After graduating from college in 2010 and doing a short stint at Vice, Ian Michna launched Jenkem—a feature-based site that paid homage to skateboarding’s irreverent past. It took off nearly right out of the gate.
Since then, Ian has built Jenkem into skateboarding’s premier up-and-coming media brand. And he did so by doing things the opposite of the traditional route. Jenkem began printing books after launching online. It doesn’t chase advertisers or traffic. Its goal is to simply produce compelling stories. This unique approach is working, and the site is funded by a small group of like-minded sponsors. Jenkem is bigger than ever and has some exciting projects in the works, including a compilation record on vinyl. I recently caught up with Michna to talk about the past, present, and future of his DIY project that unapologetically kicked down the doors of skateboarding’s mainstream media.