said. “She always needed a place to show and sell her vast array of art. And once she started making custom skates, it made sense to get a storefront below her studio and give it a shot.”

Dilley hopes to host jam skating instructions once a week.

Upstairs from Crush in her studio, she anticipates convening monthly art workshops by the first week of June. There will be sign up sheets at Crush, or on her website — crushnevadacity.com — or Instagram profiles: @crushrollershop and @crushnevadacity

“I want to bring in people I’ve met through my derby skating experience and include some friends I went to Humboldt State with and are now professors,” said Dilley. “And the other part of the business, before I started to get a brick-and-mortar store, I did pop-up events because skating became so big during the pandemic.”

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com

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