Victory Skate Shop opened at Zern’s Market in 2007, as JV Skate Shop, a family owned skateboard store and employed skateboarders. It was inspired by the owners 3 sons wIno were frustrated that there were no skate shops located from Reading to King of Prussia. “We were driving to King-of-Prussia about twice a month for skateboard supplies and skate shoes!’. The first shop started in the outdoor flea market, but after 3 months, moved indoors to store 220 by Kathy’s Smoke Shop. “My sons promised to ‘do everything’ if I helped them get the store started.”
The eldest son, Joshua worked at the store from the start and taught his mother all about skateboards and how to build them. I knew nothing about this or the brand names in the beginning. Now, I build the skateboards for my sons!” This gives Vickie the unique ability to understand and relate to parents who ‘just don’t get it’ when it comes to skateboarding.
“We have many people tell us that they had returned to Zerns after many years, because their children want to see the ‘skate shop’ — I loved watching the faces of the kids as they walked by and took a double-take and said ‘Look, a skate shop!”, says the owner. (above photo: JV Skate Shop in 2007)
In 2009. the family had a house fire and lost everything. They were suddenly forced to close and moved to their vacation trailer in Florida while their home was rebuilt. “We sold many skateboards in Florida.” In September, 2010, the family moved back to Pennsylvania and back to Zerns into bigger stores at 308 & 308a, located by the Auto Auction. 2010 brought the addition of Pro Scooters to the store. Son, Jacob began working here and is an exceptional skateboarder to this day.
Victory has been heavily involved with many Zern’s events especially those that involved children. “I was the photographer and the judge for the yearly Halloween parades, and I organized the pumpkin painting stands and photographed other events for the Zernie online magazine”. Vickie was always ready and willing to devote her time to help organize events. “My husband built the sound system for events and he became the emcee when necessary. It’s hard to run a store during big events.”
In 2011, many great changes came – we re-named our store to Victory Skate Shop. That meant getting new signs, business cards, yard signs, pens, and shop decks. We put together a Zerns advertising campaign: ‘Get to Know Zerns’ with help from several Zern’s vendors. We all put together events for winter advertising, including Vintage Clothing who put on a Fashion Show and Victory Skate shop held performances from their skateboard team and scooter team. Everyone loved this event and begged for more….“We had plans for 3 more events for this campaign, but everything changed when suddenly, ‘our fearless leader’, Joanne Gresh left as manager of Zerns…all events stopped for a while – it was like a mourning had come over Zern’s, although Mr. Gresh continued to work and keep the maintenance team running effectively..
”In February, 2017, we moved to a much larger location at #351, by the Peanut Store in center court. “It was a lot of work to move and re-model the store and lighting”
Today, Victory skate shop is a full service skateboard shop, you can build your Pro custom skateboard or buy a pre-built skateboard or Longboard. We also carry Pro Scooters and Inline skates. We have wheels and parts for our scooters, skateboards, waveboards, and inline skates. You will find great discounts skate shoes from size 6-15. We carry everything that you need for your skateboard, longboard, including old school styles, beginners, cruisers and plastics. Our skate parts include pro and blank decks, trucks, wheels, grip tape of all kinds, bearings, risers, bushings, hardware of all sizes, wax, tools, helmets and pads. Our clothing includes skate shoes, hoodies, tees, belts, hats and socks for guys and gals. We can order ramps & rails. In winter we have snow skates. We also have a variety of accessories such as backpacks, wallets, banners, DVDs, keychains, toys and more. We carry a HUGE selection of skate stickers….and the list goes on and on – over 3000+ items…check out our website….you may also make a private appointment during our off hours by calling 610-517-5823, Wed & Thurs. from 12-6.
Zern’s is closing but we are hoping to find a new local store. We are holding great clearance sales to honor the closing of Zern’s and we will let everyone know where our new site will be on our website Victoryskateshop.com. We will be posting a Zern’s special photo section. Says Vickie, “We have lots of wonderful memories here at Zern’s. We have watched children grow up and come back with their children. It was never about the money…I just wanted to make the children happy and provide an alternative to computer games.”