Eby Ghafarian is in the works of starting up a new skate magazine (yes, on printed on paper) completely dedicated to NYC skateboarding. He’s asking for everyone’s support via Kickstarter. If you have some extra bucks please donate. Eby is sure not to disappoint on this one! Anyway, we had a chance to hit him up with some questions about the new project. Read his answers in the Q&A below. (photo above via Sean Nguyen)
NYSB: You’re originally from Florida, what made you want to come and live in New York originally?
EG: That is a good question. There are a ton of skateboarders from Florida in NYC: Billy Rohan, Josh Stewart, Brian Delatorre, Joel Meinholtz, Danny Renaud, and the list goes on. While Florida is drastically different from New York, there is something about it that attracts and keeps us. I wanted to move to New York since I was a kid and when I was transferring schools to finish my bachelors, I got accepted into NYU and used that opportunity to finally make the move. And it was the best thing I’ve ever done! I’ve been here for 11 years now and don’t think I could live anywhere else, truthfully. I eat and breath NYC skateboarding. I’ve spent the last 11 years exploring every borough and know New York super intimately.
NYSB: You’re no stranger to media and Marketing, tell us a little about your professional background.
EG:As I mentioned, I went to NYU (the Stern School of Business, precisely). From there I ended up getting into digital media. I spent a good 8 years or so doing Integrated Marketing (creating engaging sponsorship opportunities for brands on specific media properties) with publishers such as Break.com, BlackPlanet.com, Car & Driver, Road & Track, Cycle World, Elle, Woman’s Day, etc. I also used to do some freelance writing for Complex Magazine and was one of the original writers for their Green Label brand. I have also done a million other things, as is typical with most New Yorkers, including working with Allen Ying on 43 Magazine, starting Naysayer Skateboards, and other less relevant stuff.
NYSB: Is it true that you don’t sleep? When was the last time you had a full 8 hours of sleep?
EG:Technically I do sleep, albeit not much. I have been working on getting a bit more but I have been averaging about 3-4 hours a night for a long time. The thing is that most people complain about time and use that as an excuse not to do more. Well, there is a completely useable set of hours at night that most people don’t tap into. In Empire Records, Corey says: there are 24 usable hours in every day! She was on speed though, so maybe not a good reference, haha. I should note that it is 6:30am at the moment. The last time I got 8 hours of sleep? Not sure that I have…
NYSB: 43 Magazine is your precursor with Allen Ying to STOOPS, what’s going to be different between 43 and STOOPS?
EG: While I have worked on 43 with Allen, 43 is his project 100%. It is his vision and he puts A LOT of work into it. Stoops is the other way around. This is my project where Allen will be the photo editor. I told Allen about my idea for an NYC skate magazine years ago and he was interested in helping out, which was perfect because he is a much better photo editor than I am. I will be focused on the branding, vision, and other content for the mag (writing, art, design). The magazines will vary in subject matter and tone. 43 is not geographically exclusive, while Stoops is specific to content within NYC. While there is minimal writing in 43, Stoops will have a substantial amount of entertaining pieces and features.
NYSB: We’ve heard many comments about the $20K goal for the project, can you break it down for everyone?
EG: It costs a lot of money to print a magazine and, frankly, $20k is not much. Most of the money will be going toward printing and distributing the first issue, after the costs of fulfilling the Kickstarter incentives and paying the Kickstarter and Amazon fees (which can be up to 25%). We also will be paying our contributors and and using what is left over for all the miscellaneous costs (web, design, etc.). I was going to joke about how half the money was going to go toward hiring a bunch of strippers for the release party, but I know someone is going to think that was serious. None of the $20k will be going toward strippers.
NYSB: You’re going to give out some cool gear to people who support the project, what do people get if they donate?
EG: There are actually a ton of great incentive packages. I designed a hat, a t-shirt, and a hoodie as a precursor to so much rad gear that we will have available in the future. We are also offering opportunities to come on a trip with us, contribute to the brainstorming process, or even being in the mag at the higher levels. A great graduation gift for a skater with wealthy parents. But the main thing we are offering people is the chance to get the magazine before anyone else!
NYSB: Where will people be able to get STOOPS Magazine?
EG: Stoops Magazine will be available in skateshops around the world. It will also be available in our webstore and potentially a few relevant book stores. But as each issue will be a collectors item, they won’t be sitting on shelves long.
NYSB: Any chances of putting out e-versions of STOOPS Magazine down the road?
EG: Stoops will focus on the printed format. There is nothing that compares to holding a tangible picture in your hands. However, we will release an e-version of each magazine 2 months after it is published for those who may not have been able to get a hard copy. We will do some web content, but not daily and it will be of a quality that readers will come to expect from us.
NYSB: Will people be able to submit content for the mag?
EG: Definitely! Send submissions to [email protected]. We will primarily be using content from the photographers we have worked with in the past, who have a consistent skill and aesthetic that we can count on. But we will be taking submissions too. I actually included some guidelines for anyone looking to submit photos to us in the FAQs of our Kickstarter page.
NYSB: The older generation of skateboarders grew up with mags, today’s skateboarders are growing up with web media like The Berrics and Hellaclips. Is STOOPS geared more towards the older generation?
EG: Stoops may initially appeal more to the older generation for that very reason, however, once the youth catches on, it will transcend age. The content is going to be completely relevant to the lives of those out there skating the street now. While The Berrics and Hellaclips put out a lot of content, it is not something that skaters will remember and reference back to. It is momentary and fleeting. Stoops will curate the best of the best and archive it in print for this generation to hold on to and future generations to reference.
NYSB: What would you say are your top 3 magazine influences for STOOPS?
EG: This is a tough one because there are elements from a lot of mags that have influenced me. In terms of writing, I was always a fan of Big Brother when I was younger and hence King Shit more recently. From a photography standpoint, obviously 43 Magazine, but also a lot of international magazines like Grey, SOMA, Kingpin, and Color. From a business angle, definitely Lowcard. They have been killing it!
NYSB: Any final words to our readers or info about STOOPS you would like to blast out?
EG: No matter what the results of our Kickstarter campaign are, Stoops will happen. From the feedback I have been getting, Stoops is something that people didn’t realize they needed but now KNOW they need. We will validate and document the epic skateboarding that happens in NYC. Once the finished product is in the hands of anyone that appreciates skateboarding and/or NYC, it will be apparent.
I also want to announce that we will be having a Photo Show / Fundraiser this Thursday (3/20) from 8-11pm at Hotel Chantelle in the Lower East Side. There will be a silent auction for photos from Allen Ying, Jonathan Mehring, and Zander Taketomo. With photos of people like Anthony Pappalardo, Bobby Puleo, Quim Cardona, Jahmal Williams, Zered Bassett, Jake Johnson, Brian Delatorre, and Dylan Reider, I honestly wish I had to funds to buy most of them myself. There will be opening bids of $50 for most of them. So you could get lucky with no other bidders or end up in a bidding war with some of these photos that are worth that back and fourth. We will also be raffling off product from our sponsors. There will be specific details posted to our Instagram (@stoopsmag) over the next couple days.
But everyone should also check out the incentives on our Kickstarter if they are considering making a pledge: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/245418647/stoops-magazine-a-quarterly-nyc-skateboard-publica