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From skating for Polar to starring in Josh Stewart’s Static 4, you’ve been a huge contributor to the independent skateboard movement. What made you decide to take another step and start your own brand, Chrystie?
The idea came from my friend Pep Kim and I wanting to do something for skateboarding with skateboarders that we think are super rad and our friends. So then we started up with the idea of ChrystieNYC being a NYC skater based sock/garment brand.

Who all is involved?
Right now it’s Pep Kim and I doing the brand, along with our distributors help of course. We also flow some homies gear right now. You can see who is all involved at @ChrystieNYC

What makes Chrystie different?
We just wanted to do something more east coast based even though we’re now trying to get away from just being one coast minded. We want to communicate to people that we make rad garments and have rad dudes skating for it and being involved. We just want to show people what we think skateboarding is about.


Where is the brand currently sold?
We’re lucky enough to get our name out thru all amazing distributors all over the world. Currently products are being sold in US, EU, UK, Japan, AUS, Canada and S.Korea.

How do you go about selecting the shops the brand is sold in?
That is more based on the distributors and the shops they have accounts with. We have Mike Halls over at Keen Dist. helping us out in England, and Mike also does Polar and a bunch of other brands. That’s the same for all of our other distributors, so I trust who they want to have accounts with.

Who handles taking orders from shops and finding the International distributors?

I have been super busy the past year with Converse and traveling, so Pep has taken on most of the responsibilities of the brand. He is fucking killing it.

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Is it you guys packing the boxes?
Yes, it’s us. Me and Pep! It’s definitely fucking hard, but it’s great to know every detail from the start to finish during the season. So as the brand grows, when you have to hire employees, you know exactly how things should go. Since we don’t have much of a background in business, the branding and marketing becomes a great lesson when you’re doing it all by yourselves. 

How do you guys come up with the designs? What are your influences?
We just think up stuff, draw it up and see how it looks, make samples and then determine. Our influences come from skateboarding, soccer, and of course, fashion (laughs). We both like quality garments, nice embroidery, stitching, etc. We aren’t able to make the exact quality we want right now at this moment, but we’re getting there. It all just takes time. When you are trying so many different designs and things, it’s important to try and stick to the brands identity. It will take some time to get to the stage we really want to be at, but we are stoked on how things have come out so far. 

What’s been the biggest difficulty in launching the brand thus far?

Trying to make the right amount of gear, whether it be less garments and more socks or vice versa. There’s nothing easy. But we can’t complain. As everyone does, we have had lots of difficulties on many different levels, but all our friends and distributors have been extremely helpful and try to give us the best advice for their own markets. 

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When it comes to Polar, it is abundantly clear the amount of time, effort and care that Pontus puts into the product, videos and the overall brand. What does it mean to you to skate for a brand that holds itself to such a high standard?
I am just really stoked to be apart of all of it. I feel blessed. 

Does the way that Pontus runs Polar inspire you when it comes to Chrystie?
I’ve learned that things take time and things cost money. Pontus is extremely inspiring in so many ways and especially with the way he runs Polar. I could only hope that Chrystie grows to be as successful as Polar, but I’m also happy if it doesn’t. We just want to do something we believe in.

What other independent brands are you hyped on right now?

Bronze56K, Theories Brand, Grand Collection, GX1000, Alltimers, Quasi, Dear Sk8ing, 917. I mean the list goes on. They are all killing it in their own way and it’s all super inspiring to see it happen. Especially living in NYC where it seems so prevalent.

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I feel like over the last year or so you became much more active on social media.
Have I? haha I don’t know, social media is so important, unfortunately, so you have to play the cards. Post stuff whether you think it’s lame or not. Sort of just working together with your sponsors and trying to humbly promote yourself. 

What led to the decision to go vegan?

Kenny Anderson was battling a trick on the One Star tour in Australia and a few of us said we’d go vegan for the remainder of the trip. That was a year ago. I just stuck with it because I wasn’t as tired anymore and felt like I was skating longer and harder. And it’s nice just trying to think more about what you’re eating and how it could impact how you’re feeling.

I know how much you love donuts. Do you have a go-to vegan spot in New York?
Dun-Well Donuts or Cinnamon Snail. They are both amazing. And Punjabi for the cheap microwaved Indian food. Ha.

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You have a very unique approach to skating and spot selection seems very important to you. I remember you used to have a food delivery job where you had to bike around New York delivering food. But the hidden blessing was that you were able to discover new spots while biking around. Has quitting that job made it more difficult to find spots? How do you go about finding spots now?
Back then, when NYC was so fresh, it was super helpful being able to ride around and find things that I had never seen or seen skated before. Now that I don’t deliver food, I try to avoid the areas I was always riding around in. Now I either walk around on Google maps when the weather is poor, or I take whatever train to a random stop or last stop and I’ll walk 10-15 miles home and hope I find some gems. It’s difficult, but I enjoy it.

You have a really good thing going on with Converse. Are you the type of person that can skate any shoe or are you particular?

I need to see a hypnotist about my shoe crisis, so yeah I am particular.

I heard you played a big role in the slip on being introduced into their skate line?
I would like to think so. I complained for years (laughs) and finally got what I wanted. It’s my second colorway with Cons and it’s a slip on! Thank you so much to Converse and everyone involved.

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When it comes to skateboard content today, what do you consume? Are you seeing everything on Instagram and watching it on your phone. Or are you the type that goes to Thrasher everyday?
Big ThrasherMagazine.com guy. I pretty much get all my content and inspiration from Thrasher, Free Mag, Live Skateboard Media, etc. I stare at my phone constantly, so I try to refrain from watching skating on it haha.

What excites you about skateboarding currently? Where do you hope to see it go in the future?
I just like how it’s in this stage of the small brands not really being small anymore and they’ve all grown into being these large brands. To be apart of that is really awesome. I just want to see Polar keep going strong and hopefully continue doing ChrystieNYC.

What are you working on that we’ll see soon?
Polar HD Promo and Converse full length. Les get it!


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