Spotlight: Jason Guadalajara, Founder of Concrete Visionary Distribution

By Matthew Bossons, July 23, 2019

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Spotlight is a regular series where we feature a prominent person in the creative scene. This month we speak with Jason Guadalajara, founder of Concrete Visionary Distribution.

Hailing from the sunny West Coast metropolis that is Los Angeles, Jason Guadalajara is well known in the South China skateboard community. Based in Foshan on and off since 2012, he is the founder and top dog at Concrete Visionary Distribution, which owns a number of skate-focused brands, including Footprint Insole Technology, FP Footwear, Colours Collectiv and Crupiê Wheels. These companies manufacture a variety of products from skateboard hardware to footwear, insoles and athletic apparel. We caught up with Guadalajara to chat about his brands, skating in China and the launch of Concrete Visionary China.

Skate culture is well established in the West, but kind of new in the East. What made you want to start a skate brand in China?
I actually started Footprint Insole Technology in the United States, but it was very difficult to find manufacturers so I bought a ticket to China and spent three months here developing a special insole that will mold to any foot. The skateboard scene is growing extremely fast in China, and I quickly found that the Chinese market desired our products as well, so we started distributing to all the skateboard shops in China. Now, our products can be found all over Taobao. Other Asian countries like Japan also have considerable skateboard lifestyle markets.

Image via Jason Guadalajara

Tell us a bit about what products your companies specialize in?
We started off with insoles, which eventually went on to be sold in 15 different countries. I then spent more and more time in China learning how to make apparel, then shoes and then, this last year, we started a skateboard brand.

Where do the bulk of your skate products go?
We mainly sell to the USA and Europe, although China is quickly catching up with the boom of interest in the sport that has followed the announcement of skateboarding at the [2020 Tokyo] Olympics. Due to this, we are in the process of launching a Chinese version of our American distribution company, Concrete Visionary, in China.

Image via Jason Guadalajara

From your experience, which products have sold best in the Chinese market?
Currently our insoles and skateboards sell the best in China. In the Asian market, a lot of young children are starting to learn to skate and protection is an important thing to their parents. Our insoles help to upgrade impact absorption in shoes as well as keep the biomechanics of the joints working properly, which prevents injuries.

What kinds of initiatives do your companies partake in to help support China’s skate scene?
Thanks to the recent addition of skateboarding to the Olympics, the Chinese government itself is putting a lot of investment into skateboarding infrastructure. We are able to play a small part by sponsoring local events and skate shop events with free products for giveaways.

Image via Jason Guadalajara

A big part of the marketing skateboard companies undertake involves famous riders. Do you have sponsorship agreements with any notable skaters, either in China or North America?
Absolutely, we have some of the top names worldwide endorsing our products. Joey Brezinski, Paul Hart, Kelvin Hoefler, Neen Williams, Dane Burman and about 20 other professional skateboarders from all over the world. Aaron ‘Jaws’ Homoki ollied 25 stairs, the largest set of stairs ollied in history, using a pair of our insoles a few years back.

What can China-based consumers expect from your operations in the coming months?
We have a lot of developments happening soon. A new line of vulcanized shoes with a new type of performance never seen before in vulcs, as well as a wider availability of our products in China due to the launch of Concrete Visionary China. Now we can sell directly to Chinese customers and skate shops without the need for an intermediary distribution company, which means lower prices for consumers in China.

For more Spotlight posts, click hereFor more about Concrete Visionary Distributions, check out their website here

[Cover image via Jason Guadalajara]

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