Scene3 Designs: Local Business Owner Repurposes And Recycles Old Skateboards Into Jewelry, Wallets, And Magnets

Recycling isn’t limited to empty cans and cardboard boxes. One local entrepreneur repurposes broken skateboards into beautiful items.

Jeff Gray owns and runs Scene3, a skate shop located right on Main Street in downtown Lynchburg. It’s a vibrant hub at the heart of the city. People come for everything from bike repair to skateboards or even just to hang out and pet Rocket, Gray’s dog. But the most striking part of Scene3 is its custom pieces, each made out of ruined skateboard decks. 

Scene3 Designs boasts a wide array of items – wallets, coasters, Apple Watch charging docks, fridge magnets or even plant holders – all handmade. The elegant, stacked layers of wood from the remains of broken skateboards bring a unique design to each piece. 

Back in 2010, Gray, disillusioned with throwing away so many old and broken boards, decided to find a solution.

“Skateboarders break their skateboard decks, some of them quite often. If people are skating a lot, they go through a lot of boards,” Gray explained.

Even just from his own skateboarding habits, Gray had trash cans upon trash cans full of ruined skateboard decks. He was already running a successful skate shop, which, with a little elbow grease, could become the groundwork for a steady supply of used wood. 

Gray experimented a bit to see if the whole thing was feasible. He found out it was.

He started out with hand tools and a handheld belt sander. Now, many years later, Scene3 Designs is its own business. Each year, its selection expands as Gray finds new things to make. 

Also, the market for custom orders is thriving. Gray once made a 10-foot countertop for a record store. He’s made light fixtures and even designed prototypes for a wireless speaker.

“You can pretty much make anything out of the decks once you remove the grip tape,” he said. “The sky’s the limit.”

Gray offers an in-store credit to people who turn in old decks. When people come in to buy new boards, they can bring in the old ones. It’s a circle of reduce, reuse and recycle that grows in its scope every single year. 

“Pretty much anyone that comes to buy a deck, they’ll leave me their old one. Some people want a couple dollars, others just want to help out and keep decks out of the trash,” Gray said.

But it’s not just the way he finds supply that’s efficient. He is also able to repurpose most of a skateboard’s material.

“I’d say I probably use 90% of each board recycling wise. Even the little scraps I can make earrings out of,” Gray said.

Scene3 Designs is Gray’s way of making the world a better place, with less waste and more happy little moments. 

blevins is a feature reporter. 

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