With her new project, The Coven, Irene Dose aka doom_skates wants to push roller skating to new heights in Italy. Making it more accessible to humans of all ages in a country where it still is a very underground thing to do. We reached out to Irene to learn more about it.
Pushing and helping grow the roller skate scene in Italy has been a passion of Irene Dose for years. She has been giving roller skate classes, writing a blog, touring around with her “Grow your Community” project, and – together with her brother – running a fashion brand called Busking Bears. As her brother had to drop out due to his career, she closed Busking Bears as she says it had not been the same without him: “I tried to continue by myself but it wasn’t fun anymore.”
Creating an idea in times of a pandemic
Just roller skating is not enough for Irene, she wants to create and have an impact on the scene, especially in Italy. Despite having a safe and well-paid job at an internationally well-known sweets manufacturer, she finally decided to start over with a skate shop project.
“I wanted to do something skate related”, she says. Though with the pandemic hitting the world hard in 2020 Irene was a bit hesitant. “I wanted to wait and see what happens.” Of course, Irene saw the roller skating craze happen around the globe. “Italy is always years behind in trends. But suddenly people came into my DMs.” She talked to her brother, got him excited and on board again, and in early 2021 they started to write a business plan and The Coven was born. (If you know Irene, you know what a dedicated and professional person she is.)
So, what is The Coven?
Irene did not want the Coven to be “just another skate shop”. It is more a roller-skate-collective: Basically, it is a website including a shop and content such as roller skate lessons, events and information about all things roller skate. “I wanted to create something where people can join and get more than just skates. It is everything I want to do around roller skating!”, she says.
What is unique about The Coven: It focuses on the Italian market, so it is in Italian. “There is not much Italian content around roller skating in Italy. It is not really accessible here. You have artistic skating and roller derby. I want roller skating to become main stream and accessible to adults, no matter if you are 18 or 50 years old!”