We had the good fortune of connecting with Danny DeNicola and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Danny, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My business started as a passion project of my love for skateboarding and making videos. I had always filmed videos, for as long as I have been skateboarding. I started skateboarding in 2006 and skateboard my way through middle school, high school, college, through to this current day.
In 2019, I traveled abroad that summer starting in Spain, and then traveled to 6 countries, and 3 states in the span of 3 months. I made friends & connections, documented my experiences, and met my Italian family while I was abroad. I came back to Arizona in September 2019 and was in a bit of a funk. Unsure of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go, the one thing that always kept me grounded was skateboarding. It was at this time I officially started my YouTube page, originally called “The Danny Boi Experience.” The page consisted of weekly skate videos where I would go to local parks and skate spots and film with the people I met there.
At the beginning of this year, I changed the channel name to Locals Only Skate TV and started to take the channel more seriously. I began to reach out to local artists, local companies, and local skateboarders to build a network of like-minded individuals. I had a good friend, Nick Rubio begin on a logo for me. From there, I got to work on my first line of clothing and website drop. Website dropped November 2021 with my first 4 clothing collections. Nick Rubio is our go-to guy and is now at work on our second clothing collection. Nick, unfortunately, does not have an Instagram to show off his work any longer.
I had also posted a need for help & an opportunity to become a part of the Locals Only team. A local skateboarder, Dominic McMullins reached out from the post and I took him onto the team as the Locals Only filmer. Then, I personally reached out to a talented local skateboarder by the name of Arik Griggs and took him onto the team as our first athlete or “team rider” as we say in the skateboarding world.
The goal for Locals Only Skateboarding is to produce fresh exciting content, highlight local talent nationally & build a network of opportunities to help local skateboarders and artists monetize their craft through having easy access to opportunities with up-and-coming companies/organizations.
I had always wanted to do something big and make an impact in the world of skateboarding. The lack of opportunities or a clear path in skateboarding encouraged me to start Locals Only Skateboarding.
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Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community? Please tell us more about your career. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about.
I’m very excited to see what the future holds. We are preparing now to launch our new 2022 collection, travel to NYC for the Boardr AM, have our first appearance as a brand for SkaterCon coming up February 26th in Tucson AZ, and for our full team video & our monthly YouTube edits. We know we need to build a strong company infrastructure and build value with our company in order to grow into a national presence. This year will be all about branding and building our presence in the industry.
How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges?
I have not had an “easy” journey. In my life, I’ve had to learn the hard way ~ through cold hard experience. I was always the rebellious type, the unconventional thinker. I wanted to challenge authority and the way people thought about right and wrong. I disliked the way people just judged others without knowing anything about them. I was often “bullied (for lack of a better word)”, and had a hard time making friends. It was at that point I made a vow to myself that I would never be like that.
I overcame these challenges by embracing my differences and learning to love myself. It has not been easy, and at times I have felt lost, but it has been worth every second.
What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way?
There are too many invaluable lessons I’ve learned to explain every single one. However, I believe as a people we need to acknowledge our similarities and practice empathy, mindfulness, and mutual respect for one another.
One other bit of wisdom I’d like to share is in order to get to where you want to be, you must:
1. Practice rigorous authenticity
2. Surrender yourself to the outcome
3. Do hard work.
Only then, will your path to maximize your passion reveal itself.
You need to believe in yourself like you need to breathe.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
One thing I want the world to know is to never give up, don’t listen to doubt, have belief in yourself, and you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Depending on if they are a skateboarder or not, and what type of food they like. From a skateboarder’s perspective I would take them to my local hometown park “Union Hills”, and I would also take them to the wedge. Go for a skate and a little bike ride down the green belt to Tempe Town Lake.
As an Italian, I would take them to Bottega Ristorante in Glendale after our skate session at Union hills, I would take them for a box of crumble cookies to have on hand at all times. I would also take them out to either Biltmore or downtown Phoenix for dinner and cocktails.
There are too many options, too many great restaurants, hikes, skateparks, bike rides to name. If you want to know you’ll probably have to ask me yourself!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to thank my friends & family for never giving up on me in pursuit of my dreams, my girlfriend for never-ending support, and all the people I have met along the way no matter how small the interaction for helping me to grow as a person.
Danny DeNicola, Marisa DeNicola, Nick Rubio, Dominic McMullins