North Texas Daily

Denton skate shop prioritizes inclusivity and community

Denton skate shop prioritizes inclusivity and community

Denton skate shop prioritizes inclusivity and community
September 27
12:00 2020

With walls plastered with rainbows and LGBTQ+ merchandise, Denton’s Ace of Skates aims to serve the skating and roller derby community with a focus on inclusivity.

Denton resident and owner Ace Mossman opened her business in July to provide skating supplies to the community. She attributes her comfort in her identity to the roller derby community and hopes her shop can bring out the same confidence in others.

“Before I started roller derby, I didn’t know of a lot of queer spaces,” Ace said. “I felt like I was awkward and didn’t fit into the ones I could find. It has always been really important to me ever since I came out that I was going to be visible about who I am regardless of the consequences and that built itself in the shop.”

Since opening to the public in July, Ace said her business has faced unique obstacles due to COVID-19 and the increase in skating interest during the pandemic. 

“Early on in COVID, we had Instagram influencers in the fitness space get into roller skating and it launched this wave,” said Kevin Mossman, a Denton resident and Ace’s father. “When we were doing inventory orders, you couldn’t buy skates, everything was back-ordered. We pushed back the opening which gave us a little more time to work on the space and take our time doing that.”

However, the pandemic led to an opportunity for Ace to explore a creative perspective.

“It’s very hard to buy roller skates with vendors right now,” Ace said. “Thinking outside of the box, I’ve been able to make my own skates when I can’t order them.”

Ace of Skates sells a combination of both gear from vendors and unique creations made by Ace. 

“She’s a phenomenal artist and one of the kinds of artworks she does is custom gear,” Kevin said. “[She’s designed] custom painting helmets, custom painting jackets and t-shirts. She’s able to offer things that people cannot go somewhere else and buy because they are uniquely hers.”

Ace started her business after a local skate shop, which served a large portion of the North Texas skating demand, had closed. Jessie Valkenaar, a Pilot Point resident and customer, said it was important this type of business was brought back to the city. 

“I was devastated to learn that the shop at the rink was closing down because there is nothing else in Denton like it,” Valkenaar said. “Ace stepped up and created Ace of Skates and honestly she has superseded anything that has been available before.”

Ace of Skates attracts customers from across the region due to its specialization in competitive skates.

“She gets customers from multiple states surrounding Texas because they do not have a local skate shop, and especially in the derby community, you’re looking for athletic competition-level skates,” Kevin said. “When you get to that level, they’re fairly customized.”

Kevin attributes Ace of Skates’ success to Ace’s willingness to create a tolerant environment. 

“In the middle of the racial justice [movement], one of the primary skate manufacturers really displayed, in my opinion, some tone-deafness on social media, and we were sitting on thousands of dollars of their merchandise. And [Ace] said, ‘I don’t feel right about selling any of their merchandise, even at cost.’ So she made the decision to donate them to a derby group that supplies tools to underprivileged skaters.”

In its mission to establish a welcoming atmosphere, the shop encourages skaters of all skill levels.

“There is never judgment, you walk in and no matter how much you know or don’t know, Ace is there to help you get to where you are looking to be,” Valkenaar said. 

Ace said she aspires to foster a safe environment for anyone who walks through her door.

“There is no mistaking it when you walk into my shop that you are welcome there and people see that and really engage with it,” Ace said. “It is so important to me to be the visible one so that other people can see me and they can feel like they have a space where they belong.”

Featured Image: Ace Mossman works on adding wheels to a pair of skates on Sept. 17, 2020. Image by Meredith Holser

About Author

Anvitha Reddy

Anvitha Reddy

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad