By Daisy de Montjoye
I met with the Get Born girls to talk about their online mag and their future projects, which include a huge party TONIGHT – FRIDAY THE 13TH. They are three extremely creative and dedicated girls, who have gone through a lot in order to do something they are passionate about. Get Born was founded by Chanelle Rezko, Hope Christerson and Liv Seidel, three friends from Chicago who all now study in Montreal. Their magazine promotes and supports local skateboarding culture and lifestyle, with a focus on Montreal and Chicago (though their scope is expanding!). They use their website as a platform for people to express their creativity, and even have a section fully dedicated to artwork. Check out their website to learn more about the artists they support, and read up on articles about local events and skateboarders!
What brought you guys together for Get Born?
Liv: I remember being in class with Chan – she sat down next to me and said “yo I have this crazy idea, we need to start a skateboard magazine, we need to get involved with our skate community” I was like, “Yeah cool how do we do this!?”
Hope: For me, Chanelle had aways been saying “I love skateboarding and watching skate vids but I don’t skate, so I don’t know what to do with my life. I have this passion and I don’t wanna be on the side lines.” She really wanted to start this mag. She went to Chicago for spring break back during first year. When she came back, she had a web domain and whole plan of what we were gunna do. I was like “Oh so we’re actually doing it!”
Chanelle: Well initially what we wanted to do was somehow find a place for individuals who couldn’t skateboard to still have a voice about. Some people can be quiet about it and just watch skate videos but not be good at it. I wanted to be a voice for those who still have an opinion on the industry and the culture.
What are your goals for the magazine? How do you envision the future for Get Born? Do you know if you will remain focussed on MTL and Chicago or expand?
We’re working on expanding right now, we already have a bit! We’ve already done people from BC and Pennsylvania, and we’ve reached out to people in California. With this more international outlook, we hope to help facilitate a connection between different local communities and help them support each other by creating a network between these different cities. The idea is that if we get more recognition then we can use it to help support the local skate scenes we’re involved in and give them recognition. We’d also like to get e-commerce so that we can sell stuff from local companies who don’t really have the infrastructure to sell it online. We’d like to create our own line eventually, but we don’t have money for that now. Obviously having a real print magazine as well, and also opening a place where we have our clothing line, but also a ramp, or just a place to skate. And a bar. A community kind of skate shop! F*ck yeah! We think big – we’re gunna try and rule the world by the time we’re 23. Jk 25.
What kind of hardships have you gone through?
Skateboarders are very protective of their culture and people appropriating and commercialising it. They’re worried about people getting a profit from it without really being a part of it. They’re very weary of that and I think that’s why a lot of people don’t trust us right away, especially coz we’re girls, and coz we’re not that good at skating. A lot of the time they’ve used our gender to bring us down. If someone decides they don’t like us they attack us because of our gender and nothing else. They call us sluts, ramptramps, groupies… It’s irritating because we’re just humans trying to do our damn thing. If you’re going to dislike us for something, don’t dislike us for something we can’t control and don’t just slutshame us for no f*cking reason. Skateboarders themselves as individuals feel like outsiders to society. So when outsiders try and get into a culture filled with outsiders you get the back end of it… All we can do is focus on making genuine, honest work to put out which ultimately will speak for itself. Hopefully we can open people’s minds within the skateboarding community, and outside out of it actually, that it’s not just something for guys. Nothing should be.
You have an “artwork” section on your website – can you explain a little more about it?
We find a lot of content on the Internet (Instagram and stuff). We have stuff by people from different cities – Ayda got in contact with an artist from Vancouver, Henry Jones [West Chester, PA] we got through Instagram. Basically whoever we find reflects our vision, then we like to reach and ask if they want to have a part in it. It’s really cool when people reach out to us and ask to be featured. There’s also Zoe who reached out to us and writes articles for us about young up-and-coming skaters in Montreal who mostly speak French – we wouldn’t have much access to those interviews otherwise.
Do you plan on expanding this part of the website, or organising anything else from that?
We plan on expanding the art page. It could be its own thing within Get Born. We’d also love to do more with the music scene — music is very important to skateboarding, so hopefully we can find a way to sponsor bands and stuff. And if we do get a skating/shop space then we could organise exhibitions or concerts too. We wanna be a platform for different creative individuals in the skateboarding community to be able to express themselves and get recognition for it.
What are your favourite things about Montreal’s skate scene?
Probably how tight-nit it is… Coming from Chicago, what we grew up around is much more ‘clique-y,’ everyone’s just involved with their own crew. In Montreal it’s different though — at the end of the day everyone ends up at the same spot or drinking at the same bar… It’s like there’s a little less beef in Montreal. It’s more a passion than just a means for an end. And it’s more laid back. Montreal skate scene is cool coz its so influential in terms of fashion, so the skateboarding scene is very stylish. It’s like New York in that way, like a small French New York. Which is what people say about this city, but in terms of skating it’s also applicable.
What are your favourite things about Montreal and its general cultural scene?
If we had tried to start this in Chicago it would have been harder. Here it’s smaller and there’s more young people, so it’s a lot easier to be taken seriously at our age and find people who can help us. There’s a lot more artists who are willing to collaborate and support, everyone is feeding off of each other’s creative energy. Especially compared to Chicago which tends to be more business-oriented. Montreal is really cool coz no matter what your main focus or type of art is, people are still trying to relate to it, or collaborate with it.
What are your projects for the near future?
The party! We’re having a Friday the 13th party this February in a really cool loft. It’s kinda like a big f*ck you to Valentine’s day — slash — Friday the 13th. We’re going to be throwing a few parties over the next couple of months to help fund our future projects. We wanna be able to start making shirts and stickers, but also just keep up the website. Hopefully we can get a bit of return on investment coz we’ve all invested a lot in the last couple of years. We have a lot of ideas and projects that require money and we hope people can be generous with their donations in order to help us fund them!
DJs Ugo Chavez and Dirty Jeans will be playing on Friday, they usually work on Sundays at Normand. They do some work with musicians like Tommy Kruise and Vincent Price.
Favourite place for brunch?
Club DD (Dunkin’ Donuts//21 and under only)
Favourite place for going out?
For a drink?
The closest and cheapest place to wherever we are. A.K.A the dep.
[In addition to their website, you can find them on Facebook or follow them on Instagram @getbornmag]