With a unique approach to the start of a company over several decades this young entrepreneur is taking his dream and making all of it a reality. He spends his days working in an industry that for him was once an outlet to find himself and deal with life around him. From the projects as a kid, to a professional skateboarder touring the world, to creating and marketing his own brand, Anthony Shetler is doing what he loves to do each and every day. He has created a world around him based on a need and what he needed in his life, skateboarding. All I Need was created, and the rest tells the story of the passion that this young man share in his story and his vision.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you decided to make skateboarding your living. It all started when Anthony was thirteen years old and he was introduced to skateboarding. He was a young teen lost and confused due to loosing his dad and his mom dealing with an addiction. A friend of his introduced him to skateboarding and he was absolutely blown away that you could do tricks on them and he latched on to skateboarding because it was fun and he could use it as an outlet to escape and relax from what was going on in his world around him as a young teenager. After learning from videos and skating all the time he acquired sponsors and turned professional. Since he is a professional skateboarder he has time to practice and work on his sport but it also allows him to travel.
When did you say that you want to start your own skateboard line and have your own business? As a professional he had the opportunity to ride for many brands including Bird House by Tony Hawk, Zoo York, and World Industries. However, Zoo York and World Industries are not skateboarder owned so when the recession hit they decided that they wanted to get out of the skateboarding industry. After that time he was looking for work because he had, had the opportunity to travel and see so much that he was just not willing to give it up. He was willing to continue to figure it out because it was his whole world. It made him who he was and he was grateful for the life of skateboarding. And from that moment “All I Need” was born because he really did believe that all he needed was skateboarding in his life.
After you decided to start “All I Need”, where did you go next with the journey? In the beginning after the thought of the company name for a long time it was just about going out and having fun and skateboarding. There really was not much thought about the business side of it. Once the industry and the economy went down he realized that if he wanted to keep skateboarding in his life he was going to have to start learning and take on responsibility to learn how to build a brand. Because essentially the interest in skateboarding crashed, at that point he took on a need and figured it out. He began by looking on-line, asking questions but really had a lot of experience that he had built up from working with other brands as a young skateboarder. He takes the simple approach to building and every step will lead to the next. However he is very humble and is not afraid to ask questions and learn whatever he needs to do it the right way.
How are you getting your name and brand out there? With many connections from his professional days he has been able to expand on the connections. He took his skateboard team out to San Diego and had a blast and they filmed it all. They were very lucky to speak to the Ride Channel, which is a Tony Hawk’s YouTube Channel and they shared it on their site. The response has been amazing and the reception that they received from the video has been great. Podcasting is also used to market and brand, by doing interviews with fellow skateboarders. One of the most important yet hardest is to get your mission statement out. Skateboarding is an art and people are very protective over their art so when you are getting your name out there you have to show the world that you are invested in the brand and the mission behind it.
What have you done to keep the connections alive in your network? Many skateboarders are introverts, so you have to be willing to put yourself out there and talk to people. The industry of skateboarding is big but everyone knows everyone from videos and magazines so you really have to make a point to go out there and talk to people. The industry has really embraced All I Need, he feels because he has shown them that he is invested in skateboarding. Hence the name of the company because they connect with the need for skateboarding and everyone that owns a company in the industry needs skateboarding. He even does some “cold calls” to get the name out there to skate shops. The idea is to keep growing and see how far you can go. Business is never-ending just like skateboarding. If you keep working the pieces will fall into place and it is amazing to see how with work they start to fall in place, with the right artists, photographers and manufactures.
Looking back what is one thing that you wish you would have known or have learned along the way? It is always something that really makes him think but he entered into business knowing that it was going to be hard and that he was going to have questions. But no one told him that it would take time and he wish he would have known that it takes time to build a brand and a following to make a company. When the excitement is there you want everyone to be excited and for it to happen right away but like with everything it all takes time. Coming in with very high hopes was hardest for Anthony as he wanted it all to take shape right away, he was patient and allowed the company to grow organically and the roots have grown and the plant is blossoming. You have to find the positive attitude, see the silver lining and pick up change when you see it on the ground.
So what is next for you and All I Need? In the immediate future he is working on a reality webisodes called AINLife and his way to meet interesting people and see beautiful landscapes.
You can find more about Anthony Shetler:
www.allineedskate.com, Instagram @ allineedskate; Twitter @ allineedskate; Facebook @ allineedskate or personally on Instragram @ AnthonyShetler
More about Anthony Shetler:
It was there for me when no one else was: skateboarding, I came across my first skateboard shortly after my father's life was taken. My skateboard didn't care that i was poor, emotional and practically homeless. It gave me a sense of self and was an outlet of expression. Through perseverance and fervor I have had the opportunity to be sponsored by some of the largest brands involved with skateboarding, such as Birdhouse, Zoo York and World Industries, to name a few. Skateboarding has taken me around the world and back and on this journey I've learned that everyone experiences ups and downs and we all need something to keep us moving. for me, All I Need is my skateboard.
The mission behind creating the AIN brand was to allow me to further develop my skateboarding career. Being meticulous, resilient, and unwavering in my work ethic has allowed me to understand the principles of business, design, and marketing which has ultimately given me more life experience. My ultimate goal with the AIN brand is to be able to give back all the blessings i have receive from skateboarding, I have an amazing skate team and i would love to be able to help them reach their goal of becoming professional skateboarders!
Get on the list, and we'll send you info when we open our next challenge!