There were about four middle school age boys hanging out in the Broad Street store as Scott Eaton talked about his life and his inspiration for opening the skateboard shop.
The Bloomfield native gently enforced guidelines and displayed patience and good humor as the boys excitedly talked skating and joked. The boys' respect and affection for Eaton and his store was palpable.
It was exactly the atmosphere Eaton wanted to create.
The Tiseo Skate and Bike shop is named for Bloomfield native and celebrated BMX competitor Joe Tiseo, who died in a 2001 motorcycle accident. Eaton counted Tiseo, the namesake for Bloomfield’s skate park, among his closest friends and said that his life was dramatically and positively influenced by him. (Click here for a memorial on Tiseo that includes videos of his BMX riding.)
“He was not only the best BMX rider I’ve ever see in my entire life, he was one of the best overall people,” Eaton said.
Eaton worked with Tiseo at a skate and BMX shop where the older Tiseo became something of a mentor for him. Like Tiseo, Eaton rode in BMX competitions. While he didn’t reach Tiseo’s acclaim, he took Eaton’s advice to follow his passions, avoid potentially destructive temptations and, most of all, to be a positive force.
“When he had spare time, he would help people,” Eaton said. “The way he lived his life inspired me with how I live mine.”
Eaton, a former Animal BMX sales rep also who put in time in local bike shops like Montclair’s the Bikery and the Bloomfield Bike shop, said he knew early on he wanted to go into business for himself.
“Since I was in high school, I’ve wanted to start my own business,” Eaton said.
Thanks to his time spent in different facets of the bike and skate industry, he developed crucial relations and contacts. The store’s current display leans towards bmx bikes and skateboards but he said that he was able to order any style of bike. Eaton also repairs bicycles and offers tune ups and hopes to branch out further into clothing and street-wear.