09/18/17

What do hemp, skateboarding, and fashion all have in common? ~ Alyssa Devlin

What do hemp, skateboarding, and fashion all have in common? They’re all part of an underground movement in DC that is slowly growing, and doing good things for the community as it grows. So we all know DC legalized marijuana, but have you stopped to think about hemp for a minute?

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Hemp has a fascinating history in the US – it was popular for a number of industrial uses in the early 1900s, during World War II the USDA even ran a campaign called, “Hemp for Victory” that was aimed at increasing hemp production. However, not long after the war, hemp became associated with marijuana and banned during the war on drugs. It only recently became legal to grow again in some states and under certain circumstances in 2014. Suffice it to say that hemp has gotten a bad rap, which is too bad given some of its awesome properties.

hemp-chart

For the eco-conscious, there are a lot of reasons to get behind hemp — it’s sustainable to grow, natural to wear, and requires less resources to produce than synthetic materials. And if you don’t care much about the eco arguments for wearing hemp, there are so many fashion reasons to do so. It’s strong, durable, and softer than you’d think. While some may think that detangling hemp from its relationship with weed could be a good thing for the hemp growing and weaving industry, with the legalization of marijuana in DC and now five more states, plenty of people are highlighting the relationship and bringing hemp along for the ride in the marijuana revolution. Which may not be a bad thing.

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There are a ton of people in DC doing awesome stuff with hemp — from those advocating for legislative changes to those making onesies with it, there are plenty of ways to learn more about hemp and up your fashion cred too. Take for example Tati Kolina, the  creative mind behind the sPACYcLOUd, female owned clothing company based in Washington DC. IT manager by day, designer by night, she is hugely passionate about creating cool, original, eco-friendly fashion. She recently filled me in on why hemp is such a big part of her vision. Tati loves hemp for its sustainability and wearability — it is one of the most durable natural fibers used for textiles. And it’s great for active fashionistas who want their clothes to be able to withstand wear and tear because it holds its shape and lasts longer than most other fabrics. The ruggedness of hemp, plus the fact that it’s biodegradable, should appeal to hipsters and hippies alike. At sPACYcLOUd, Tati has embraced the values of the hemp community by creating a collection of Hemp hoodies which will be launched in October 2017. While she still has to use imported hemp, Tati will manufacture hemp apparel in the US at a factory which she found through Maker’s Row and follow sustainable practices.

Flyer

A big presence in DC’s skater community, Tati quickly noted the hemp community’s growth and saw a strong connection in values and mentality between the hemp community and the skateboarding community. And she’s not the only one — people across the globe who are both committed to sustainability and the sport of skateboarding are connecting the worlds of hemp and skating. Last year an entrepreneur was using 3D printing to make hemp skateboards, and a clothing company sponsored the building of a half pipe in Australia’s largest hemp field. Both industries are community-focused and have built their base through grassroots action and word of mouth. For instance, in DC there’s a skate community out there full of people who are keen on shredding, but also very involved in their community.

Skate Girls Tribe

In 2014, Tati started the organization Skate Girls Tribe (SGT) for girls in the DC area looking to try skateboarding. As a male dominated sport, skateboarding can be intimidating to girls. The awesome thing about SGT is that it provides girls with an open environment in which to skate — from beginners to competitors — and it also gives them a community in which they have a forum to talk about the social and personal issues that they face — from what it’s like being girls in the skating community to challenges they may face in school and at home.

skate girls tribe

There’s a growing interest in DC to support ventures like SGT. The Kennedy Center hosted a multi-day festival last year called, “Finding a Line: Skateboarding, Music, and Media”, which focused on highlighting the positives of the skating community, “because there’s such a long tradition of skaters being criminalized and pushed out by security and police”, and the Kennedy Center wanted to be vocal about their support for the community. SGT even hosted one day of the festival, which focused on women skateboarders.

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The hemp and skate communities in DC are both still so small that there’s definitely an “everyone knows everyone” kind of feel that is comforting to a newcomer. They’re welcoming communities that are focused on bettering the lives of the people they connect with. In sum, lots of people out there are doing awesome stuff with hemp. Not to mention there are a number of communities in DC that are all interconnected, such as the skate community and the hemp community, which are doing something in their own way to give a voice to the voiceless, give greater access to fun, affordable activities, and support small businesses that are focused on bettering the environment.

