The Passion Project
Back in 2013 my wife, Jen, wanted a paddleboard, and throughout researching the different options I stumbled across some guys on both coasts building wooden surfboards, and absolutely fell in love with them. The look, the environmental benefits, and lastly, the fact I could make it my own. Something at that time triggered in me to want to build her one. I mentioned that to her, and she was like, yeah right?!? At that moment it became a challenge for which I accepted! I couldn’t blame her for her reaction because to that point I had absolutely no woodworking experience. It’s crazy to think back to that moment because at that time I didn’t realize that the next 2 years (the time it took to build that first board) were going to completely transform our lives.
The Side Gig
Fast forward to 2015 while still working my 9-5 gig. Shore Boards got its first commissioned build! Word started spreading within our social circles on what we were doing, and from strictly word of mouth we had a handful of friends/family that reached out for boards. Before you know it we had a waiting list of interested parties, so I spent most, if not all my free time out in the garage producing boards.
The Power of Exposure
Then came 2016.. This year was the most pivotal to the growth of the company. To kick the year off we were fortunate enough to have the Star Tribune do an article on Shore Boards which happened to be right before the 2016 Minneapolis Boat Show, and looking back it definitely was our coming out party! We are so grateful for that exposure because it provided a platform that reached a ton of different connections. One of those connections was a producer from Ron Schara Productions. They reached out to discuss their show called “Made for the Outdoors” which airs on FSN North, and wanted to know if we wanted to be a part of it? Once I heard the concept of the show I was immediately on board. The show aired in August of 2016, and we immediately felt the impact of that exposure. Not too long after the airing I was contacted by Mike Farrand, a Food Industry Executive, who happened to catch the episode while he was up at his cabin waiting for the Vikings Preview to come on FSN North. He expressed interest in meeting to talk about the company, and to see what the future plans were for Shore Boards. Anyone that knows me, knows I never turn down the opportunity to talk about Shore Boards, so I took Mike up on his offer to meet.
The Angel Effect
Well, needless to say, the meeting went well! As of January of 2017 I brought Mike on as my business partner, and it has been the best thing that could’ve ever happened to the company. Mike has brought great business experience, vast connections, and ultimately shares in the vision for the company. Shore Boards has since moved the operation from my 3 stall garage to an industrial facility in Anoka, MN. We’ve been able to upgrade our machinery, our processes, and increase our workforce. I’ve also been able to quit the 9-5 gig, and focus my energy to 100% Shore Boards. Not going to lie, it’s been an amazing ride!