Greenville woman spotlights skater girl culture in NPR report

Credit: Staff photo by Lisa Powell

Credit: Staff photo by Lisa Powell

A Greenville woman’s skateboarding apparel brand has been featured in a recent NPR article about the growing popularity of the skater girl.

In the past year, the global pandemic and resulting shutdown have provided many with more free time to pursue hobbies new and old. For the first time in decades, many showed an interest in rollerskating and skateboarding. According to an article published by NPR on Monday, April 19, this resurgence can be attributed to the growing popularity of the skater girl.

Greenville resident Latosha Stone has witnessed this recent revival of skater girl culture. In 2013, Stone, a skater girl herself, formed Proper Gnar, a skateboarding apparel company that creates custom skateboards, streetwear and accessories. Many of the pieces, which are designed to uplift and promote skater girls all over the world, are actually hand-drawn by Stone. She currently operates her store exclusively in Greenville. Until this recent resurgence, Stone told NPR that she considered Proper Gnar to be more of a hobby until Beyonce featured the business on her website’s directory of black-owned businesses in June of 2020.

“That was super insane,” Stone told NPR. “It still feels weird talking about it. Like, Beyonce knows that I exist.”

Stone is also aware of the fact that social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok have been especially useful in giving people from all backgrounds access to skater girl culture. More so than ever, young people have someone who looks like them hopping on a skateboard or lacing up their rollerskates.

“You get on social media — you see all different kinds of people skating,” Stone told NPR. “You see women, you see LGBTQ people. I’m really stoked for this upcoming generation. They’re not going to have to deal with growing up and being a skater and you’re the only one that looks like you out there, you know?”

On her website, Stone also points out very few female skateboarders have gotten the “attention and support they deserve.” She’s hoping to change that through her apparel brand and all-girl skate team. Based upon the renaissance of skater girl culture in the past year, it seems as though Stone has a community of like-minded women by her side.

Proper Gnar offers feminist-inspired apparel, skateboards and accessories. More information about Stone and Proper Gnar can be found by visiting its website or Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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