Spotlight on Blacklist Boardshop:
Celebrating 20 Years in Lawrenceburg!

“Skateboarding has just kind of always been there for me.  It started when I was six years old. I had a couple older cousins that are still my two best friends today. They showed me everything from music to skateboarding to art and it wouldn’t really have mattered what they were into, I probably would have done it because they were the coolest people to me. Fortunately, it was skateboarding and it stuck. 

The shop thing never came about until 2004. A friend of mine that I skated with told me a skate shop was opening in Lawrenceburg.’ At the time I didn’t even know that there was a skate park getting built. So, I just kind of showed up and started hanging around the shop for a couple of weeks. I was the only person that wasn’t 15, so the owner offered me a job and it kind of worked out. Working a couple days a week turned into full time.

I wasn’t sure that a skate shop in Lawrenceburg was actually going to work so I just kept going to school . Over the first couple years we started seeing some growth and success. I could tell the original owner didn’t come off like he was in it for the long haul, so I started toying with the idea of taking over. I proposed my offer to him over a couple of years, and in 2009 I officially became the owner, and the rest is history. 

Geography was our biggest hurdle in the early years.  Most core skate shops are in larger cities.  Being in a smaller town created a lot of hurdles for us, but I think that’s partially what drove us to succeed.  Now with online sales, everything’s a click away giving us a much broader reach. But, in the early 2000s, the challenge was all getting people in your door. As our community grew into a thriving scene, we began to see a lot of skateboarders that might not have found it otherwise.

As time went on, we grew the shops following, brought new and larger brands into the shop, and more importantly to southeastern Indiana, and really began to fill a void.  We dove into online sales as well to expand our reach.  Our thriving scene began to receive industry recognition.  The growth began to increase exponentially.  We had finally arrived and were becoming a staple in both our community and the midwest skate scene. 

The digital world has really changed the landscape for a brick and mortar store in a lot of ways.  However, I feel like there will always be a place for the core skateboard shop.  You simply can’t know how a skate shoe is going to feel, or what the shape of board is like without seeing it in person.  But even more so, it comes down to everything we do in addition to simply selling stuff.  It’s the events we put on.  It’s the interaction with our customers.  It’s teaching a kid how to push the right way.  It really comes down to what you’re doing for the community above and beyond just retail.  

I think this summer is going to be really good. We’re seeing lots of new skaters pick up their first board and the skatepark has seemed alive.  We’ll be kicking off our Tuesday night skate sessions at the skatepark in May which serves as a great way to unite our community and surrounding skate scenes.  We simply invite everyone to come out and just skate.  Bring your friends.  Meet new skaters.  It’s so simple but that type of organic gathering is key in building and maintaining a healthy skate community.  In addition to that we have a few more structured events in the works that we’ll be announcing soon.

After all these years, I am most proud of just doing it our way. We’re not a part of a chain, so we don’t have to follow any rules. We can switch lanes real quick. If we don’t like the way something’s operating or the way people are doing it, we can just do it our own way and put our own twist on it. And if it fails, then it’s on us. There’s no guidelines and it’s liberating to just be free. 

It’s been an awesome ride so far.  We’ve met so many rad people and made so many friends along the way.  We’ve connected with pros, other skate shops, and industry tastemakers alike.  We’ve connected with legends and people that we grew up looking up to.  I hope our contributions to skateboarding might one day have an impact and give the next generation that same feeling and drive to carry on traditions as well. 

I’d like to give a shout to everyone who’s been along for any part of that ride.  From our current and past employees and shop riders, to every single customer who has ever stepped foot into our shop, we are forever grateful for your support.  Most importantly, I’d like to thank my wife Emily and my kids Aliyah, Coleman, and Kai for the love and support day in and day out.  It’s not always the easiest running your own operation.”  
– Joe Hughes, Owner of Blacklist


Click the link below for a complete list of the unique shops in downtown https://downtownlawrenceburg.com/listings/shop/

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