Well… the day has finally come. I’m sitting behind the desk at Slam, tapping away at the letters on my keyboard and unleashing my thoughts for blog post #1 (or, as I like to call it, brain-splat #1).
It’s been a whole entire year since Elle (my better half) and I decided we’d had enough of the chaos of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and started to search for a way to make enough cash to sustain our small family (our daughter, Lilah, was only a few months old at the time) and also live a calm, simple and happy life, preferably sticking somewhere close to the ocean. We actually drove up to the Central Coast one day and ducked in and out of a few suburbs to see if there was anywhere we could imagine planting ourselves and raising Lilah, and we liked what we were experiencing in a lot of coastal areas.
Coincidentally (around mid-August) I was scrolling through Instagram whilst out at a skatepark one night, and saw the advertisement that read, “SLAM FACTORY IS FOR SALE,” and, jokingly, I tapped a mate on the arm and said, “Hey look, we should all chip-in and buy Slam – wouldn’t that be the dream?” and we had a bit of a laugh, shrugged the idea off, and continued to ride our bikes until the lights died. The next day, whilst driving with Elle and Lilah to Baby Bunting (probably to buy something awesome like nappies, bleh!) that same advertisement popped back into my news feed, and because I jump at every chance I get to talk about skatepark-related things to Elle (y’know how it is?) I said the same line as the night prior, “Wouldn’t that be the dream?” only this time, I was bloody stunned by her response. “Yeah, it would be the dream for you, so you should buy it.”
Looooong story short, the keys to our very own skatepark were in our hands by the first week of December. As I said, it’s been about a year now, but that still sounds absolutely insane when I say it out loud, and I still get a massive kick out of seeing people’s reactions when they ask, “So, what do you do for a living?” and I say, “I own a skatepark.” Seriously, it’s hilarious.
Neither of us had any real experience running a company stepping into this business venture, and because of that we’ve been put to the test and challenged in so many ways. We’ve had to learn how to run a retail store; how to make events run successfully; how to ensure our “Skool” students are learning as much as they can to progress; how to host fun birthday parties; how much Mountain Dew to order each week to keep smiles on kids’ faces; and a hell of a lot more, but you get the point.
Because we’re a small team, it can be stressful and exhausting at times, but fundamentally, if I can always try to remember how much joy riding a BMX bike gave me as a child, as a teenager, and still to this day as adult – a father, and soon-to-be husband – I know that no matter what obstacles we stumble across, we’ll be just fine, because we’re doing something that makes us – and a lot of other people – really happy, and at the end of the day, that’s all that really matters.
So, it’s been a crazy year, and now here I am, getting out brain-splat #1 on…
OUR BRAND NEW WEBSITE
What does this mean?!
Slam Factory has always had a pretty old school website (that, to be fair, did the job it needed to do) but we’ve built a brand new one from scratch to allow us to do a lot more for you, the customer.
First thing’s first – the online store. You can now purchase every item that we have available to purchase in-store by clicking a couple of buttons, and have it sent straight to your door without even gettin’ off the couch! Of course, we’d prefer to see you in person and have you ride the skatepark while you’re here, but we understand that it’s not always that easy to poke your head in, and if you want to continue to support your local scene, this is how you can do it.
To have a look at the brand new online store, click the “SHOP” tab in the navigation bar above. Please be aware that not all products have been uploaded yet – this is an ongoing process that’s going to take us a little bit of time, so please bare with us!
It’s also worth quickly noting that we do our best to be conscious of our lil’ footprint on the world, so your goodies will be mailed to you in environmentally friendly packaging wherever possible (it’s cool to want to save the planet, guys).
Whilst building our new website, we also wanted to make it easier for parents to see all of our private birthday party offerings, check prices and available timeslots. We know that organising parties can be stressful, so we’re hoping that this will help you get started without any hassles. At the moment, all bookings are done in-person or over the phone (02 4355 1557) but we're working on adding an online booking system! All good things take time!
To check out our new birthday party offerings (both private bookings for the whole entire skatepark, and parties within general public sessions), click the “PARTIES” tab in the navigation bar above.
All of our session times have also been updated. We’ve decided that for now, it’s convenient and family friendly to have all sessions as “all-in” meaning that ANYONE can come and ride WHATEVER they want WHENEVER they want. We love having sessions run this way, because we have so many groups of friends coming in together who like to ride different things. Slam Factory is a place where we all respect one another, because at the end of the day, we’re all here for the same reason – to have fun!
To see our new session times, click the “SESSION TIMES” tab in the navigation bar above. Please take note of the private party times on Saturdays and Sundays to avoid disappointment when you turn up.
I guess that’s it for now. Brain-splat #1, done. I guess you could call this one a summary of our new website’s features, and a bit of an insight into our first year as small business owners. The only thing that’s left to be said is THANK YOU. From Elle and I, THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of your support over this past year. We wouldn’t be where we are without every single one of you. Whether you live just around the corner and ride nearly everyday, or live not so far away and come by every few weeks, or live ages away and have made the effort to stop in once or twice – the amount of support we’ve received from all of you has been exponential, and we are so unbelievably grateful. We’re so damn excited for Slam’s future, and even though it may appear as things are moving slowly around here, all good things take time, and we plan on being around for many, many more years.
You’re on this journey with us, so cheers for being a part of it, and we hope to see you soon!
– Kurt, seriously stoked owner of Slam Factory