A Twitter Conversation with Marius Arter (Founder of Arniko Skateboards)

On the eve of Thanksgiving, I opened my laptop and logged into Twitter account of Parakhi. I had been excited about this moment for a few days now. I had been promoting this event on Twitter and Facebook pages of Parakhi, personal emails to friends and phone calls to people who would be interested in this. I wanted to cover Arniko because the idea of skateboarding in Nepal is still a new concept and more people should know about the cool work that Arniko is doing.

I emailed Marius a week ago to do this interview. The chance to do an interview over Twitter was appealing because it would be engaging our followers and making this conversation interactive, fun and different. We talked over Twitter and below are most of our conversation. My Twitter handle was @theparakhi and Marius was using the handle @arniko. When I wanted to message Marius, I would write @arniko and then state my point. For example: @arniko Thanks for joining us today. I used #parakhichat so people could follow our conversation by typing that hashtag on Twitter. Actual tweets can only be sent in 140 characters. I have combined tweets so its fluid for this blog. You can read the whole conversation by visiting our Twitter page.

@arniko Welcome to the Twitter chat with Parakhi #parakhichat
@theparakhi Namaste!
@arniko Namaste to you as well. Thanx for joining us here. We are very excited to talk to you (on the eve of Thanksgiving)

@theparakhi Thank you for the invitation!

@arniko How did you take your skateboarding hobby into making a company?
@theparakhi Actually I did not really planned to make a business out of it. I went to Nepal
a few years ago to try if I am able to produce skateboards in Nepal. So after three month
I had two boards which I brought to Switzerland. Everyone liked it very much. So I came
back to produce more. After a while it became a business.

@arniko How big is the company in terms of people working there in Nepal? In Switzerland?
@theparakhi In Nepal there are around ten people who are working for Arniko. In Switzerland we are a team with twelve members.

@arniko The response for Arniko has been great in Switzerland..what about in Nepal? Is there demand in other markets?
@theparakhi In Nepal we have about 70% foreign customers and 30% local people. The skateboard scene in Nepal is rising in Nepal so we think that there is potential in growing and getting more Nepali customers.

@arniko Wishing you all the best in establishing the park. Now lets talk clothes..are they made or designed in Nepal also?
@theparakhi Yes, so far we produce everything in Nepal.

@arniko You have a lot of dealers in Switzerland. In Nepal you sell through your store. Are you looking for dealers in Nepal?
@theparakhi No. We are fine to sell our stuff by our own, but maybe in the future we open another shop in Pokhara/Nepal.

@arniko Saw pictures of your store..it is unique and hip who designed it?
@theparakhi I designed it and made the things for the store by myself. That was easy for me because I am a carpenter.

@arniko Fantastic. Are you looking to expand into the US? Do you currently have customers from the US?
@theparakhi We get orders from the US and of course we ship there as well. If I get time I will go to California and do a shop tour.

@arniko We would like to thank you for taking time out of your schedule to do this interview and fun chat.
@theparakhi Thank you very much for your interest!!!
@arniko We had a great time learning more about Arniko and wish Arniko all the best going forward.

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