Jennifer Gonyea: a filmer, skateboarder, snowboarder, VNTRbirds contributor and now small business owner let’s us behind the scenes of Dillows.
Dillows is hand crafted jewelry made from recycled skateboards. We are currently working on making tees, tanks, hoodies, bags and other accessories.
I have been skating since I was pretty young so I had a ton of old/broken skateboards sitting around my house. Too busted up to skate but too precious to toss so I figured, why not recycle them and make something awesome in the process! I brought a board over to my parent’s house and had my dad help me cut out a bangle from one of the boards. I originally just wanted one for myself so I wasn’t too concerned with how it came out. I had to take off for work but the next day when I stopped over there my dad showed me what he spent the previous night working on. He took the jagged piece of wood and sanded it for what must have been hours. It was perfectly smooth, colorful and gorgeous… btw, my dad is awesome! Anyways, he made me realize that I could do anything with the wood, so I bought some tools and began making jewelry in my basement.
One of my best friends and I talked about how we wanted to open a skate/snowboard shop basically just because we love the sport and also so we could ride mountains for free. Haha! But where we live there are already plenty of awesome shops around so that would be dumb. But we still talked about what we would name it. As we all know, many guys don’t take girls who ride all too seriously so we would always talk about how if girls opened a shop they would hate it. So we joked about naming it “Dildos n Such” so the guys who thought we were lame wouldn’t come around anyways (I was only 16). After throwing around many offensive names we came up with Dillows, not too risk-ay, but a word that meant something to us. When I started creating and making things I decided to use the name Dillows not because I’m still an immature 25-year-old, but because to me Dillows means a lot more. It means, fuck everyone who doesn’t believe in you. It means that you can do or be whatever you want regardless of what anyone else thinks. It’s inspiration to do what makes you happy.
Who’s Running the Show
I am the owner/founder of Dillows. I hand make all of the jewelry by myself in my basement in Springfield, MA. My good friends Jocelyn Giammarino and Laura Fratkin are both reps for the company. Alexandra Moriarty and Missy McArdle are working with me on making the clothing and accessories. They all contribute a great deal to the ideas behind the company.
Dillows is different from other companies out there because it’s completely original. Nothing is made in bulk, I design, cut out and sand each shape on my own with some basic tools: no huge machinery or factories. Every piece of jewelry is unique so you will never have the same as anyone else. Even if it’s the same basic color and shape, the wood has its own design to it.
I am screen-printing the clothing in a studio space where a few friends and I share so buying something from Dillows is benefiting a small growing company. Some of the tanks are completely hand made by us but unfortunately, sewing everything ourselves would be very tough but it is one of our goals.
Dillows has come a long way since I started it. It went from being one bracelet that my dad made me, to tons of pieces of jewelry and is on its way to apparel as well. The real accomplishment will be once the website is finished and lady riders everywhere will be able to use us as a way connect and ride with each other. That’s the main goal; we still have a lot to do.
Eventually I want Dillows to be a skate, snow and surf lifestyle and apparel organization mostly geared towards women but all are welcome! I want the site to be a place where girls can go and connect with other rad people who share the same interest and hopefully get together and shred!
Talk About Yourself
For my main job, I do freelance video work – a lot with sports television, commercials, films etc. I also just became a white water guide this summer and I love it, it’s super fun! I make die cut stickers, design, shoot photos, and screen print, basically anything creative. I tried the whole 9-5 thing and decided it wasn’t for me. Ideally my dream job would be filming and editing snowboarding and skateboarding. That and making Dillows successful is my main goal. Outside of work I skateboard, snowboard, surf, mountain and road bike, hike, fish, work out, anything that involves being active and outdoors. I do everything that I do because I love it and that’s why I do it. Otherwise what’s the point?
To Find Dillows
Dillows can currently be found at Credo Skate and Snowboard Shoppe in Northampton, MA (the dudes there are super awesome!), Fat Trax Easthampton, MA (also cool people), Tattoo Royale in Springfield, MA and Laurie Jo’s hair salon in Monson, MA. If you can’t make it to any of those locations then you can contact me to order something directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and soon the website will be up and running at DillowsBrand.com