It's always skating season for Zach Wilson.

Lovely Day 

It's always skating season for Zach Wilson.

To the untrained eye, Crossroads skateboard-shop owner Zach Wilson looks like any other idling scofflaw in a hooded sweatshirt milling about the 18th Street storefront he calls Lovely. His wardrobe -- entirely from his own store -- proudly proclaims "skateboarder," but Wilson's work schedule, which can reach 70 hours a week, contradicts any slacker stereotypes.

"Get up. Print some shirts. Watch the shop. Give whoever's here in the shop a break. Print some more T-shirts. Go to a skatepark planning meeting," Wilson says. "It's good to be able to do the things you enjoy doing. I mean, I'm 28 years old, and I'm not doing anything much different than I was ten years ago."

But we doubt that the 18-year-old Wilson was suffering through city and parks department meetings to lobby for a Kansas City skatepark in his not-so-spare time. After a three-year campaign of courting public officials, cops and concerned citizens, Wilson can discuss local bureaucracies and the nuances of procedural politics with the same expertise as he could describe the perfect kickflip.

He also manages a shop team of six skaters (whom he films regularly for skate videos he directs), does the graphic design for Lovely's boards and clothes, uses his store for art shows (which he curates), DJs, books and promotes a weekly party, and basically baby-sits young shop customers. But if Wilson is busy 14 hours out of the day, it doesn't seem to bother him.

"It's fun to make up a job where you get to work and kick it with all your friends at the same time," Wilson says. "Sometimes it's a paycheck, but not all the time." Regardless of profits, however, Lovely has acquired legions of loyal fans in the three years it's been open -- all of whom are invited to the anniversary party at Jilly's Tuesday night.

And when Wilson says, "I could get a real job, huh?" He's only kidding. We think.

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