Johnny Schillereff’s sister introduced him to skateboarding when he was only four years old and his family was living in Germany. He and his family moved around a lot when he was a kid; he went from city to city, state to state, and country to country. Schillereff credits skating with being one of the only things – in addition to art – that kept him “grounded” when he was young. He went through challenging times and went down the “wrong path” now and again, but never wavered from his commitment to skating or art.
In 1992, Schillereff changed his life and joined his friend, starting the business, “Underworld Element” in Atlanta. Part music, art, design, and studio collaboration, it failed after a couple of years.
But Schillereff didn’t let one failure define him. He didn’t stop. He wasn’t done. “Those who abandon their dreams discourage those who don’t,” he has said. He moved to Los Angeles and kept at it. He rebuilt. This time, Schillereff called his company “Element.” An element is something essential. It cannot be broken down into smaller parts. It is a part of everything.
He poured his heart and soul into Element. And, this time, he succeeded.
Today, Element Skateboards produces skateboards, apparel, shoes, and accessories that are a favorite of men, women, teens, and children all over the world. And, Element Skateboards continues to embody the spirit of essentiality. The passion with which the company was founded is still evident in Element products as well as through its professional teams, ambassadors, advocates and, especially, its Element YMCA Skate Camp in California.