Hemp Dress

 

 

09/17/17

Back To School Girls Only Skate Jam

On September 10, 2017, Skate Girls Tribe organized a skateboarding contest at Lake Fairfax Skatepark in Virginia. Many girl shredders from the DMV area signed up for the contest. Prizes were provided by Vans and sPACYcLOUd and included snapbacks, sneakers, shades, stickers, wallets, bandannas, and string bags.

Skate Girls Tribe

With its central mission to inspire women in action sports, Skate Girls Tribe is honored to bring Girls Only skateboard jam and the creative culture of skateboarding to DMV.
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Winners of the contests:

Flow:
1st Mia Charles
2nd Pia Saclauso
3rd Sidney Ramos

Bowl Contest:
1st Alexis Williams,
2nd Mia Charles
3rd Pia Saclauso

Game of Skate:
1st Mia Charles
2nd Sidney Ramos
3rd Alexis Williams

Skate Girls Tribe

We are proud and inspired by all girls shredders who participated at the event. Thanks for making the Back To School Girls Only Skate Jam awesome!

Skate Girls Tribe

S/O to Castle IX, a media and music production team, for hosting the event. They helped with judging the contests and kept our ladies energized with fresh tunes.
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Thanks to Vans for providing awesome prizes.

Vans

Thanks to sPACYcLOUd for sponsoring and organizing the event and providing prizes.

sPACYcLOUd

 

08/31/17

Fantástico: Skate Girls Tribe Travels To Cuba ~ by Tati Kolina

Skate Girls Tribe took to the streets of Havana earlier this month, and it was truly a life changing experience. Before the trip, though, so many people warned us about contracting the Zika Virus, being arrested for simply being Americans, that we would not be able to get visas, not find food, and, most importantly, that we would not be welcomed by the Cuban skate community. In other words, we had no idea what to expect, but thankfully our trip surpassed all expectations.

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We stayed in the Havana, and were immediately immersed in their culture of art, music, poetry, dancing, architecture and historical monuments. It really felt like being in a 1960s movie, that we had gone back in time with the deep thrum of old Cadillac, Chevys, Dodges, Buicks, Fords and other cars that were brand new when John F. Kennedy was the President of the United States. We also saw Russian cars imported between  the Cuban Revolution in 1959 and the fall of the Soviet Union in early ‘90s. There were Vases, Jigulis, and Ladas which was a reminder of USA-Soviet Union presence in Cuba and the tensions were still felt in the air.

Cuban Cars

We arrived on Aug. 15, a couple of days before our skating contests and had time to stroll through Old Havana. We were directed to the Prado, that iconic pedestrian boulevard connecting Havana Harbor to the Parque Central and the Capitol building, a local skateboarder hang out. Cuban girls were very excited to meet us and our pro skateboarder Natalie Krishna Das.

Skateboarding in Cuba

After all of the warnings and advice from friends in the U.S., we were greeted with love and open-mindedness.  We had no translator and communicated with our eyes, body movement and hand gestures. But truly, we spoke the same language, that of passionate skaters who never take no for an answer. It was an amazing feeling to be welcomed by these Cuban girls into their skate scene.

Skateboarding in Cuba

At 11 a.m., on August 19, we held a longboard freestyle, a ramp jam and a skateboarding street contests.  The event was attended by a dozen of Cuban girls at the Cuba Skate Park in Havana, but there were also lots of boys. When we started the contest, boys tried to skate where we were, and made negative comments. In that respect, it felt just like home. And just like home, it didn’t stop us. 

Longboarding Contest

Eventually boys calmed down, sat down and watched us. Natalie did a demo and everyone watched with admiration. At the end each participating girl received a prize.

Natalie Krishna Das

We went to the Prado on the next day and were immediately greeted by a group of skaters. They were excited to see us and eager to learn new tricks. We did a skate clinic and taught everyone new tricks, a few of which were mastered by girls almost immediately. Once again we did not have a translator, but through their eyes we saw only one thought: “Please teach us more. We want to learn.”

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Since there are not skate shops and shipping services to Cuba are non existent, male skateboarders get skate gear from various U.S.- based skate organizations. That means that the girl skaters in Cuba receive hand-me-down boards from their brothers. Their skate gear is very old, many times broken and with tearaway wheels.  Some girls skateboarded in their sandals, and the next time we go, with support of Vans, we plan to take  tons of new shoes, and hopefully new wheels and anything else we can carry.

On our last day, we decided to give our boards to local girls who lived the next block from our airbnb whom we watched everyday from our balcony. They were playing on the street and, one day, two of them were sharing a pair of rollerblades, one was riding a left shoe and the other right shoe simultaneusly. There was no question: these girls have the right spirit and deserved our boards.

