Lauren interviews Kate from Kippy Skateboards
Pretty pumped, this is a bit of an ‘insta-dream’ conversation happening, because I follow you on insta and your page is full of living-the-dream photos… It’s pretty awesome. But for those who haven’t stalked you on Instagram like I have, what exactly is Kippy Skateboards?
Kippy Skateboards is the label I started about five years ago. Around the end of 2011 I just started experimenting after my skateboard and my brother’s got stolen. They were a limited edition make and a shape I really liked. I didn’t want to have to buy another one so I thought I’d make one. It was really fun—I was super interested in woodwork and design and it just started from that. I knew what shape I really liked and it was pretty old school, really simple. Since then I’ve probably refined the shape maybe four times, to improve it and get it better. I’m just about to put out maybe my fourth or fifth shape. My dad helped. He’s an engineer so he’s got a sense how to draw the shapes automatically. I’ve got brothers; they help me with the funnier, quirky designs. Otherwise it’s just been me.
When did it merge from something you were just doing to actually turning into a business?
I was doing it really slowly more at the start. I was working casual jobs and found I wasn’t enjoying doing anything other than board-making. About 2013 I started an online store. That’s when it really kicked off as a business. Then two years after that it just became my full time job, every day.
Were there any fears or issues that came up when launching it?
It’s been pretty scary. Being a young person, there’s the pressure of having a good career and making sure of a good stable income. But when you’re doing something you really love, it’s not an issue. Sure it’s a struggle sometimes with income. But I know God wants me doing this so I don’t have to worry. And anytime I do worry I just have to remember that He’s called me to do it, so it’s alright. He always helps and provides the way or the wisdom.
I notice on your insta and even on your websites ‘about us’ page is that Jesus is there. He’s at the forefront of what of what you do. Was your faith a big part of your business from the start?
Yeah absolutely. I just couldn’t picture separating my faith and the business. I’m not really a business person; it’s something I feel God called me to do so I could never picture doing it different. Since the beginning, I knew it had to be about God—that it’s not actually about skateboards or whatever, it’s just the way He wants me to proclaim the Gospel.
it’s not actually about skateboards or whatever, it’s just the way He wants me to proclaim the Gospel
What’s it like dropping a Jesus post into the mix of insta, tumblr, blog and so on?
Sometimes it can be a little like ‘Ooh, how will people react?’ and sometimes I can think, ‘Ah I don’t want people to not like my brand because of that’ but, as soon as I remember it’s from God and it’s for God, that gives me encouragement and boldness to share. I actually receive so much support from people who do follow and it’s only a few people every now and then who will be critical. Things like: ‘Aw, Jesus’ and a laugh or ‘God’s not real’. So I’m actually super fortunate to not be attacked in that way, like some people would be.
Have you had any moments with anyone reaching out, about their faith?
Yeah, it’s so cool. It always happens when I’ll be having a bit of a down day or when I feel discouraged. For no reason—not enquiring about a board or anything like that—they’re simply saying ‘Hey, wow, I’m so encouraged you have faith in God, like I do,’ or ‘I really want to go to church’ and stuff like that. I’m just blown away. God obviously knows I need it and I feel so blessed.
Anything else we can see from Kippy Skateboards, maybe something new?
I’m hoping maybe sometime soon to have an event, a skate event on the Gold Coast.
Do you have any last comments for any young person who may be encouraged right now by your words?
I think for young people especially that it’s hard to be yourself and to do your passion when there’s so many voices around you. And it always ends up being such a blessing to do something that you really love. Whether or not you have a faith in God, I think we’re all here for a reason and there’s a bigger picture than just ourselves.