Last year, when Sir Richard Branson was a guest investor on Shark Tank, I pitched Locker Board – he invested in my company and I’ve been on an amazing journey ever since.
My ideas have always been inspired by my love of the ocean. When I was seven I stumbled across some “tarp surfing” videos on YouTube and was instantly hooked. I begged my grandparents to buy me a tarp (because my parents refused), and they did – a giant 50 foot by 30 foot rectangular blue one!
I wanted to lay it on the street and skate on it – pretending it was the ocean and that I was surfing. It turned out when you’re seven years old it’s very hard to manage a 50 foot by 30 foot tarp, and in the end I needed my parents help. After much frustration – and after realising that I only played with the corner of the tarp – I cut the triangular corner off, hooked on some weights and anchored it to the street. With some help, my first product, Streetubez, was born.
I created my next product after realising that I wanted a skateboard that could fit in my school locker. My regular skateboard wouldn’t fit, so I cut it down and reshaped one that would. I soon asked my parents I could try selling Locker Boards instead of doing my chores. They agreed and my business days had just begun.
I didn’t have any money to buy materials, so I went to my local skateshop and asked the owner for all the old skateboard decks customers left behind. I reshaped the used decks into Locker Board decks, sanding and repainting them. I took them to school in my backpack and sold the decks for $20 a piece. I saved up $1,000 and officially started my company.
Support received through Shark Tank and through meeting entrepreneurs who think differently, has really helped me grow my business. My love for the ocean continues to inspire me and as Locker Boards has taken off it has taught me how important it is to reuse products, recycle, and problem solve.
Together we can prevent the further destruction of our ocean by using what we have. Each of us can make a huge difference by making small changes in our daily lives. There is power in numbers. My time with Ocean Unite has taught me so much about ocean conservation and I’d like to share five simple things that we can all do to make a difference:
- Don’t buy or drink from plastic water bottles
- Utilise reusable grocery bags
- Buy recycled, upcycled and sustainable products
- Post about how you’re making a change on your social media by:
- Taking a photo or video of the next piece of branded plastic waste you see outside.
- Posting the photo or video to social media, tagging the brand (ex: @CocaCola) and use hashtags #PlasticInvasion and #MarchForTheOcean
If each of us make changes today, we will save our ocean for tomorrow.
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