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We went to Cuba to inspire, encourage and connect with local girls, to tell them what they are doing is good and to keep believing in themselves. We came back with a great sense of accomplishment, and a deep desire to return. 

Cuba

Big S/O to sPACYcLOUd for sponsoring our trip to Cuba. This project was also made possible with help of Amberly Arlene Ellis, the director of the 2017 documentary film Hermanas en Ruedas (Sisters on Wheels), which closely looks into the lives of female Cuban skaters.

Thank you to all individuals and companies who made our mission in Cuba possible:

08/22/17

The RFK Stadium Skatepark was a Work of Art! – by Pia Saclauso

On Sunday, August 20th, Skate Girls Tribe was stoked to be a part of the RFK Stadium Block Party located in Washington, DC! Events DC has teamed up with a national visual artist, Naturel, who renovated the whole skatepark. The block party was to celebrate his project completion and included skateboarding, various family-friendly activities, live music, and a ton of giveaways! 
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The freshly renovated park was one jaw-dropping masterpiece! Skaters were totally hyped to be shredding Naturel’s piece of art that is collectively ours as a community!

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A ton of visitors came out to experience the grand opening. It was rad to see skaters grind on rails, do kickflips off ramps, and ollie off stairsets! It was a colorful experience which truly captures the vibe and the culture of DC!

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Skating RFK park changes the way people see art – it is not just meant to be looked at, but also to be experienced. Photo 20-08-2017, 10 34 50 PM
Skate Girls Tribe and sPACYcLOUd were honored to be part of it.

Skate Girls Tribe

08/7/17

“Breaking Down Walls” Was a Success! ~by Pia Saclauso

On August 5th, sPACYcLOUd hosted a fundraiser to raise money for Skate Girls Tribe’s trip to Cuba.  It was definitely a success – thanks to everyone who showed their love and support for the team! The contributors included family and friends but also local businesses such as Get Hemp Butter, Mellow Mushrooms, La Tasca, Cuba Cuba, Smash!, Bourbon, LSTN, Tenley Pop Dance Studio, Hemp Kettle Tea, and Embassy Suites.  Team sPACYcLOUd was stoke!

The event kicked off with the ragga jungle mixes from DJ Gogo Craig and DJ Blaze One from Tribalistix. They sure know how to get the party started!

Visitors were already making their silent auction bids as they jammed to the music.

The event also included “Hermanas en Ruedas” documentary screening by Amberly Alene Ellis.  The film depicts struggles of female skaters in Cuba, their personal stories on how they discovered the sport and unique challenges facing women skaters as their numbers grow.

The film helped us to connect to women in Cuba on many different levels. In DC or Havana, we see similarities in our struggles. Skateboarding inspires us to take action and make positive changes in the daily lives and keep our passion alive. It also helps to break down walls and barriers and allow us to understand one another.

As the auction came to an end, participants were hyped about receiving their items and everyone was impatient for the final outcome. The results? Everyone was a winner! We made new friends, got inspired by female shredders in Cuba, raised money for our trip, learned about Cuba, danced, and grooved. Every person benefited in their own way from sharing love and support for Skate Girls Tribe and sPACYcLOUd! 

Team Elephant is thankful!

Big “Thank You” to Local 16 for hosting our event! It would not have happened without them.

 

 

08/2/17

Skate Girls Tribe Surf Camp – Not Your Stereotypical Camp By Pia Saclauso

Beaches, surfing, and bonfires —  if you think that was all Skate Girls Tribe Surf Camp had to offer, you are only partly right. I spent a week at SGT Surf Camp, and the best word to describe my experience there would be “RADICAL!” 20622578_804878809690258_1156139798_o

Cape May, New Jersey was our main location. We stayed in a really cute beach house that made me feel like I was on vacation. Every morning, we would head to the beach which was only a few minutes from our house – some of the campers even rode their bikes, longboards, and skateboards. Peter, our surf instructor, taught us how to catch and ride the waves at the Jersey Shore.

Taking break from surfing.

He had a really laid-back, chill, and positive personality, so this made everyone feel encouraged to learn. He made the surfing experience awesome and campers were eager to catch the perfect waves despite all the wipe-outs.

Alexa surfing
A couple times – rain or shine – we visited Wildwood Skatepark. We even played a game of SKATE at a Hockey Rink.

