Nick Tershay started Diamond 20 years ago—way before the advent of tweets and Insta stories. He relied on actual, literal word of mouth to grow his brand, dumping every penny into the startup. Even more risky: he enlisted his famous friends to rep the label in mags and videos, a move that could have potentially been disastrous, alienating his homies and damaging their hard-earned credibility.
Against all odds, Tershay’s ubiquitous streetwear brand became one of skateboarding’s most phenomenal grassroots success stories. The proof of its impact, two decades later, continues with the mainstream coverage Diamond attracts. The latest comes from Women’s Wear Daily, a longtime paragon of the fashion industry. In the WWD profile, written by Kari Hamanaka, we get a little insight into how much different things really were for entrepreneurs back in Tershay’s day:
When I started Diamond, the only marketing I could depend on was giving my friends, who were pro-skaters, T-shirts and stickers to put on their boards so that every month hopefully they’d be in something like a Thrasher magazine or a TransWorld wearing that. Other than that, it was just getting shops to support us and sending out free stickers. There was no social media; it was real grassroots.