Seneca One Deep Dive: SkateSkins & Creativity in Hockey

Welcome to the Seneca One Deep Dive! The team at Seneca One identifies exciting up and coming people, projects, and companies to dive into and share with our audiences. This week we’re diving headfirst into Just Dishin and SkateSkins!

BUFFALO, NY: One is overcome with a feeling of exuberance when you step foot into the offices of  Just Dishin and SkateSkins at the top of Seneca One, Buffalo’s solo skyscraper. Perhaps it’s the density of up and coming companies growing together on one floor of the recently woken sleeping giant that is Seneca One, or it’s the friendly greeting and overwhelming excitement on the faces of Nick Ciavarella and Matthew Keeler, two young entrepreneurs that are this week’s Seneca One Deep Dive!

It’s not because of the gorgeous view of the waterfront and bustling downtown Buffalo, the giant throw rug of a Jordan 1 hockey skate (that nobody dares to step on), or the collection of exclusive New Era ball caps in the office that this team uses for inspiration. It’s the tangible passion and eagerness to push Buffalo forward that fills the four walls of their space high up in the tower of Seneca One. 

Ciavarella and Keeler are members of Just Dishin and SkateSkins; both are lifestyle and hockey companies looking to push the game of hockey forward with a focus on creativity. Just Dishin offers hockey-influenced streetwear as an e-commerce initiative as well as digital marketing services while SkateSkins offers customizable skate accessories that are close to being protected by their very first patent. 

On June 16, the dynamic duo and their other full-time teammate, Derek Hosken, made the move to Seneca One. Since their arrival, the team has taken full advantage of the collaborative collision here at Seneca One and has grown into their brand new space.

“I think [Seneca One] is a place where a whole team can get together and bounce inspiration off of each other,” Keeler said. “It’s a place where we can all come together, work on ideas and work on different projects that we’re all involved in and all want to see fulfilled.”

JustDishin was founded in 2012 by Keeler and Ben Madafferi in a small college dorm room at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. The idea was to help create a new wave of stylish fashion collaborations to the sport of hockey and to empower athletes to provide their flavor through their creativity. Since 2012, the passion and drive of Keeler and Madafferi led to a period of unexpected organic growth. 

In 2016, they added Ciavarella as Chief Operating Officer to help with media and digital marketing, and in 2020 they launched SkateSkins. In addition to Ciavarella, Keeler, and Hosken, JustDishin and SkateSkins have seven part-time employees, including Madafferi.

The group’s love for the game and appetite for fashion and expressiveness garnered the attention of Buffalo Bills tackle Dion Dawkins and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. Both are now clients of the design department at Just Dishin. These guys have even worked on projects with Toronto Maple Leafs’ superstar Auston Mathews

This lead to an opportunity to showcase their products on the Barstool Sports media platform, not to mention a special invite to visit the Barstool Studio which took place in early 2021.

“You’re going to get opportunities. You have to put in that time and that work,” Ciavarella said. “If you love what you do every day and follow your passion, I think there are a lot of good things that can happen. I think for our group as a whole, it [showed] our group that anything is possible.” 

From the Seneca One perspective, we highly recommend that you keep an eye on this young team of enormous talent not only in Buffalo but worldwide as their products begin to gain momentum in the hockey world! 

For more information, follow Just Dishin and SkateSkins on Instagram!