The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

TagFlip opens in downtown Eau Claire

A new vintage store merges with longstanding skateshop, Passion Board Shop
TagFlip+logo+features+an+ASL+%E2%80%9CT%E2%80%9D+and+%E2%80%9CF.%E2%80%9D
Photo by Kyra Price
TagFlip logo features an ASL “T” and “F.”

Editor’s note: Cory Guerin uses he/they pronouns, but he/him pronouns will be featured for clarification purposes.

Passion Board Shop opened almost 10 years ago on April 11, 2014. The owner, Chris Johnson, said he grew up skateboarding in Eau Claire, and he and his friends had been fundraising for a skatepark for as long as they could remember.

When the skatepark was built in the summer of 2013, Johnson and his friends threw a skateboarding contest and he said they were shocked by the amount of people that showed up.

The turnout caused talk amongst his friends and him about the need to open up a skate shop in Eau Claire, and Johnson said he was the one who decided to do it. Passion Board Shop opened the following spring.

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Cory Guerin walked into Passion Board Shop a little over a year ago, according to Johnson. Guerin was a fan of Johnson’s podcast, Passion Pod, and asked to be an intern under him to learn things and work toward his goals.

Johnson agreed and said Guerin helped him around the shop, whether it was helping customers, updating the website or working on the mailing list.

“I taught him how to do stuff, and he would take it to the next step,” Johnson said.

After a little over a year, the conversation of Guerin finally opening up the vintage shop he’d been dreaming about came up. Johnson said Guerin knew it was time for him to open the shop, but it was hard to find commercial real estate downtown where he wanted to be.

Johnson said he’d been in Passion Board Shop almost every day since it had opened and didn’t want to close it, but he was busy with traveling for Passion Pod, and the time felt right.

He said he decided to have Guerin take over half the Passion Board Shop, essentially leasing out half the shop to Guerin.

“Now, he is in charge of all the apparel side of the business,” Johnson said. “So there’s still skateboarding apparel, but it’s just way, way more than that. It’s streetwear, it’s vintage, it’s really curated stuff, and it’s a fresh mind going into it that’s excited about that type of thing.”

Cory Guerin sits in his thrifted replica Blue’s Clues chair.
(Photo by Kyra Price)

Guerin said he came to Eau Claire after graduating from UW-River Falls in 2021 with a degree in accounting. He decided on Eau Claire because it was bigger than his hometown but still affordable.

The goal of his move to Eau Claire was to find a job, but he said he wasn’t satisfied with what he was finding. He wasn’t very interested in accounting and didn’t like what it took to rise up in that field, so he decided he would rather own his own business.

Fashion was something Guerin said he began to get into in high school. He grew up in a sheltered environment and had a limited selection of clothing. He got a lot of good feedback when he started dressing the way he wanted, and he enjoys thrifting.

“When I was finally in high school and I could buy my own clothing I could actually dress how I wanted with my own money,” Guerin said. “I was able to really start expressing myself in that way.”

TagFlip got its start when Guerin decided to sponsor an event at Boyd Skatepark this past summer. He said the event coordinator asked if Guerin wanted to send in his donation under his name, and he made the split-second decision to enter it under his business.

Guerin said he was glad he was forced to commit to his idea then and there, or he wouldn’t have gotten the same opportunities he has now.

Not long after signing the contract with Johnson, Guerin said he decided to take a trip. He’d always wanted to go on a road trip, and decided to use it as an opportunity to gather stock for TagFlip.

Setting up TagFlip was exhausting but exciting, according to Guerin. He did all the painting and drove hours to find CRTVs to play skating videos in the store.

Guerin said he enjoys working in the store directly with the customers because he gets to see pieces he finds go to people who are excited about them and look good in them.

“Everything in the store is hand-curated, handpicked by me,” Guerin said. “If it’s out here, I picked it, I went through it all.”

TagFlip is located in Passion Board Shop on North Dewey Street in downtown Eau Claire and is open Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Price can be reached at [email protected].

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Kyra Price, Chief Copy Editor

Kyra is a third-year psychology and public health student. This is her fourth semester on The Spectator and her second as chief copy editor. In her free time, she likes to listen to a borderline concerning amount of music (like 40-70 hours a week) and attend any concert she can get her hands on tickets for.

 

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