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Banned Skate Shop’s new location is in an idustrial warehouse in Redlands. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Reis)
Banned Skate Shop’s new location is in an idustrial warehouse in Redlands. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Reis)
Banned Skate Shop in Redlands is celebrating 25 years in 2018. (Photo courtesy of Carlos Reis)

Twenty-five years ago Banned Skate Shop started as a booth at Redlands’ Market Night, and it was quite a hustle.

“It was not easy,” founder Carlos Reis said of the early years, working in a truck selling shoes and skateboard parts before getting a physical location. The business has weathered the Great Recession and the threat from online retailers like Amazon by becoming a part of the community and adapting their business model to the web.

The store offers lessons to youth, and sponsors events and teams.

“I think we owe more than to just sell products,” said Reis, a native of Brazil.

“A key element” of what the shop does is mentoring young employees who have a passion for skating and “know how to seize an opportunity,” he said, and he’s seen plenty of success.

“We know so many people, they’re working in L.A. now and in the national skate/surf industry, interesting people that made it big in Hollywood, they passed through the experience of retail,” he said.

He said things were booming for the store before the economic crash in 2008 and they hit “ground zero” as did for so many other businesses.

“I pushed reset, ended leases, sold everything for cents on the dollar, and just kept the one (store) in Redlands,” he said.

And then, “I had to reinvent myself to keep on living,” he said. He started a vending and food services company, which helped sustain the skate shop. Today, he said, the shop is back on its own feet.

He said the skateboarding movement used to have a “buzz” that sustained many stores, but that faded away in 2008, and he misses that competition.

“We hope they are going to come back again,” he said. “We don’t want to be isolated. We want to have this competitive environment.”

A few months ago he shuttered the shop’s longtime location on Orange Street and moved to an industrial warehouse near Citrus Plaza.

The new location, 1200 Arizona St. Unit B5, again has a wall-to-wall ramp in the back built by a fan named Skater Dave, and still offers lessons.

The shop is refocusing and returning to 1993 and the goods the business was based on such as footwear, clothing, decks, hardware, and more.

Distractions, “things that tied up the capital but never really turned,” Reis said, like watches and sunglasses, are out.

In recent years advertising has gone from passing out flyers and mailing catalogs to maintaining a website and connecting with customers via social media.

Quality gear and commitment to customers has garnered loyalty, and now Reis sees “customers bring their kids, a second generation wearing Banned gear.”