Friday, January 20, 2012 at 10 a.m.
SEVEN13SK8's dark, abstract interior.
Inside the ever-open door of SEVEN13SK8 in downtown Phoenix is a space home to quality roller skate parts, street-fashionable accessories, and abstract paintings by Kristine Brambilla.
The local artist just finished the store's exterior mural (and a few others on the neighboring storefronts in the OPtic complex on Third and McKinley streets). As soon as the dust settles and the shop establishes a place in the Downtown community, she says she'll be looking to bring in more artwork and roller-friendly merch.
The Downtown shop is very Brambilla -- the artwork is all hers and she says the gear is something she got into while playing roller derby (she was a member of Harmonic Violence RollerGirls until a knee injury took her out of the game).
Since then, she says her efforts have gone into this shop, which she hopes caters to her beloved demographic. She and her business partner, Freedom Crump, have lightly stocked the store with wheels, pads, and skates until funds can allow them to expand.
"I'd like a whole wall of skates and boards," Brambilla says. And while her shop offers a small supply of gear (a result of small-business finances), she also has a variety of gear catalogs from which customers can order.
Brambilla, still, isn't intimidated by the fleeting leases known to start and stop in her complex, and she says her artwork gigs have kept her familiar with the area.
Open since October, SEVEN13SK8 has had a slow but successful start, and while weekdays can be slow, Brambilla says that the store sees more traffic on First and Third Fridays. Plus, when business slows down, Brambilla says she can always go outside for a quick blade: "Sometimes I ride around the block, peek in to see if anyone's there, and go around again."
You can catch the 36-year-old artist in her store 345 E. McKinley St.Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, or during her community rides for bladers and bikers every Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m..