We had the good fortune of connecting with Beau Trifiro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Beau, how does your business help the community or world?
Open Source Skateboards empowers creatives and skateboarders with the tools and resources to progress their craft. Through software, classes, and custom builds, OSS encourages more people to be proactively creative, to get outside and skate, and to become better problem solvers. OSS can help others connect the dots between fun, creativity, and continuous education. This helps the world by inspiring us to be more open to new ideas, to take more ownership in our lives, and to keep having fun. That kind of inspiration is a spark that can ignite positive chain reactions in our communities.
Please tell us more about your art. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I never really considered myself as an artist until recently (and even now, it feels a little off). I wasn’t really into painting or music growing up. Although, I did want to make stuff. I wanted to create things that didn’t exist. I went to college for mechanical engineering, yet it wasn’t until after college that I finally began to get a bit more creative. My art still isn’t what many people might think of first when they hear the word “art”. Open Source Skateboards may be best described as an art project that seeks to create feelings of empowerment and action in its consumers. I’m not just running a skateboard company; I want to provide an exceptional and unique experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else. The software, the board building classes, the videos – all of these things I create and combine to make OSS one-of-a-kind. Doing things differently excites me. OSS is a culmination of my engineering experience, teaching experience, and, of course, 20 years of skateboarding experience. It was not easy to get here, and there are still challenges in taking it farther. I just keep experimenting, trying to learn what works and what doesn’t, and do more of what does. One of the most important things I’ve learned along the way is the importance of making connections with people – connecting to learn from them, to build a community, and to learn how to better serve them. For anyone seeking professional success, focus on serving and helping others, and make that your mission. When things get tough, you need something bigger than a material goal to help push you through. This seems like one of the most important lessons I’ve learned at the moment, but I’m definitely still learning. If there’s one thing that I’d like the world to know about OSS and my story, it’s that OSS is mission-driven, and isn’t just about skateboards. I do what I do because I really believe OSS can spark a higher level of consciousness in our communities: a consciousness focused on a pursuit of understanding that can open our hearts and minds. It may seem weird to have skateboarding as the vehicle for that, but I think that’s why it’s perfect.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
San Diego is an amazing city with so much to offer. Here are some favorite spots: Walking/culture/towns: – Mission Beach / Pacific Beach boardwalk – Balboa Park – Old Town – Gaslamp/Seaport Village/Little Italy Food: – Burritos from Lucha Libre – Burgers from Hodad’s – Ramen at Tajima – Little Italy Farmers’ Market – Acai bowls from The Mad Beet or NoW Cafe Hiking/Biking: – Torrey Pines – Mission Trails – Los Penasquitos Canyon – Mission Bay Scenic spots: – La Jolla – Cabrillo National Monument
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, there are so many people that have supported me and Open Source Skateboards since I started it 6 years ago! I know I’ll be missing people if I try to name everyone. However, Fab Lab San Diego comes first to mind when I think of my mentors and guidance. Fab Lab (especially Katie Rast and Joy Decena) really deserves a shoutout. Katie and Joy introduced me to the world of teaching and education which has become an essential piece of Open Source Skateboards and its mission. It was through Fab Lab that I was given opportunities, space, and resources to grow both as an individual and as a business. Everyone at Fab Lab was amazing, fascinating, and supportive. I haven’t found another community quite like that at Fab Lab, and credit that community with much of my success with OSS.