Oasis Skateboard Factory is an alternative school in Toronto that uses Roarockit technology to build boards in the classroom. It has been a huge success for many years but does this school prepare students for the real world? Zachary Shillolo is a recent grad and is putting that theory to the test. He has opened up his own very skate shop at Dundas and Bathurst in Toronto called the Dunbat Skate Shack. I went over to spend some time with Zachary to find out more.
Hey Zachary! How are you doing today? Can you tell me a little about Dunbat Skate Shack?
I'm doing amazing. Dunbat Skate Shack is a small little shop right beside Dunbat Skate Park. I sell used and new skateboard equipmen and provide skateboard lessons and rentals. I also sell and support clothing from local artists and sell my own brand of skateboards made with Roarockit technology.
How did you get around funding your own skate shop right after school?
I was lucky enough to get a loan through a family friend and Youth Employment grant through the Ontario government. The rest has been hard work.
How did Oasis Skateboard prepare you for your own skate shop?
We got to start our own skateboard brand at Oasis and did a lot of fund raising for the program. The rest was a lot of self-motivation because it was something I really wanted to do. It's all about going out there and not being afraid to fail.
How long have you been skating?
I've been skating since I was 3 and I've been really pushing myself in street skating for a year and half. Skateboarding has a real sense of community to me and that's what my shop is all about. I would love to have a shack at all the local skate parks in Toronto.
That's amazing! So is franchising in your future? What your future plans?
Yeah that's the plan! Keep doing this part time when I'm in school. I also want to sharpen ice skates in the winter.
I've notice you've been doing a lot of Roarockit board demos? How did that come about?
I learned how to make skateboards through Oasis and I used those skills at the shop. People love coming to the shop and watching make a skateboard from the start. My own brand, Zims Skateboards is the brand I started in school.
That's awesome, you've accomplished a lot and you're only 18! Thanks and any advice for the kids back home?
My age really has nothing to do with it. I feel like anyone can go out and live their dreams if you're 18 or 65 anyone can be running a skate shack! Stay motivated and actually go out and do it. I feel like I didn't have the best business skills in my class but I went out and put it to practice.