An Interview with Overcast Skateboard Shop
Born from a long-standing dream and a need for a shop in the East End, Overcast Skateboard Shop opened its doors in July and has been generating a buzz in the local skate scene ever since. Owners Dustyn Glies and Sarah Shaffer have partnered to bring more life to the Penn & Main corridor that borders Lawrenceville and Bloomfield, doing so one board at a time. We had a chance to chat with Dustyn regarding the shop’s opening and what visitors can find behind its doors.
Nestled across the street from the coffee shop 4121 Main and next to everyone’s favorite dive bar, Teabags, Overcast’s Main Street location is capitalizing on a developing neighborhood’s upswing. Why this area?
“We looked at multiple locations around the east side of the city. Sarah and I both live over here and love what these neighborhoods have to offer. Main Street in Bloomfield is a convenient distance from Lawrenceville, Polish Hill, East Liberty, Garfield, Oakland, Downtown, etc. There is tons of culture on the east side and we have been getting a lot of positive feedback that there needed to be a skate shop on this side of the city. When we looked at the spot we are currently in, we knew it was the one. I’m a people person and look forward to talking to anyone who walks in the door to check it out.”
“We carry a variety of hardgoods brands with a focus on smaller brands. Too many companies in skateboarding today have an unoriginal/lack of creativity to their board graphics that make them look generic. Some are also controlled by corporate hands that don’t care about skateboarding, just the dollar signs. Smaller brands tend to focus more on the artistic side and can deliver a vibe about what the company stands for or is all about.”
One such brand the shop carries is even locally-owned and operated.
“Troika Skateboards is a Pittsburgh based brand owned by some of my good friends with a team of guys that are the top talent in our local scene. Their graphics are done by local artists as well. Some of the other brands we are proud to offer are Welcome, Program, Slave, Krooked, Antihero, Spitfire, Bones, Independent, Thunder, Emerica, Lakai, Thrasher, Fourstar and Element. I’m in the process of working with the folks over at Theories of Atlantis, WKND, and a few others. We don’t carry big box brands like Nike because they are not in it for the love of skateboarding. Basically if there are skateboarders that own and operate the brands, they are the ones worth supporting.”
Drawn to the sport’s sense of individuality and the subculture surrounding it, learning to skate at a young age has given Dustyn the motivation required to pursue this dream.
” Two of my friends in middle school got into skateboarding and I was immediately drawn to it. I remember meeting up with these guys and watching them and was so intrigued to try it. Within seconds of trying to stand on a board the first time, I fell and smashed my elbow. Even though I fell, I was totally hooked. I bought a used set up off of a friends older brother a week later. I’ve traveled to a lot of different places just to skate, go to trade shows and check out contests. Its crazy to think it has molded me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t change any of it.
“Most skateboarders dream about working in a skate shop, owning one or doing graphics at one point in their life. Its what we love and what we know, so why not be even more involved and give back to your skate community? I originally went to college to get an art degree to do skateboard graphics. Even though that didn’t happen I ended up working for an e-commerce skateboard and snowboard company for nearly 10 years and met a lot of great people in the industry. I started in the warehouse picking and packing orders and eventually landed a hardgoods and mens apparel buying position for the majority of my time there.”
Giving back to the community that aided in Dustyn’s coming of age is a very important aspect of running his business.
“I have always talked about how important it is to have a shop that supports the local scene and helps get unrecognized talent the recognition they deserve and help them get hooked up by companies. With my prior industry relationships, it made setting up accounts much easier since I’ve been working with so many of the reps at different companies for so long.”
As for the local scene the shop helps to support,
“I think skateboarding as a whole is in a decently healthy state, though I would like to see less judgement between certain crews towards others. I remember the days of being somewhere and meeting another skateboarder and was instantly friends with them because of that common bond. There is a lot of talent around Pittsburgh – from veterans like my buddy Steve to young guys who have the natural talent. There are more pro tours coming through and more skateparks being built as well, which definitely helps bring the skate community together. We have some things planned for events and ways to give back to the local skate community coming soon.”
Make sure to stop by the shop and talk to Dustyn while you’re there. Give ’em a like on Facebook, too!