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ITHACA, NY – Homegrown Skateshop, Ithaca’s only skateboarder-owned shop, is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a custom shoe design to be released by Nike Skateboarding.Explains Homegrown owner Andrew Douglas, “The shoe will be inspired by Ithaca and its woodsy terrain.” Always intrigued by the design side of skateboarding footwear, Douglas has tinkered with various designs over the years. Last year, he brought an idea to longtime friend, skater, and industrial designer Jesse Hill, who provided artwork and branding for the shoe.

Another local skater-designer, Jay Stooks, produced carvings for the marketing of the shoe.

“It was a good, well-thought-out design,” says Douglas, “but it still needed something that would set it apart from the pack.” Douglas arrived at the idea of packaging the shoes in handmade engraved wooden boxes to compliment the shoe’s woodland theme. Douglas brought on two more frequent Homegrown supporters and collaborators-woodworker Bryan Tarbell and artist Mike Cook-to create a prototype. At that point, the shoe was ready to be shown.

Homegrown Skateshop owner Andrew Douglas. (Photo provided.)

Douglas presented the design to his colleagues at Nike Skateboarding, which launched in 2002 and since then has been providing some of the world’s most sought-after shoes and apparel for skateboarders and collectors alike. The brand is favored by a legion of professional skaters including Stefan Janoski, Paul Rodriguez, and Lance Mountain, as well as millions of avid amateurs. After two rounds of revisions, Nike approved the design for global release.

Says Douglas, “The project has turned out incredibly well and I’m really proud of the end result. It’s been amazing to work on something of this scale with people who have been so closely tied to the shop. Huge thanks are due to Jesse, Jay, Bryan, Mike.”

The product launch will happen at Homegrown (104 The Commons) at 10:00 AM on January 8, 2016, one day ahead of the worldwide launch. Following at 6:00 PM will be an art opening for Jesse Hill as part of First Friday Gallery Night. At 9:00 PM, there will be a launch party at Lot 10 (106 South Cayuga Street).

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Michael Smith

Michael Smith reports on politics and local news for the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached via email at msmith@ithacavoice.com, by cell at (607) 229-0885, or via Google Voice at (518) 650-3639.