Collin Gray and Brice Hardesty turn skating passion into business
By Lauren Loricchio and Carroll County Times
Apr 25, 2015 | 10:08 PM
Students will represent North Carroll High School at CCPS Business Challenge
North Carroll High School students Collin Gray and Brice Hardesty are two friends who share a passion for skateboarding.
They have turned their love of the activity into a business called Goblin Skate, which earned them a spot as finalists in the second annual Carroll County Public Schools Business Challenge, administered by the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce. They will compete against nine other finalists from high schools in the county at Winters Mill High School on April 29.
Gray and Hardesty were chosen from five teams that competed at North Carroll High, and they won a $1,000 prize, with money donated from businesses in the community. Second- and third-place winners won $500 each.
Susan Getty, career connections coordinator at the school, said it was their passion, dedication and organization that won Gray and Hardesty first place in the competition.
"This was a stiff competition, which probably helped them," Getty said. "They had to be top-notch."
When they realized that finding skateboarding equipment such as boards, skate decks, wheels and clothing was tough in rural Carroll County, they decided to create an online company to fill that need. They have already created a website where customized skateboarding equipment such as T-shirts, skateboard decks and stickers can be purchased, at goblinskate.com.
"I was thinking to myself — I can't be a pro skateboarder because I'm too old and I started too late, so this is my way of giving back to the skateboarding community," said Gray, a 16-year-old junior, of Hampstead. "Action sports is kind of new as a whole, and we want to see more and more people skateboarding or getting into action sports whether that be skydiving or bicycling."
The friends said they currently sell skateboard decks, which break often and have to be replaced. Gray said the decks are purchased from a supplier in Las Vegas who makes seven-ply, hardrock maple skateboard decks and silk screens images on top of them with graphics they draw.
"We hope to expand into all aspects like wheels, trucks and shoes," Gray said.
Hardesty said they will set themselves apart from the competition by tailoring their products to their customers' needs. For example, if a customer sends in a piece of artwork, they will put it on a T-shirt.
Collin Gray said he has learned the importance of planning and being organized by participating in the competition.
"Now that we have a bigger fan base, we have to build structure and keep everything organized," Gray said.
Both Gray and Hardesty take business classes at North Carroll High.
Although there is no business requirement, there is a financial literacy requirement in Maryland for graduation.
A series of five business courses are offered in the county are available in subjects that include accounting, administrative services, business administration and management, marketing and financial services. Other business elective classes include business communications and keyboarding, managing personal finances using Microsoft Excel, business law and an internship class.