Meet Steve Weigel
What is Ivy Longboards and what led you to start it?
IVY is a longboard company that focuses on people and building community. I see my boards as a catalyst to reach, inspire, encourage and love people. From a young age I was always building things. My dad was a carpenter, and pastor ( sound familiar ;) ) and I was always going to work with him and learning about working with my hands. I’d always loved longboards since they came to the midwest when I was about 15. In 2014 I built a board and gave it to a friend. I posted a photo online and within a week I had 20 orders. I continued building for the remainder of the summer and by the end, I’d built over 120 boards, all custom, all had a story that belonged to a person… And I got to hear it first hand.
Previous to IVY I’d toured with a band for about 8 years. For me, music alone was never worth taking me away from my family for months at a time, but people were. I decided I would carry this same idea into my next adventure. People would always be the focus of my brand. Building and using my hands to create for a living is so wonderful, but being able to make an impact and shape culture is my real passion.
What goes into dreaming up, designing, and crafting each board? What's the process like?
Man, that’s a lot more simple than I'd like to admit. Usually, I just dream up a shape and design and then build it. I’ll usually send a few out to get feedback from people on how the board rides and such, but it’s really mostly the design and look that I focus on. I’m not trying to build the fastest or most technical boards. There’s a lot of other companies out there that do that. When you ride a crotch rocket, you go fast. When you ride a cafe bike, you feel a part of something. I want to build boards that make you feel a part of something. I want to build boards that are seen as very well made functional art. Something you could put on your wall in your living room, and something you could also jump on and cruise your favorite strip of pavement with your best friend. For me, it’s about the culture just as much as it’s about the board. It’s a lifestyle, so the board is just a part of that.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Don’t really have an answer for that. I bought a longboard when I was 15, but that’s only cause I couldn't skateboard. I was a rollerblader when I was young ( I know, embarrassing) so I don’t honestly know all that much about skate culture. I think that’s what sets my boards and my brand apart. I’m not really being influenced by anyone, I’m just kinda building boards that I think are cool. Trust me, I’ve built some boards that sit on my shelf and never ever sell. Lol. But it’s pretty simple: In every board, i try to marry clean lines, simple aesthetic and beautiful colors and that’s it!
What are some of your other favorite brands at the moment?
I love the brand Deus. I was living in Thailand a few years ago and I went to Bali and got to see their flagship store. Incredible brand. It was the closest thing that I’ve ever found to what I have in my heart for IVY. Really really inspiring. I like Vans a lot (who doesn’t) It’s really incredible how that brand has become so mainstream. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t own a pair of Vans shoes. Supreme is a dope brand. I’m honestly too poor to really have any favorite brands at the moment, but those are the ones that came to mind! :)
What's playing on boom box right now?
Khalid, Chvrches, The Belonging Co, Haim,
I guess what’s next for IVY is figuring out how to make this thing sustainable. I’ve spent the last year speaking and operating from my heart. I’ve pursued the passion and vision I have for this brand, and to be completely honest, have barely thought about the fact that we need to make money to continue as a company. I’ve created a lot of language and culture around the brand and have been able to reach a lot of people doing that. Now I need to operate a bit more from my head and learn how to make money. It’s a constant battle for me, the head and the heart, and I’ve yet to learn how to make them work together and compliment each other. To me, it feel like every time I operate from my head, I have to give up a bit of my heart and I’m not so good at that. I’m learning tho. I believe there’s a way to accomplish all that I have in my heart for IVY, and it may take a bit of time, but i’m a strong believer that sacrifice and connection go hand in hand. Anything that is worth building is going to cost something. So I guess I’ll do what I usually do - Keep moving forward. :)