What does a skateboarder truly look like? In an interview with Bloomberg, Latosha Stone shared that most people would visualize a white guy with long hair. Stone loves to skateboard, and she is the owner of a skate brand called Proper Gnar, which is the first Black woman-owned skateboarding company. While integrating her creative vision, Stone sells skateboards, hats, and accessories through her company, and Black women are often featured in her art. Stone even sells the boards in China now, according to Bloomberg.
“My passion for skateboarding started when I was really young. I’d seen all of the neighborhood kids doing it and I wanted to try it as well.“ Stone said in the Bloomberg interview.
Stone told Bloomberg that she wants to get more women and minorities to try skateboarding. Stone’s love of the sport is spreading. However, a helpful promotional boost helped Proper Gnar achieve a high level of recognition.
In 2020, BlackBusiness.com reported that Proper Gnar was founded in 2013, and experienced ‘a precipitous rise in popularity and product orders,’ after Beyoncé Knowles featured the company in her online Black Parade Directory of Black Owned Businesses. BlackBusiness.com also mentioned that Stone’s skateboards were featured on HBO’s TV show about skater girls called Betty.
Stone’s bold move to do something nonconformist highlights that entrepreneurship can be uncovered in nontraditional sectors. Lack of representation does not necessarily indicate that an idea does not have potential.
The Proper Gnar’s website states that Stone is an artist who creates hand-drawn designs and bold statement pieces. Additionally, Stone is giving other artists a chance to shine through collaboration. A Yahoo! finance LIVE interview revealed that Stone is from a small town in Ohio. Nevertheless, she said that she feels that little Black girls should be able to pursue whatever interests that they are into, including skateboarding.
“Don’t let people discourage you, just go for it,” Stone said, during the Yahoo! finance LIVE interview.
It seems like Stone is taking her own advice.