This past May, Thia Penta was hanging out at Sunrise Cafe in UK Village with a friend and said, “Somebody should open up a skate shop for Roller Derby Girls.”
Penta’s friend turned the tables around and asked, “Why not you?”
Through the process of researching, Thia, a member of the Windy City Rollers league– she goes by Wreck ‘n Shrew on the Manic Attackers team— with a background in professional photography, and retail (she most recently worked at Wicker Park’s Broken Cherry Boutique with former Roller Derby Girl turned entrepreneur Remey Rozin), began to realize that being a merchant might be her calling, and, this past Thursday, Oct. 20, Rebel Rebel Roller Derby Skate Shop opened its doors in Logan Square, at 2048 N. Milw., just south of the Congress Theater and next to Gran Discover Clothing.
The mannequins weren’t quite dressed and/or standing tall yet when The Pipeline popped by, having been alerted to the opening by the proprietor of Gran Discover, but we got a look at the merchandise: roller skates, pads, protective gear, T-shirts with attitude, plenty of helmets, shorts, tights, and socks, pretty much anything a derby athlete would ever need, along with equipment service and repair, with the added convenience of Rebel Rebel being located in a storefront rather than going online to shop, where Thia says most of the derby community get their merchandise.
Thia reported that she chose Logan Square because many of the derby girls live in the neighborhood, and the storefront, long vacant, looked like it needed a tenant. She also wanted to stress that the shop isn’t just for those in the derby, but pretty much anyone who uses wheels or skateboards and needs gear.
Next in Rebel Rebel’s Pipeline: Ice skates, at affordable price points. And, with winter right around the corner, and long lines at Humboldt Park’s rink for skate rentals, we’d like to think she’s on the perfect track to success.