Set goals, achieve them. Dream dreams, live them.
It’s funny how a chance encounter can change the course of your life. With the question, ‘Do you do Communications?’ I met Mike Hall in my first year of Uni. From there he took me to my first rap-battle comp, showed me hiphopnz, introduced me to life-long friends and great new music. He’s also partly responsible for the boyfriend and I meeting and they can both take some credit for my first purchase of Nike Blazers. It seems fitting because that same influence over my social life and musical and fashion taste seems to have been extended to influencing a part of Auckland too. I left the city for a year and came back to find he’d become some kind of party events extraordinaire with Joel Coombs and Scratch 22 under the moniker The ARC. Still, the real dream was to open their own shop. And after talking about it for a bit, they just did it. Cool story ay? Meet Mike and Joel, owners of Arcade:
Arcade is our new skate shop on 22 Cross street, it’s something that we thought was missing in the city, an independent community owned spot and something that we could use as a platform for our various projects. We’ve been doing the ARC parties for the last 3 years and we really felt that our creative community has cemented through that and we wanted to give it a physical location.
I grew up skating and loved and always went to the skate shops. I’d come into the city from Waiheke and go on a loop between all the different places around. You could hang out, you could talk to pros, learn about new music, new fashion, all that kind of stuff. That’s kind of been missing from Auckland for the last ten years or so. We’re bringing it back.
The brand list for the shop is made up of stuff that we’ve imported ourselves from New York such as Daves Quality Meats, ONLY NY, 5 Boro and aNYthing. From LA we’ve got Diamond, Fuct. There’s Adidas, Vans, Converse, ABC, we’re getting Clarks as well. It’s all pretty classic stuff. We’ve put a lot of effort into making sure that everything on the shelves is stuff that we would probably wear ourselves and not just because something will sell.
We did some Arcade logo tees and a couple of hats. We’re lucky we’ve got Toby Locke working in the store as well. He is like, I don’t want him reading this and his head getting really big and stuff, but he is definitely one of my favourite skateboarders from NZ. He’s been rocking the hat around and I don’t know if it’s to do with him wearing it, but all the colour of the one he’s wearing, is sold out.
We were fitting out the store and an artist called Paul Hartigan, who was having a coffee at Millers, just walked in and decided that he liked the space and he put one of his Revolution Neon works up on the wall, just loaned it to us. It’s a pretty big deal we didn’t really know at the time too much about him. It’s a serious artwork and he just donated it there. Since then we’ve had kids in here admiring it that wouldn’t otherwise really care about art in anyway.
Skateboarding is, besides music, an obsession…we haven’t kept up with the skating to the skill level of the people out now but having the backing of people like Che (ABC) and Justin (Traffick) and Dan Buckley (Huffer) and people like that has meant a lot. They see what we’re tryna do and they see that it’s missing and they know what it’s like to have an independent business as well. So any nod from them has felt really good.
We’ve tried to make everything really reasonably priced. Most of our friends don’t have very much money, but they’re all kind of ‘young, gifted and broke,’ quote, unquote Homebrew. But none of them have very much money. The cool ones don’t. It’s just cool to be able to make our clothing accessible…Everything is cheaper than most street-wear stores but it’s also kind of curated by us, it’s quality stuff.