Meet Rad Dad Tim Scanlan, Owner of Long Beach Skate Co.
On this Father's Day, we would like to celebrate Long Beach small business owner and father, Tim Scanlan. Tim owns "Long Beach Skate Co., a staple in the local skate community for the past decade. When he's not busy running the shop, he's also a caring husband and father of two children. Today we catch up with Tim to discuss his business and more importantly, his number one role as a father.
What motivated you to open LB skate?
My wife Carrie and I opened Long Beach Skate Co. in 2010. The focus was to create a community first skate shop, where all are welcome. Our shop was intended to welcome all abilities, ages and styles of skateboarders and non-skaters alike. We wanted to have a shop with a positive presence in the Long Beach skate community so we went for it.
How have you seen the skateboard community evolve throughout your business?
There are more people skating than ever. The community is strong and continues to grow generation by generation. There is a wider age range of people adopting and investing into the skate lifestyle.
We see that you give back a lot to the community. What nonprofits do you participate in, why?
We are active with many non-profits, as outlined in our website. We do a lot of engagement with the “Rose Park Neighborhood Association” and host the annual “Big Heart” art show in store which raises funds for at-risk youth arts programming. We also are a contributor to ‘ASK Long Beach’ and their continual efforts for youth empowerment and unity amongst young skaters in Long Beach
How do you balance work and family?
I have to be mindful that my time impacts my wife, two daughters (ages 3 & 5), and others in a major way. If I am on a project at the shop, or working on an event, I need to make sure there are no dance recitals, or birthday parties that conflict. I want to be with my daughters all the time, and for the most part I am. I get all the nity gritty shop work done while they are in school or napping. It is real hard for me to be at the shop on the weekend or days that they’re free. I want to party with my girls - ya know!
What is your favorite activity to do with your family?
This is kind of generic, but me and the girls love to go to Disneyland and California Adventure as much as possible. It is so much fun watching them interact with the place. There is such a small window of time when they’re young and are wow’d by the wonders of Disney. I want to have them live it up to the max.
What is your favorite part of being a dad?
The hugs! No matter how hectic raising young curious minds can be, at the end of the day, when they cuddle up and nuzzle in your neck - you melt. I love my daughters so much and love those hugs the best.
What got you into skateboarding?
I got into skateboarding, when a neighborhood kid’s dad built him a half pipe. I was like “I need to skate that thing”. On my 10th birthday, me and some friends went down to Witt’s Carlsbad Pipeline, and I got my first complete custom built by Ray Underhill. It was his pro-model with the cross from Powell Peralta. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was an extremely special and life changing experience for me. Ray has since passed, and is one of the most legendary dudes out there. That experience, and the following years of comradery of having tons of friends who skateboarded, had me hooked for life.
As a small business owner, what is your greatest challenge?
It is hard to tell people ‘no’. I try to find a spin on telling someone that is looking for an extra special deal the word “No”. Some customers don’t realize that they’re purchase helps keep this hub of the skateboard community thriving. It is equally hard turning away a new brand such as a shirt brand, that we’re almost exclusively a hard goods shop.
Is there anything exciting happening with the store in the near future that we should know about?
We have a ton of events coming up: 6/21 - Go Skateboarding Day - special contests at local skate parks, 6/23 - FKA 720 skate contest and concert in downtown Long Beach, 6/28-7/1 - Dew Tour Skate Contest - we are setting up a pop up shop and will be selling the brands participating in the contest, as well as carrying Long Beach Skate Co gear!
What is the greatest joy that comes with owning a small business?
Being your own boss has its rewards, and its risks. I like empowering my staff to be the best representatives for skateboarding in the community. My staff brings such joy to all those who enter, and for me that gives me joy. I love the dudes that work the shop and make it what it is. Mikey Chim, Vitor Borger, and Mason Malone are the real deal. The work they do gives me the most joy. They are the best.