Clocks. We all have them—On our wrists, hanging in the kitchen, in our cars, and on our phones, buzzing at us to get out of bed in the morning or we won’t have time to do our hair… But for Lindsay Holmes, the simplicity of a wall clock, combined with a treasured yet broken skateboard, started her on a journey she could have never expected. “I had broken one of my favorite skateboards and couldn’t part with it,” Lindsay describes. “The back had some really awesome, time-related, graphics on it and that became my first recycled skateboard project.”
From clocks to chalkboards, from magnets to earrings, from bangles to belt buckles, Lindsay’s talent for taking broken skateboard parts and transforming them into wearable or functional art, (along with a few skills picked up in high school woodshop), led to the creation of MapleXO.
Based out of Portland, MapleXO started as one young woman’s hobby, and grew into a passion that is shaping a community. Lindsay saw the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of skateboarding by reusing the beautiful colors and wood texture of the maple boards. “So many skateboards are thrown out every year,” says Lindsay. “When I realized how much beautiful maple wood was being wasted it became a responsibility. I just couldn’t bear to see the material go to waste.” Skateboarders from across the country donate decks to MapleXO, and since pairing up with Paul Schmidt of PS Stix, their ability to make a difference through recycling skateboards from the manufacturing process has grown substantially. “MapleXO is passionate about skating and recycling and we’ll continue to search for more ways to do both!”
Beyond the skateboards themselves, “we breathe life into previously used material but also into previously told stories,” Lindsay says of MapleXO. “We’re spreading pieces of peoples’ history and passions.” The company has grown to encompass not only a brand and an ideology, but also a unique community of people passionate about skateboarding and MapleXO products.
Can you see now why I’m hooked? Skateboarding for me has always been intimidating. I would tell you about the first time I stepped on a skateboard, about falling straight back on my bum and spraining my wrist… but that would be too embarrassing. So what I’ll tell you instead is how wonderfully genuine, kind, and easy-going the team at MapleXO has been, and how they have not only given me a glimpse into a whole new world, but also an insight and inspiration into what it means to create community and give back through the works of your hands. I think about what Lindsay told me about the passion, dedication, and creativity that goes into each MapleXO piece, and I’m blown away by the beauty of the whole process. Something old into something new; something crafted once, loved well, and crafted again—it’s an amazing story of transformation and creativity, and I’m so excited to see where it leads!
Thanks to the wonderful team at MapleXO for giving me an inside look into their amazing world, and for being gracious enough to answer all my questions! Below are a few of their all-time fav photos, and if you’d like to see more, check them out at maplexo.com!