Pia

We also went to Wildwood Boardwalk where we played games at arcades, ate funnel cakes, and even rode on the roller coasters! We also went to pizza restaurants at the boardwalk for dinner, and spent time going around the shops and looking for souvenirs.

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We shared so many great moments not only at the beaches and the boardwalks, but at our beach house as well. We all got to help out on the responsibilities in house. Some campers cooked pancakes for breakfast. Tati made delicious dinners. And some campers would help out with setting up the table, washing the dishes, or sweeping the floors. Peter made sandwiches. We learned to adjust and to accept each others differences, and make the best of it! Skate Girls Tribe Surf Camp was not just about going surfing or skateboarding as a team. It is like being in a family and sharing good memories whether we are playing a sport or just eating meals together!

Capture

 

Thanks you sPACYcLOUd for making Skate Girls Tribe Surf Camp possible. 



07/11/17

Girl Power at Palisades Skatepark

As a skater girl, my very first skate sesh with sPACYcLOUd at Palisades, Washington DC was an eye opener. My experience there helped me understand the true meaning of “girl power”. There are so many girls in our community who want to try out skateboarding, but only some would actually pick up a skateboard, and only a very few would dare to go to a skatepark and ride around. Especially when a girl is a beginner skater, being the only female at a skatepark can be quite uncomfortable. Seeing all the guys doing tricks on ramps and rails can sometimes be so intimidating, that we would just end up sitting on the sidelines, wondering if we could ever be as good as them.

Meeting some of  the members of Skate Girls Tribe and getting to be a part of their team made me realize that skateboarding is not just about being good at the sport. It is about being good friends with those who skate. sPACYcLOUd helped me make friends with other skater girls. We felt more comfortable, encouraged, and motivated. In fact, it was actually the very first time I’ve seen more girls than guys at the park. We helped each other learn new tricks and challenged each others’ skills. And when we did that, we showed Girl Power!

-Pia Saclauso

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07/10/17

Just Kickin' It Saturday's

Join us on July 8th at Skate Girls Tribe “Just Kickin’ It Saturday’s” skateboard sesh at Palisades skate park at 4pm. Learn to push, ride, ollie, kick-flip, grind and drop-in, make new friends, and have fun!

06/28/17

The Late Shift: Freestyle

Skate Girls Tribe

If you’re near the Alexandria area of Virginia, sPACYcLoud and Skate Girls Tribe have a must-attend event for you to see this Friday, June 30th.

Part skate park, part secret pop up art show, Late Shift: Freestyle opens its doors to the rebels, the misfits, and the crazy ones. To those who see things differently and those who push the human race forward. We’ll be repping this philosophy at the event, because it’s our shared philosophy!

The details are super rad: experience a late-night art happening along the riverfront and in the Torpedo Factory. Founded in 1974 in an old munitions plant, the Torpedo Factory Art Center is home to the nation’s largest collection of working-artists’ open studios under one roof. That’s cool enough as it is, but it also has an indoor skate park! Skate Girls Tribe is ready to blow it up (pun intended)!

Pro skateboarder Natalie Krishna Das repp'n sPACYcLOUd at the Kennedy Center

Pro skateboarder Natalie Krishna Das repp’n sPACYcLOUd at the Kennedy Center

Event includes:

– Indoor skate park at the Torpedo Factory

– DJ set by Sharkey

sPACYcLOUd & Skate Girls Tribe will be in the house!

– Poetry Slam

– Beer, wine, sandwiches, and bronut ice cream sandwiches with EatsPlace

– Photo booth

– Torpedo Row artist market

– DIY artmaking and much more

About sPACYcLOUD: sPACYcLOUd is the manifestation of a revolutionary spirit always pushing people to be liberated from social constraints through expressions of love, peace and creativity.  Our competition follows trends. We follow our vision and philosophy.

About Skate Girls Tribe: SGT invites girls of all ages & all abilities to come together and skate with other girls in a big fun group. Skate Girls Tribe was created in Washington DC to empower young women through action sports.  We hold monthly events to celebrate life, art, culture, education, and fun via skateboarding and longboarding. We also organize surfing and snowboarding camps.

Skate Girls Tribe promotes confidence and assertiveness, individuality and creativity, strength and dignity, all gathered together with a love for action sports. With a vigorous setting of play and sociality, SGT nurtures and sustains these values and goals. With such virtues in place, we believe that healthy and responsible choices will be made later in girls’ lives.

– There are several open spots for artists to be part of poetry slam if anyone is interested.