(Featured: Sidewalk Magazine, Issue 221, April/May 2015.)
A Generation of Boys Raised By Women
‘We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.’ said Hunter S. Thompson as he and his attorney felt the engine of their Great Red Shark roar them towards a savage journey to the heart of the American dream. Meanwhile, a few weeks ago Tyler Bledsoe broadcast near enough the same message… With Alien Workshop’s comeback in place I’ve recently spent a good amount intrigued over the lingering question of Gilbert Crockett, Tyler Bledsoe and Jake Johnson’s board sponsor situation. It isn’t Fucking Awesome or Hockey or Krooked or Polar.
Mother Collective – or m,other – is a new board outfit based of out of Ohio with Crockett, Bledsoe and Johnson all riding for the company. The conception of which came in June shortly following the Workshop’s closure.
“We had ideas about doing something straight away but we all needed a sabbatical. Each one of us took the summer off to re-group and figure out where we wanted to be. No pressure, we all wanted it to happen organically, if at all. After a few months of talking, everyone was on board with Mother.” says Chad Bowers, the man behind the company and ex-Alien Workshop team manager who recently revealed the company’s origins to us. “We started working out specifics, the vibe, graphics… I wanted the team to have a say in their graphics so they sent me drawings, photos, ideas, friends’ work. I fucked with everything over a month or two while getting a small office and warehouse set up with my wife and a couple friends.”
It should also be made clear that aside from the people involved and the company’s base of location in Ohio; there are no missing links to be drawn between Mother and Alien Workshop as it is an entirely separate entity. As all three of the riders were pivotal figures in the last days of the Workshop, I’m incredibly exited to see where this brand goes. Renowned for their unique styles and the often ‘less is more’ approach, their skating personal preference has been reflected in Mother’s graphical output; “Gilbert, Tyler & Jake are heavily involved in every aspect of the brand from the graphics, future riders, vision, whom we sell to…” and though it would be logical to jump the gun and assume so; Omar Salazar is not involved with Mother. Or any other board company right now due to currently being side-lined with an injury, but time will tell…
In regards to the company’s place in today’s industry where the ‘small brand’ currently reigns supreme, Bowers thinks “It’s strange because we all look at Mother as this really small thing. But the team and where we come from sort of makes it a little larger than it really is. I guess that’s a good thing… I’m the dude behind the scenes who pushes the buttons and brings it all together. We have a small team in Ohio who make everything happen. Without them we’d be treading water.” While personally, I’m looking forward to the reception the brand meets as a small company with such already established riders carrying on a legacy of sorts.
Mother Collective should be hitting skate shop walls very soon with Keen taking up distribution duties so by the time you’ve read this it shouldn’t be long until you can find yourself further acquainted with the company. While it’s still early days and some might be sceptical of another skateboard company entering the industry, for now we’ll leave you with this last message from Chad to tide you over…
“If people want to know what we’re about; took at the graphics and the skating. We ultimately want Mother to be judged on our action, not “being cool”. Long-term we want to build a network of skaters, shops, distributors, friends, artists and other brands who want to be involved and contribute. We’re not trying to compete with other brands… That shit’s stupid. I guess in the end all of us want to save skateboarding and give a little back.”
[no more corporate blues]