Click on one of SESH’s core values below to view more detailed description on why they are so important to us here at SESH.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Very few people know the true heart, spirit and sacrifices that have gone into SESH. But those people who have also had any single battle of their own however big or small will completely understand these emotions and feelings that are brought to life by SESH. The journey of SESH is a genuine tale that each person can relate to in some way. SESH was fully born in 2012 by James and Stacey, in their small kitchen in Huddersfield. Just one year before they had lost everything through no fault of their own. Stacey and James found themselves without a home, moving between families with their little boy, Kai and Stacey pregnant with their daughter, Mya. They worked so hard to get out of this awful rut and create a better life for their family, but despite this the universe seemed to keep kicking them back down. However, they were blessed with an incredible support network of friends and family that helped them. It was only because of enduring so much and making it through that they finally decided to follow their dream of SESH. With nothing to lose they just went for it.
“The concept of SESH was born through a very dark time for us. It wasn’t until we had reached the end of one particularly painful journey that we looked at each other and said lets do this. We were sat at the bottom slowly taking a step up and falling back. A very lonely time. But we thought what do we have to lose? So we began with every single moment we had, with all our energy, our passion and belief, to create something that was never just about us. It was always so much more wanting to inspire others and being inspired by others.”
James had always been an avid skateboarder from a very young age. He skated in the areas of Barnsley, Sheffield and Huddersfield and was close to sponsorship until he was injured. He has continued to skate since his injury and be involved in the skateboarding communities. His recent honour is having some clips featured in the Mashlife dvd. His intention with SESH was to bring his number one love of skateboarding alive through art. Initially, SESH was for skateboarders by skateboarders but proudly this started to spread throughout to be loved by a huge range of individuals outside the skateboarding world as well as within.
“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into a glory”. William Barclay
Starting with no funding or help, but with £60 scraped together through selling things on Ebay, tools borrowed off friends and family, and their love of skateboarding – the birth of SESH had begun. It was through hard work, perseverance, stamina, creativity and belief in the concept that it soon became a reality. It was the very qualities that are found in skateboarding that got them out of a very hard situation. James and Stacey designed and crafted pieces from broken skateboards, but always with the determination to make each piece better and better, until it was something they were proud of. Although, the creation of SESH had begun, they both still felt there was more that was needed. As they always want to do good for others and inspire, it was never going to be an option of running a business that has little or no impact on the lives of others. SESH therefore needed to become and achieve more than the skateboard jewellery alone.
Being skateboarders and understanding the stigma associated with it they wanted to do something about this. Stacey's son Kai further inspired the SESH not stigma message. He is amazing and despite everything, he still has a big smile on his face and achieves so much whilst still being caring and loving. He loves skateboarding and feels it is his release from school, where he can be free to be himself. Since skateboarding his confidence has grown. SESH regularly supports various charities and community projects across the UK. It is the vision of SESH that as it grows, the support it can offer will grow too.
During this period there were many people who still believed this would never work. However, incredible people also believed and encouraged them to keep going. UK Pro Skateboarder Ben Grove is a huge force behind SESH coming alive. He believed in James from the beginning and gave encouragement to strive even further. He still is a very supportive and vital part of SESH. James has admired Ben for a long time so he feels very honoured for all the support he gives to SESH.
The House skatepark in Sheffield really took SESH under their wing offering encouragement and honest feedback as well as supplying many snapped and broken skateboards. The House Skatepark feels like a second home and they are still a huge support to all that SESH do.
"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." Albert Schweitzer
Despite developing with passion and talented craftmanship, James still lacked confidence in his own abilities to move SESH forward. In January 2013, his childhood friend Rob bounced into their lives and gave James the belief and confidence he needed that anything was possible and that he was a talented artist. Rob truly believed that SESH could become highly innovative with an exciting future. Rob and James began crafting into the small hours developing ideas further and making them to the highest quality. The designs developed from the incredible rings and ear tunnels to shot glasses and car gear sticks. The fiery passion and ambition coming from James and Rob surrounded SESH; like a contagious energy; passion was felt by all who crossed paths with SESH.
