The unstoppable Michelle Pezel shows us how a skate store can bring a community together.
The unstoppable Michelle Pezel shows us how a skateshop can bring a community together, in one of the stories we found creating our annual Skateboarding Special, in collaboration with Levi's Skateboarding.
We hang out with Michelle Pezel, the one-woman powerhouse behind Vancouver’s skate store come community hub and arts centre, Antisocial, as part of our global tour in search of stories for our Skateboarding Special Volume II, in collaboration with Levi’s Skateboarding,
Michelle opened Antisocial in 2002 at a low-point for skateboarding in Vancouver. A few other stores had closed their doors and Michelle realised there was nowhere that supported the culture of art and creativity that goes hand in hand with skateboarding. So she picked up a copy of Business for Dummies and together with co-founder Rick McCrank stepped in to fill a gaping whole in the city.
Michelle seems to find a whole load more hours in the day than the rest of us. Alongside meeting with the city council to advocate for more skateparks, jumping on her motorbike to go hiking and camping on her days off, jamming with her band and hitting art/music shows, Michelle has put in over a decade of hard work to make Antisocial something really special – and she still finds time to skate most evenings.
Antisocial hosts book launches, music shows and artists such as Ed Templeton and Todd Francis have exhibited at the store’s gallery space. But above all, it’s become a social centre for Vancouver’s skaters. “We want to hang out with everybody!” Michelle says.
In this video, directed and shot by Benny Zenga, Michelle shows us around the store, cycles us to some killer Vancouver skate spots (including a cheeky mini ramp in her backyard) and explains why there’ll never be enough hours in the day to do everything she wants to do.
You can find The Skateboarding Special at select skate stores around the world and a selection of stories and videos inspired by the issue will be published at huckmag.com over the next month.