A CHAT WITH TWO COFOUNDERS OF GRLSWIRL SKATE COLLECTIVE
We were so excited when Myriah Rose Marquez and Sarah Rewell Carletto, two cofounders of skate collective GRLSWIRL, agreed to take some favorite spring looks to the park for a spin. Lucky for us, after spending the day making our clothes look the coolest, they were also down to chat about how GRLSWIRL began, positive changes in the skate community and step one for new skaters.
Tell us GRLSWIRL’s origin story! How did it first come to be?
Myriah: There are nine co-founders, and I’m sure for each of us, it differs a bit. For me, it began on my sixth day living in Venice, CA. I had no home, job or community, and just started skating with a few girls. Over time, we kept adding more and more people to a group chat. Once that group text filled up, we made an Instagram to share photos and continued to connect. Eventually, the excitement and support from those around us grew. We realized we had a real grassroots movement happening right before our eyes. We sat down together and brainstormed our wildest dreams and aspirations to now be what is GRLSWIRL.
Sarah: Yes! The chapter in Los Angeles is the original one, founded four years ago this month. After the stir they brought up within their community, they opened a New York chapter to share that joy with the East Coast. Then it was San Diego. That’s when I, along with three other skate pals, brought the SD chapter to life—just a couple of us with a big itch to make space for marginalized skaters.
Love to hear that! What are some of the ways the collective has grown since then?
Myriah: Now we have a global community on social and in real life. We’ve expanded from hosting bi-weekly skate sessions to providing skate mentorships locally and abroad. We’ve raised over $30,000 for other organizations through our parties and fundraising. We’ve started chapters in New York, San Diego, and soon Mexico City, Sydney, Brazil and Portugal! We’ve also started our own skatewear line to fund our mission.
Sarah: Absolutely. And our chapter in San Diego, specifically, has grown so much over the past two years. We got started, had many amazing meetups, got hit with a pandemic, stayed strong and came out better than ever. All of it has felt so organic and so special. We’ve cleaned beaches, provided neighbors with necessities and taught many, many people how to skate. It’s a magical community down here.
That brings us to our next question: do you think the skate community is changing?
Sarah: I like to believe yes, there are so many beautiful people out there fighting to change the community for the better. Skateboarding has always been male-dominated, but marginalized skaters have been taking their power back and making some noise. Offering a safe space for anyone within the community has opened many doors for folks who felt they didn’t fit in anywhere before—and to me, that’s positive change.
For sure! What would you say to someone who’s eager to be a part of that positivity and wants to skate, but doesn’t know where to start?
Myriah: I’d do a search of local skate shops and go check stuff out in person—see which board catches your eye. If the shop has demo boards, see what feels good under your feet. There are a multitude of sizes and shapes and what’s right or wrong for anyone isn’t set in stone. Watch beginner videos that go over motions and lingo. Wear pads and a helmet for safety, but don’t be afraid to fall. You’ll be surprised at how strong our bodies are and how kind those around you can be. If you’re close to any of our chapters, come to a skate and I promise we will help you with open arms. Most importantly, have fun!
Thanks so much, Myriah and Sarah. Learn more about GRLSWIRL right here, plus shop all the looks they’re skating in