Paradigm Shift

Back in the Reagan Era, the country was foundering in a recession and business was flat, but Tarek Hassan had reason to smile. This was the day his dream was going to become reality. After months of work, his snowboard shop was going to land a coveted Burton contract.

“We were so excited to show their rep what we had to offer,” says Hassan. “ We had a beautiful space built; our store was going to dominate the Cambridge market.”

Then the rep came by and refused to even step foot in his store. He thought Hassan and his family were crazy. The fact that his snowboard store was located inside his uncle’s shoe store was a deal breaker. The response from Burton was a resounding “no.”

“It broke our hearts. This was the mid-’80s and snowboarding was just taking off. We could have given up then and there, but that is not who we are,” says Hassan. Instead they went out and landed Oxygen and Solomon.

And within a year the phone rang. It was Burton calling. They wanted in.

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