Located between Leeds and Manchester in West Yorkshire sits the town of Huddersfield. Known for its involvement in the industrial revolution as well as the birth place of the Rugby league, the town is also the home of skater owned store Endemic. Now ten years in the game, Endemic is Huddersfield's skateboard hub and is known nation-wide as one of the go-to core stores, providing local customers with expert advice, service and current up to date brands.
With multiple independent shops closing their doors this year, its important more than ever to shop skater owned. These stores are the backbone of the UK industry and serve as a hangout spot and a means of income for skateboarders who are providing for families whilst maintaining the scene in their town or city.
We took some time to speak to Andy Wood who owns and operates Endemic on a daily basis to discuss the store and local scene.
Hi Andy, I hope you’re well! So Endemic has been recently celebrated its ten-year anniversary... Congratulations! I guess we should start with the basics… Could you fill us in on a little bit of information about the store, how it started and who's involved?
Thanks its flown by mate honestly! Ten years is nothing compared to the work some stores have put into their scenes. Endemic started after I was made redundant when Wisdom Skate store closed in May 2006. We've always had a good scene in Huddersfield and we felt we could open our own store which would be a little more family orientated and suited to the local scene. My partner Louisa and I own the store and we have two staff, Rory Devlin and Freddy Halsey.
Tell us more about the store. Did you have an image in mind when starting out? Did you want to fill it up with product or go for a more minimal approach?
The vision for the store was for it to be like our home, open to our friends and friendly. I'm not a fan of stark clean cut minimal retail spaces, it works for some brands but it's not our vibe. We keep the shop filled with just the right amount of product for the size of it I think. There are two or three brands that we'd love to carry though...
How is the scene currently in Huddersfield? Who should we be looking out for?
The scene here currently is made up of groups from Halifax, Brighouse, Elland, Hebden Bridge and of course the Huddersfield locals. It's a rad friendly street based scene. As for people to look out for, our Saturday guy Fred Halsey is dope! Great style, good trick selection and is the nicest dude too.
Tell us a bit about the brands you stock, how has it changed since you guys opened up 10 years ago? How important is it to carry a mixture of lifestyle and core brands?
The brands we stock haven't changed drastically on the hardware front although there are more smaller independent companies these days which I like. As for apparel, we do less lifestyle than we used to but as I said before there's a few we'd love to carry like Stussy or Patagonia, but I think we carry a bit of small town stigma. It's important to have a mixture of lifestyle and skate brands though as its tough to survive on core brands alone. You need the crossover clientele.
How important is it for skaters to buy from skater owned stores and supporting their local scene?
It's essential skateboarders support their local skater owned store as I still believe we're the back bones to our local scenes. We push our scene by hosting video premieres, skate nights in the winter, competitions, sponsoring a load of local rippers and providing a place for any skater to hangout watch a video.
Head over to www.endemicskatestore.com to find out more information.