With Mukee on deck, Graffiti Beach gets a taste of handcrafted skate boards – but not in the way you would think. Derek Keenan at Mukee gives new life to boards and other reclaimed resources and turns them into unique, handcrafted pieces of jewelry that we love! In lieu of impressing a girlfriend, Derek would pull together his resources and craft in order to make things for her.
Saving him money and creating a one of a kind present, he used any free material he could find. After rings made from tree branches to a handmade pair of shoes, he stumbled upon the idea of skateboards. He thought that the colorful layers of skateboards would be prime, so he ventured into a local skate shop and asked if he could have some of their broken decks. In the beginning however, many of the pieces he created were very labor intensive, especially with the sanding and sculpting of his pieces.
His hard efforts paid off when this girlfriend would wear the pieces he made, soon driving her friends to request pieces as well. Derek dialed in his designs and perfected them in a fashion that sped up the creation process and place that at a reasonable price point. With some connections he had, Derek was able to put on a trunk show, and thus Mukee began.
With all this effort, we asked Derek if he had a favorite piece of his own. As he stated, “It’s so hard to have a favorite piece. In every batch there are always a couple that really speak to me. If it is a buckle and I really like it I’ll wear it for a while and then rotate it out with the next one that catches my eye. I usually like a piece because of the colors or interesting compositions. The design that was on the skateboard has to do with the final outcome of each piece.”
All in all, Derek has given us an innovative and unique presentation of accessories that we had yet to see. The use of broken skateboard decks opens pathways for all sorts of one of a kind pieces, distinct designs, and general creativity! We’ll be sure to keep an eye on Mukee as Derek sets himself in stone to handcraft and create.