A former skateboarding professional, Philadelphian Victor Perez had broken or damaged more than a few skateboards during his career. Once called the "original Cherry Hill SkatePark destroyer and legend," his reputation as a fast skater took him to the West Coast where he skated in demos and promoted skateboard safety.
But after skating for many years, Perez looked for other opportunities. He decided to move to Florida where he worked at a bike and skateboard shop designing window displays. Interested in art from a very young age, this experience rejuvenated his artistic inclinations. While in Florida, Perez also opened his own gallery to promote work by contemporary local artists.
In 2003, Perez moved back to Philadelphia and he realized that after years of exhibiting work by other artists, he wanted to create his own work. Still skateboarding occasionally, he looked at his broken board and wondered how he could re-use it. He hated the thought of throwing it out. That's when he developed the idea to make lamps out of worn or broken skateboards. Called Sk8lamps, Perez's unique lamps are a logical result of his collective passions for skateboarding and the visual arts with the added environmental benefit that the lamps are made from otherwise discarded materials. He refers to his creative process as "upcycling" rather than recycling because as he says he is "making it better, stepping it up."