Skateboarding is surely the highlight sport of the year. For boarders, this is exciting news; but even rookies are catching on. Jef, owner of Hong Kong skateboard label BASEMENT, is especially excited as the fuel that’s been powering his journey as a businessman and a skateboarder has precisely been the same timely persistence as mastering the skateboard turn.
Causeway Bay & Skateboarding: Humble Beginnings
Before mastering the turn, Jef had to build good foundation, which is founded in Causeway Bay and on skateboarding. Causeway Bay is where he grew up and where he decided to open his first shop. Skateboarding has long been a hobby of his, so it made sense to develop his business around that.
Passion > Career
The name BASEMENT was founded on his first shop’s location. His shop was home to a number of streetwear brands from the States, which he loved personally. “I grew up around skateboarders. We adore the thrill and the challenge; that’s when I started paying more attention to skateboarding brands and paraphernalia. I thought to myself: this is going to be my career.”
Demand > Supply
Everything that’s sold at BASEMENT has all been tried and tested by Jef. Due to the latest global spotlight skateboarding has received this past summer, his customers have expanded from those in their 30s to 40s. “I remember one customer who came in looking for a board but ended up getting all the gear after browsing around!”
Import > Homegrown Design
The pandemic has slumped every industry globally, skateboarding included.
“Production in American has slowed down because of COVID-19, but the demand for skateboards have shot up. The States can barely provide enough within their own turf, which makes it extra hard to get them here in Hong Kong!” Jef said.
Since importing them became mission impossible, Jef started designing his own. Aside from slapping on the BASEMENT logo, he also included Toffee – his late dog and ex-shop manager – into his design.
Skateboarders are attracted by the thrill and the challenge of mastering the craft after numerous falls and bumps. Jef has transformed his passion into a career. The journey wasn’t an easy one but with timely persistence – like perfecting the skateboard turn – success is never far.
Basement: 📍1/F, 19 Yun Ping Road, Causeway Bay