Hi, my name is Shawn and I’m a Special Advisor here at Skwirl. Some of you might know me from other platforms such as Sports Card Forum, Hobby Insider, Beckett, or eBay where I’m known as allonblack.
Christmas, 1991. That was when this all started. In the early hours of December 25th I snuck out of my room to grab my stocking (one of my dad’s old wool socks). Inside, past the tried and true chocolates, trinkets, and comic book was something I had never seen before…a pack of hockey cards. I grew up in a remote part of Canada that didn’t have television so besides my dad’s New York Islanders jersey I had no clue about hockey. I ripped opened the pack and was instantly hooked. Bright colours, pictures, and stats. I spent the rest of the morning studying those cards as if my life depended on it. I suspect a lot of folks have a story like this and I seriously wonder how many other people can say that a pack of Pro Set hockey cards changed them forever?
As I got older and had a little expendable income I started to realize there were more levels to collecting than just buying random packs of Score at the neighbourhood corner store. Card and comic shops started popping up and exposure to new cards, sports, and sets began to happen more frequently. I also discovered that there were other people and groups who also liked the same things as me. Set builders. Hit chasers. Player and team collectors. I could hang out at the LCS and talk to all these people, watch breaks, and pick up cards of players I pretended to be when playing street hockey. There was a sense of community there that I had never experienced before and it was pretty cool.
Sadly, the trips to the LCS became more infrequent as these kinds of stores started slowly fading away but thanks to online communities the drive to collect and build comraderies around similar interest can live on. As I became more active in forums and online trading groups my collecting became more about the relationships with other collectors than finding great deals or the next white whale for my PC. I’ve started and stopped collecting a few times but I always come back because I miss the friends I’ve made in the hobby.
As an adult, collecting hockey cards has become part of who I am and is a constant in a pretty chaotic life. Moved to a different country? Still collecting. Dead poor and in university? Still collecting. New baby? Still collecting (though maybe my wife wishes I wasn’t). I love it. Building my personal collection, trying to find cards for friends, and cracking wax are literally my favourite “me things” to do in my free time and I spend part of nearly every day maintaining my collection and talking to friends about cards. The point is that I’m hooked and I love being involved with collectors who are as excited about the hobby as I am.
Anyway, that’s my introduction and also the main reason why I’m part of Skwirl. Owning a LCS might not be feasible these days but helping to facilitate an online marketplace is. I may not have quit my job like Kevin and Ivan but when I was offered an opportunity to help with the creation of Skwirl I was more than ecstatic to come on board, so I’ll be on-site every day, building relationships and working to constantly improve the platform. So there it is…sell cards you don’t need to chase those whales, expand your collection, and score the hits you need to complete your PC all while being part of a community collective. Hope to see you there.