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— short version — (Who I am and what I do)
Hello, my name is Fred van Schie, and thank for you for taking the time to check out my website.
I’m 40 years old and I live in Oceanside, CA with my future wife, her 2 sons, and our dog Holly.
And as you might have noticed, I consider myself a nerd with social media. I don’t know everything, and things change almost daily, but I do know more about it than most people.
After working for Sole Technology Inc. for 18 months and handling the websites and social media platforms (as well as the marketing and PR) for Altamont (17 months), Emerica (10 months) and éS (5 months), I saw a huge opportunity to start my own agency and help brands, shops and athletes in the action sports industry with their social media.
Inspired and motivated by Jim Thiebaud, Jamie Thomas, Gary Vaynurchuk, Amy Jo Martin, Brent Koops and Rob White, I realized that now (early 2012) is the time to start this agency.
Social media is still so new that many people (in the action sports industry) don’t take it serious and underestimate it’s power and opportunities. Traditional media is on it’s way out, if you want to accept it or not.
But it’s not too late yet! Start embracing social media and make, and save, your business. Cause if if you don’t others will step in and gladly take your spot.
Social media is the future, and the future is now.
Fred van Schie
“The longer you wait for the future, the shorter it will be” (Loesje)
— long version — (How I got where I am right now)
I was born and raised in Nijmegen, The Netherlands (Holland) and started skateboarding at the age of 17 after seeing “Same Old Story” from Pennywise on MTV.
After I finished high school in May 1997 I worked two jobs for 8 months and went (by myself) to California, the mecca of skateboarding, for 3 months. When I came back I knew I wanted to do something with skateboarding. In June 1999 I opened up skatepark NYC, at the time the biggest indoor park in Holland, with the help of my friends and parents.
After 1 year I was over being in a dusty warehouse everyday and went to college in Utrecht. After 1 year and 2 weeks, on the famous 9/11, I dropped out. I spent 3 days behind the TV and realized I had to do something else. I started working in a bar full-time and started Worldwide Skateboarding, my own clothing brand, in early 2002.
In August of 2002 I met up with Miesj at LEFT (skateshop & distribution) in Rotterdam (to sell him some Worldwide tees) and I ended up with a sales rep job. From September 2002 until September 2006 I was a sales rep for Sole Technology (éS, Emerica, etnies) Deluxe distribution and Baker skateboards. During that time I also started doing a lot of events and handling the team for all the brands.
In June 2006 I started at the newly opened European office of Sole Technology in Amsterdam. Holland was the first European country where they went direct, so I moved over with the brands. After a year I was fed up with the office vibe, quit, and started working for the distributor again.
By now it had a new owner, and a new name (Capital distribution). During the flight home from the ASR tradeshow in San Diego, in September 2008, I told John, the owner of Capital, that I wanted to pursue my dream and move to California. I left right after the Osiris team visit in early December.
I spent 3 months in Huntington Beach, CA looking for a job in the skateboard industry. But after 3 months I didn’t find the job I was hoping for. I went back to Holland and John at Capital offered me a job again. I worked for 3 months to save some euros, and went back to California in June of 2008. A few weeks after I met the girl that is now my wife.
I went through 9 months of visa paperwork, which included a lot of waiting. I wasn’t used to doing nothing and I remember getting sick because of it. Right as I got my work permit in May 2009 I got a job at EDR (now Eaglerider), a Harley-Davidson rental company in Costa Mesa, CA.
The economy was still shitty, and a lot of skateboard companies were laying people off instead of hiring. But my patience was rewarded when Justin Regan told me about a marketing manager position for Emerica and Altamont. I interviewed in February 2010 but I didn’t get the confirming phone call until mid May. I put in my notice at EDR and went on a solo 4-day motorcycle/skateboard trip to Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Santa Rosa. (RIP Tony E.)
I started at Sole Technology in Lake Forest, CA on June 1st. In the 18 months I was there I was mainly handling the websites for Emerica and Altamont, as well as the social media, PR and marketing for both brands. I switched from Emerica to éS for a few months, until éS went on hiatus. For Altamont I worked with a ton of contributors (No Age, NECKFACE, Anton Corbijn, GWAR, Fucked Up, Pushead) as well as a lot of team stuff, since there was no team manager. Due to budget cuts I was laid off in December 2011.
Thankful for the chance I was given at Sole Tech, I saw a huge opportunity with social media in skateboarding. I’ve helped more than a few riders and brands in the last 18 months with their social media, and I will continue to do so in the near future. Only this time it’s my business….
Live by your dreams (and your ass will follow). I’m living proof.
(updated March 28, 2012)
“I am of average intelligence. There’s nothing special about me. If I can get this far I would be very surprised if you couldn’t get at least twice as far. Fuck them.
Keep your blood clean, your body lean, and your mind sharp.”
– Henry Rollins