Airtime

yoyoshop According to ‘Splitting the Atom and Other Yo-Yo Stuff‘ Airtime started out as a cart (circa 1990). Richie Windsor ended up taking over the cart as a side business to supplement his income, grew it into a juggling shop with premises, eventaully specialising in Yo-Yos. Later Airtime play a pivitol roll in the UK Yo-Yo craze of 1998 and my life.unnamed Artime sat on a sloping highstreet in Exeter, a fairly typical English street for the time. The juggling shop used to be a staple feature of a city with a student population; Bath, York, Southampton and many other university citys had their own juggling shop which would offer locals access to equipment and knowledge only otherwise avalible through mail order catolouges of Butterfingers and the like or at juggling conventions. It was a time before Amazon and YouTube, knowledge was relitvley hard to come by so a stop in a juggling shop was a chance to learn, as well as spend. weblogo_long Most juggling shops have long faded, replaced by the Hawkins Bazaars and the WWW. A few specailised juggling shops still survive, complimented with an online shop to suppliment their passing trade which seems to center around passing tourists. Definatly still worth a vist but not the special occation event that they once could claim. shop-pic Airtime sold all the classic juggling related props and equipment you might imagine, from VHS juggling convention tapes to stunt kites and walking globes. When distribution company TKC started to sell Yomega and the HyperYo range of Yo-Yos Richie jumped at the chance and became a Yo-Yo specialist, teaching 1000s of kids to Yo-Yo in Tricknology lessons. The parents of these newly obsessed Yo-Yo chilidren would at some point end up cueing to get into the small Airtime shop and perchase an X-Brain or Viper Yo-Yo which would often sell out. yoyo_books I came to know of Airtime through Richies book, ‘Splitting the Atom’, which remarkably made the Times best seller list in 1998. It was the period when I was first coming into contact with the internet. logoair-logo After visiting yo-yo.co.uk I followed the hyperlink to the Airtime forum. My first forum. I still have friends that I came to know from that forum. There was a banner link to the Airtime webshop and so I was exposed to my first online store. I was amazed, puzzeled and a bit fearful of the internet, probably a standpoint I still have to some degree. Airtime2005 Richie was (and still is), in my eyes, a Yo-Yo celebrity. Over the years I came to know him and ordered so often that he knew my mums credit card details off by heart, it made ordering over the phone much easier, that’s for sure (at the time my mum didn’t trust internet shopping but would order over the phone -not logical to put it mildly)! Richie was supported by Jackie Windsor in the running of Airtime and employed occasional staff, a classic small scale business. shop-pic In the mid 2000s small high street shops began to feel the compeition of internet shopping and many retial businesses closed down. Richie had the foresight to see this coming and took the decision to let the Airtime premises go. He moved onto focusing on just the Yo-Yo market, letting the juggling side of the shop go. In 2006 (?) he changed the name of the business to YoYoZee.co.uk . header-red Since then the store had continually evolved and updated, keeping up with the latest developments in Yo-Yo design and culture. YoYoZ was a constant sponsor of the UK National Yo-Yo Contest and other related events that happened over the years. And so at the end of 2014, after helping build and support a community Jackie and Richie decided to close the digital shutters for the last time on the YoYoZee shop, having worked in selfempolyed retail for two decades. It was a time for a change for them. 10869396_755206721238939_8468002146095062407_o There’s a new online UK Yo-Yo shop opening soon, fittingly run by one of old members of the Airtime forum, Luke Roberts. Luke knows Yo-Yos, hes a fantastic player and is one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I look forward to purchasing a new Yo-Yo from him soon… In the mean time thanks to the Windsors and anyone who supported Airtime. You helped me to where I am now.

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