Friends would gather around, ideas began being drawn on the walls (literally) and it became a huge family. Everyone would join for meals, pool nights, idea sessions and more. Stacey and James no longer felt alone and exciting plans for the future began. SESH got accepted for Camden Lock market as well as Nass Extreme Sports festival. SESH still had very little financially to develop, but with a family as strong as that passion outweighed the need for anything else.
In April 2013 heartbreak ripped through as Rob was lost in a car accident. At first James did not want to step near the workshop, but decided he would to make a memorial bench out of skateboards in honour of Rob. It would be his greatest challenge without Rob to lead the way. It seemed SESH would struggle to come back from this. However, the true meaning of solidarity and faith in the world was restored when Rob's incredible family gathered around to support SESH to keep going. They were invited to trade alongside Wight Trash at the Isle of Wight Festival. That summer became an incredible experience for SESH as it hit the largest UK music festivals which included Isle of Wight Festival, Latitude Festival, V Festival and Leeds Festival. SESH was brought back to life.
Closest friends and family gathered to help and support in any way possible including making beaded bracelets, hand sanding jewellery, designing the stalls, taking care of Kai and Mya, and most of all offering kind words and encouragement. Messages of support and ideas were received from old and new friends from around the world. For this James and Stacey will always be thankful to each person. They truly believe that without the solidarity of people the skateboarding world, and friends and family it would not have been possible. SESH is every single person that has nurtured and supported it in any way. From the people who have crossed its path and pointed out the flaws and strengths so it can grow and become at peace with itself – to the individuals that wear it with pride to honour its beginnings as a skateboard.
During this time SESH also offered their support to others. Many individuals who crossed the path of SESH began to gain comfort by sharing their own stories and accomplishments with James and Stacey. SESH gave hope to individuals facing battles as well as encouraged small companies to reach for the top and keeping chasing their own dreams. SESH are proud to be supporting an incredible local skateboarding community project, Skate4isaac, which aims to extend a local skatepark in honour of a young skateboarder who passed on in 2012. Also, they help spread the word of various charities and campaigns across the UK. In exchange for many of the skateboards, SESH donated money to various skateboarding communities as well as different charities, such as Teenage Cancer Trust.
“Alongside, its growth, we have also been growing in confidence as individuals. In a sense I believe SESH created us more than we created SESH” Stacey.
“The battle of life is, in most cases, fought uphill; and to win it without a struggle were perhaps to win it without honour. If there were no difficulties there would be no success; if there were nothing to struggle for, there would be nothing to be achieved.” Samual Smiles
After the whirlwind of the summer, James and Stacey began planning for the future once again. Fairweather friends vanished but true friends and supporters stayed at their side. SESH continued to grow and joined forces with some incredible companies, from web developers, photographer, business networks, new SESH family members, professional skateboarders and fashion designers; to help SESH really come alive and to show the world just what it is capable of.
Rob's belief in SESH and support of James is still felt, and James has continued to push himself to develop more innovative designs then he ever thought possible. “Rob will always have a legacy through SESH and we were honoured to have been blessed to have him in our lives. We will keep going to make him proud as well as inspire others to never give up.” James
In the future SESH intends to develop these relationships and stock their designs with only the best companies globally. The range of designs and new innovations will continue to grow and we will strive to support even more projects and keep inspiring people of all ages and walks of life. SESH is still only in its youth but we believe that anything is possible with the strength of the SESH family at our side. The family keeps growing daily and these people are the true force of SESH.
SESH will continue to offer as much support as possible to individuals, companies, communities and charities throughout the UK. We intend to begin a SESH annual awards competition in the next 12 months to offer recognition and praise to nominated individuals who have overcome their own battles, as well as those that support communities.