Phillip Gripper

Written by Ellen Gurley

Phillip Gripper
words: Ellen Gurley
photos: Kacie Smagacz

lip Gripper is a local entrepreneur who is currently juggling three new concepts and is doing it well. He has turned some of his hobbies into businesses that are fueled by his emotional investment, expertise, and young energy.  That’s the thing about passions.  Sometimes they turn into your livelihood.  I currently caught up with him and learned about the three things that he is working on.

Phillip Gripper

Plaza-Midwood will soon boast an indoor skate park brought to you by Phillip and partners Brett Coppedge and Chris Hostetler.  Not only will they offer private lessons and instructional camps for Skateboard, In-line, BMX, Scooter, and Break Dancing, they will also host live music and events.


A couple years back, Gripper and Coppedge developed a design for a lighter, better rollerblade boot. Working out of their own houses they began creating prototype versions by thermoforming abs plastic to handmade molds that they constructed. They showed them at various trade shows and are currently developing a new model.


Phillip Gripper

Gripper was once taken aback by the things that the Japanese will put into their vending machines.  Laughing, he said, “If I had some, I would fill them with ... ”.  That was the moment the Bandmate Box was born. It has had a home in the Plaza-Midwood Common Market for two years.  It offers guitar, banjo, and mandolin strings, straps, slides, digital tuners, picks, cables, adapters, and drum sticks. This is the first of these concepts and My City Magazine thinks every club in the world needs one. Let’s see how that goes.  For now, contact Phillip with serious inquiries regarding the placement of one of these babies in your venue.

We will save his roll as the hardest drum whacker in town in the Modern Primitives for another time and I know that he is already brainstorming other ideas, but for now, go check out Oso Skate Park this summer. 

You can contact Phillip at

Ellen Gurley   Ellen Gurley Visit Author Page |



Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe today to receive a weekly email with Charlotte events by emailing "SUBSCRIBE" to and thank you.