Oakies Board Shop – Two Decades Of Shred­ding And Count­ing

The Oakdale Leader - - NEWS - By TERESA HAM­MOND tham­mond@oak­dale­leader.com

It has been over two decades since two young 20-some­things de­cided it was time to bring “boards” to Oak­dale. In late sum­mer of 1996, Jeff Sawyer and Ja­son Tur­nage opened the doors of Oakies Board Shop, spe­cial­iz­ing in skate and snow boards.

“I started help­ing right af­ter high school,” Cryn­dee Der­mond said.

Der­mond man­aged the shop and later bought it from “the boys,” as she af­fec­tion­ately calls Sawyer and Tur­nage, pur­chas­ing the store in 1999.

The early days of the board shop were in a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion than its cur­rent 1275 E. F St. lo­ca­tion, as well as the in­ven­tory, changed from then to what greets cus­tomers to­day. Oakies has been in its cur­rent lo­ca­tion for 20 years and Der­mond could not be more pleased.

“It was very ‘boy.’ There was min­i­mal cloth­ing,” Der­mond said, chuck­ling as she re­called the early days and a shop full of boards, skate gear, snow gear, shoes and swimwear.

An out­door en­thu­si­ast who found her­self in a sur­round­ing she loved with peo­ple she loved, Der­mond shared the shop was a big risk 20 years ago. She noted that it was an in­dus­try which was not yet pop­u­lar in the ru­ral ar­eas of Cal­i­for­nia. How­ever, the en­ergy with the two part­ners was un­stop­pable.

Der­mond de­scribed Tur­nage as the heart, the image of the busi­ness and Sawyer as the vi­sion­ary, the busi­ness-minded one.

“Ev­ery­one looked at us like you guys are in­sane. We were just a bunch of kids,” the Oak­dale High Class of ’93 alum stated.

In 1999 as Sawyer and Tur­nage looked to other busi­ness ven­tures, Der­mond stepped in and be­came the sole pro­pri­etor of the busi­ness.

“We all loved each other to the end and we still do,” she stated of the re­la­tion­ship with the founders.

“I still love it 20 years later,” she added. “I love what I do. The in­dus­try has changed. You see ev­ery­one wear­ing it (the brands) now.”

Der­mond de­scribes her­self as more driven by her con­nec­tion to the cus­tomer and pro­vid­ing them with per­sonal ser­vice, than any­thing else. So much so, that she often has her clients in mind when she is buy­ing prod­uct for the store.

Now a stark con­trast to where it be­gan, Oakies of­fers a selec­tion of men’s, women’s and chil­dren’s cloth­ing, as well as a large selec­tion of sun­glasses and ac­ces­sories. The skate depart­ment re­mains the same as when the shop was orig­i­nated. Snow gear has been re­duced, due to com­pe­ti­tion. Rentals are of­fered for both snow­boards and wake boards.

As brands in the busi­ness have come and go, Der­mond stays steady and com­mit­ted to the clas­sics. Brands like O’Neill, Hur­ley, Fox, In­de­pen­dent and Crea­ture can al­ways be found at Oakies Board Shop. Then there’s the ever pop­u­lar Oakies brand, which has be­gun to ex­pand from the pop­u­lar ball cap, hoodie and T-shirt. Oakies now of­fers a va­ri­ety of other clas­sic styles and some cus­tom pieces as well, de­signed by Der­mond.

“If I’m not cre­ative I get de­pressed,” the once-as­pir­ing cloth­ing de­signer turned shop owner shared. “I have to be cre­ative all the time. This al­lows me to be cre­ative.”

As for the busi­ness two decades later, Der­mond ac­knowl­edges she not just grew up in the busi­ness, but in Oakies. It was a span of time which gave way for her pas­sion and her com­mit­ment to hard work.

“I didn’t know what I was do­ing. I just knew I wanted to make some­thing work,” she said. “It was not easy, but I was go­ing to make it work. It was scary, but I was de­ter­mined.”

But it wasn’t al­ways easy and Der­mond cred­its community loy­alty for the con­tin­ued suc­cess of the busi­ness.

“I feel I’m very for­tu­nate to have the clien­tele I have,” she said. “I adore my clien­tele. I’ve met so many peo­ple from this won­der­ful community. We are so lucky – we re­ally are.”

TERESA HAM­MOND/THE LEADER

Be­lieved to be one of the only re­main­ing skate­board shops owned by a sole pro­pri­etor in the Cen­tral Val­ley, Oakies main­tains its com­plete skate sec­tion just as it did when first opened in mid-1996.

TERESA HAM­MOND/THE LEADER

Oakies Board Shop owner Cryn­dee Der­mond has been faith­fully greet­ing her cus­tomers and help­ing pro­vide them with a va­ri­ety of items for two decades. The out­door en­thu­si­ast at­tributes the busi­ness suc­cess to not feel­ing like work.

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