Starting a business is scary stuff, you must have real passion about your idea otherwise it will suffer, research shows that four in ten small businesses don’t make it five years.
It’s research that would scare many people, but what if you had genuine belief that your product will survive and people will buy into it, would you?
This North East lad did, Matty De Vere, 22, who studied FDA Graphic Design and then BA honours Creative Enterprise, which is where the idea started. He says: “As a skateboarder for the past 12+ years I have always wanted to make skateboards and to be able to skate my own boards. So when studying my BA in creative enterprise, it gave me the opportunity to create the business. People really liked what they saw and I just thought why not continue this and see how it goes.”
Starting up a business is stressful, what is it like behind the scenes of it all? Matty says: “It was quite expensive to start-up. Buying machinery. Veneer. Renting a studio.”
We ask Matty what has he learnt in his first year of business? He says: “Making skateboards and working with wood is not something that can just be done first attempt. But that’s all part of the fun. And even after a year in there is still room for improvement. But I love what I do and will keep working and working.”
It has been a whirlwind for this lad making his northern brand known in the UK. Alongside selling skateboards in the North East, ‘Big Aye Skateboards’ are now being stocked in London and Norwich! He says: “I think I have done much better than I expected in the short time I have been doing what I do. I am currently in the process of making a website. So trying to get established is through social media and approaching people and shops. I now have had bulk orders in Norwich and London. So the word has spread pretty well.”
For readers who live South, we ask Matty where supply’s his ‘Big Aye Skateboards’. He says: “There is a shop in London called ‘natural law’. They approached me a couple of months ago telling me how much they loved my boards and would be really up for getting them in their store. Was great to be approached by a shop so far from home.”
We now wanna know more about the skateboards, how are these wooden skateboards made?! Matty states: “I use a Cnc machine which picks up the vectors on adobe illustrator” and “My wood is shipped from Canada and it is from a sustainable source. I do use non toxic glues and varnish. So I do try to be as ethical as possible. ”Tis the only way to be.” We like your thinking lad, it sounds pretty hard graft! We ask Matty how does he keep creative under the pressure of running the business, he says: “I draw a lot. Most days in fact. I also do a lot of live art for a local night my mate puts on. Called ‘ink and dub’.”
Alongside this Matty tells us about his adventures in Jordan where he gave his time to voluntary work with kids, teaching them about skateboarding, he says: “I went to Jordan in the Middle East to work for a non-profit organisation called ‘make life skate life’. One of my friends showed me their page and I was instantly sold. Bought the first ticket I could. Skateboarding is an amazing thing and brings a lot of people together. And to be able to teach young refugees and other kids to skate and see the smile on their faces is a great sight to see.”
Matty clearly is passionate about his hobby that combines the famous motto, work hard, play hard. This comes easy to this northern lad making waves in the business world.
So what does the future hold for ‘Big Aye Skateboards’? Matty says: “I have no end goal. Because I don’t know what the future will bring. But I would love to open a shop selling my boards and art and clothing
Pretty much just going with the flow right now. Trying to establish my self a little more. I have been going to pubs around the area and have been commissioned with their logos on my deck. So trying to get away from just skaters. As it’s not just for skateboarders, as it is an art piece as well as a board.” We hear you lad, Matty’s laid back attitude about his two passions are inspiring.
In the end, we want to know what is the best thing about creating your own business? He says: “Hard question. I don’t know. Everything!! The kind words people say about my products is always an amazing feeling. Never gets old having a compliment about what I do.I have always wanted to do this. What skater wouldn’t wanna create their own decks?”
Feeling motivated? We know we are! We ask Matty if he has any advice for any budding entrepreneurs wanting to start something up for themselves, he says: “JUST DO IT. It’s an amazing feeling being able to work for your self and have your own hours. But that does not mean it’s easy. But what is. And if you’re truly passionate about doing something, why not follow that passion. Could be the best idea you’ve ever made. It definitely is for me!!”
We love hearing the positivity from local lads doing well for themselves, if you want to buy one of Matty’s ‘Big Aye Skateboards’ you can order over at his ‘Big Aye Skateboard’ facebook page or alternatively you can order through email directly too – firstname.lastname@example.org
If you can some visual inspiration get following ‘Big Aye Skateboards’ on Pinterest for your daily dose of art.