Around the end of 2018, a bearing brand caught my eye. Sparrow Bearings had not been on my radar up to this point. I was intrigued. I sparked up a conversation with the man behind this new skateboard bearing brand hailing from Maryland USA. Enter Dan Dassoulas. A family man with a wife and two kids and a passion for building community through skateboarding. Dan is a mechanical engineer by profession, while simultaneously wearing the multiple hats of a running a skateboard bearing brand. He told me how he was a big fan of Shorties, Quickies Bearings and that whole camp back in the 1990’s. When asked what the driving force behind Sparrows Bearings is, Dan offered up “I just thought that I could produce a similar performing product that was less costly than the big name brands.” And, it seems that’s what he is doing. Asking around, people seem to like the bearings that Dan offers with competitive prices to the more popular bearing brands. Next time you are in the market for a sweet deal on some quality bearings, give a good bird call and get yourself some Sparrow Bearings. -Matt E.
I just thought that I could produce a similar performing product that was less costly than the big name brands
Why did you call the brand Sparrow? My kids and I would love to watch birds. And the symbolism of a Sparrow I thought was cool. Joy, simplicity, creativity, friendship, protection and productivity. I thought it worked for a bearings brand.
In a skateboarding world flooded with brands, how did you come to the decision of starting a bearing company? Long story short, I was trying to find brands to support a skate contest series that I came up with back in 2013. It was really tough hosting local skate events and getting the support of bigger national brands, not being a skate shop. Local board companies such as Metrotek, Fair Game, and Atlantic Skateboards, we’re a lot more supportive, as well as some wheel companies, but it was tough gaining the support from national bearing brands, truck brands, etc. A few brands did offer help in the beginning such as JuJu Bearings and Hungry Bear Hardware, SpeedLab Wheels, and Theeve trucks, but the help ran dry year after year. I always wanted to run my own business eventually, so I just went for it with my wife’s blessing of course.
LeNeal Toney putting his Sparrow Bearings to work with a frontside bluntslide. Photo – Grant Grdunac
How does your brand and product differentiate from the other bearing brands out there?
I find that other bearing brands focus on the technical, while I’m trying to keep my bearings simple, reliable, and affordable while striving to keep the vibe fairly family friendly. I feel like kids don’t really care about all the nitty gritty technical aspects of what makes this bearing faster or better than that, but trust that the brand did their homework.
What hole in the market is your brand filling? Quality bearings at a good price point. Most people like supporting small business, especially in the skate world, and there weren’t many local bearing brands near me, besides my one friend Kolin with Dimebag Bearings who was soon moving out of the Maryland area, and I hit him up about this before I started. Actually, he was the one that kind of encouraged me to go the bearing route. Thank you Kolin!
How do you go about building the team of people you have to represent sparrow? Started with my riser brand BB Risers (Soon to just be EB Risers, EB standing for Errands Brand) and needing testers as well as people I’ve met over the years through hosting a skate contest series. Each person on my team has their own backstory and different reason they are on the team. For instance, Brandon Padayao won the first contest I ever hosted, and now he’s an Emcee at my current skate events, and he rides for Sparrow as well.
What kind of impact do you expect the Olympics to have on the skateboard market? I think it will take it to 1000% (Thanks Jeron Wilson Nine Club Experience reference). Honestly, the way I think of it as the same thing will happen when snowboarding came into the olympics. The big names will get more business, and the smaller brands might see a quick spike, but nothing crazy. You’ll have some winners, I’m sure of it.
I was a snowboarder before snowboarding was introduced in the olympics and the people who loved snowboarding before still loved it for the love after. Grandma even got into it. “You see that flying tomato on the TV, Danny (me)??”
Hopefully it will remain an art form and a culture for the few of us that appreciate that aspect of it.
If you listen carefully, you might hear the faint sound of Will Fleishman’s Sparrow Bearings spinning during this hardflip. Photo – Chris Oughton
Where do you see Sparrow in five years? “I’m on a boat” – Andy Samberg . No idea truthfully. Hopefully steadily, slowly growing into something sustainable along with Errands Brand. Maybe providing jobs for skaters?
How did you come to sell your product on SellerDoor? Matt Eversole reached out to me when it was just BB Risers and told me his intention with the website, being a skateboard specific marketplace online for brands. I knew of him cause I heard his interview on Anthony Shetler’s Podcast that I listen to. I DID warn Matt that I was creating Errands Brand…and that I’d be adding more than Risers to my store (Sparrow Bearings, Midnight Hardware, etc..). I was honored that he would allow me into the SellerDoor community! Stoked !! Skater run, skater owned. Please do your best to support to keep Errands Brand and the SellerDoor running by purchasing.