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Maven: A Skateboarder's Paradise in Burlington

By Kelly Church

Skateboarders in Burlington, VT can rejoice in Maven: a boutique catering to the wants and needs of the skateboarding community in the area. Owner Brendan Foster says the storefront, located in downtown Burlington's Church Street Marketplace, focuses on retailing skateboards, footwear, and apparel. However, Foster's business is also part of advocating for better skateboarding locations and opportunities for Burlington's skating population.

The shop has been in business since 2005, retailing their own Maven-brand items in addition to Vans, Quasi, Polar, Adidas, and Levis, just to name a few. Foster says carrying big-brand names is great, but selling smaller and independent skate brands helps Maven stand out from chain stores. Currently, they sell a small number of Maven mesh snapback hats, but Foster tells us that later this year, they'll be releasing a larger Maven line of apparel and accessories.

"There are a couple of mall stores (Pac Sun, Zumiez) in the Burlington area that carry skateboard products; however we feel as though our involvement in the local community, our dedication to the new Burlington skatepark, and our carefully curated brand selection allows us to stand apart from the type of stores that carry the same brands that you can find anywhere else and online," Foster says.

Maven's involvement in the community includes being a member of the Burlington Skatepark Coalition. As a member for the last eight years, Maven has been active in advocating for the new Burlington Waterfront Skatepark. The new park is being built by Artisan Skateparks, replacing a ten-year-old wooden skate park. Maven regularly updates its customers as to how this project is coming along.

"We are extremely excited to see this project come to fruition," says Foster. "This skate park will be one of the biggest and best skateparks in all of New England."

Foster gives a lot of credit to the City of Burlington for the production of the new skateboarding park. He calls the city "very skate-friendly." The city has been instrumental in supporting the new park and contesting lawsuits from nearby residents fighting the building and completion of the park.

"The city understands that skateboarding is important for not only our youth, but also for people of all ages. They understand that skateboarding is important to the culture of our city and the outdoor lifestyle that many of us live. People choose to live in Burlington because of the natural beauty, mountains, and outdoor activities. The new skate park will also bring increased tourism, which is good for everyone."

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