We had the good fortune of connecting with Katie Adams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katie, every day, we talk about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Well, I started skateboarding when I around 7 years old. I loved anything that had to do with being outside and on wheels. My love for skateboarding is rooted in the joy it brought me as a kid. Anybody who skateboards knows the feeling. The possibilities and creativity are endless. It didn’t bother me at the time that I was the only girl in the neighborhood who skateboarded. As I got older skateboarding remained a big part of my life, but I ended up cruising more on long boards and focusing on surf styles and organized sports became my priority. When I graduated college I was looking for a job in medical device sales, but serendipitously got a job with Arbor Skateboards as an inside sales rep/customer service manager based in San Diego at the Sector 9 headquarters. It was a dream job with an amazing crew. I always knew that women were underrepresented in skateboarding and it was apparent that a lot of girls/women felt intimidated to get involved, especially as they got older. And even in Southern California, the mecca of skateboarding, I recognized that there was still a disconnect due to how male-dominated it was/is. After I left my job at Arbor and did some solo traveling, I came back and like a lightning bolt strike, I knew that starting a female-centric (longboard) skateboard company was 100% my calling – for reasons much bigger than skateboarding. My goal from the start has been to break down the real and perceived barriers that keep women from approaching skateboarding. I want skateboarding to be completely approachable for women. I want women to garner the courage and confidence they gain from skateboarding and apply it to other areas of their lives. At KateBoards we create a safe, welcoming, and supportive environment through our meet ups, private lessons, interpersonal interactions, and social media presence. We work with incredible manufacturers to create quality cruisers made to last with graphics designed by female artists. You can come to us with all of your questions – we’re so happy to help and honored to be a part of your skating journey. KateBoards is for all ages and levels. The concept for KateBoards struck me in 2015, but the company didn’t form until late 2018. The idea of combining my business background, my experience in the skate industry, serving others, and my absolute love for skateboarding was way too much “perfect” to pass up.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
KateBoards is a skateboard company dedicated to the inclusion and progression of female skaters of all ages and levels through community, collaborations, and quality products. We focus on quality cruisers/longboards and collaborate with female artists to create the graphics for the boards. We want to elevate women and create a safe + welcoming space for them in the skateboarding world. We welcome all female-identifying womxn, all backgrounds, and abilities. It truly is an inclusive space. It’s also been so great to have the support of the wonderful men who understand the mission of KateBoards and help to spread the positive vibes. Our community is what makes KateBoards what it is beyond the product, beyond the business. I genuinely and whole-heartedly want skateboarding to be approachable for women so they can take it to whatever level they want. Creating an inclusive environment where people can progress and feel supported is so empowering. When women come across KateBoards I want them to feel connected and welcomed to experience how fun skateboarding is. I want them to have quality boards under their feet so they feel the power and belonging they deserve to feel in skateboarding. Stepping on a board takes courage; I want to make that first push as easy as possible.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m a north county girl, but love all of SD! I’d take a visitor to coffee at Ironsmith in Encinitas, skate the pump track, surf Pipes, cruise to the Leucadia farmer’s market, grab lunch at GoodOnYa, check out some records at Vinyl Junkies in South Park, catch sunset with friends at Beacon’s, live music outside in the evening, grab a beer at Culture brewing, and have dinner at Birdseye Kitchen in Leucadia.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
LOTS! Shout out to my family, Sector 9, Arbor Skateboards, Greg Bergen, EG Fratantaro, Steve Lake, Dennis Telfer, Bob Carlson, Adam Smith & BBS, Jo Savage, Lauren Asta, Skye Walker, Tierney Moses, Rashelle Stetman, Karen Lynch, Valentina Pierotti, Riki Cantieni, Anna Santoro, Becky Mendoza, Eunique Deeann, Patra Glavin, Changing Tides Foundation, Exposure Skate, and Skate Rising. All the girls who come to the meet ups, all the wonderful photographers, all KateBoards customers, anyone who has taken a lesson, and anyone who has been there supporting KateBoards all the way. So grateful and wouldn’t be able to do this without you.
1. Eunique Deeann 2. Jo Savage 3. Jo Savage 4. Christy Lang 5. Jo Savage 6. Maddie Tencate 7. Trevor Hawkins 8. Damien Noble Andrews