By Sarah Peters
3:14 PM PDT, November 2, 2012
When 12-year-old Corona del Mar Middle School student Jordan Pratt asked his parents for a trendy new skateboard, he was told that he'd have to work for it, but not by mowing lawns.
Jordan could have his skateboard if he helped Diane Pratt, his mother, sell them.
"Orange County is such an entrepreneurial breeding ground," said Pratt, owner of Crush Clothing on Balboa Island. "There are so many kids here that have that potential and ability, why not start with my own son?"
Jordan selected the merchandise for the first order — an array of popular, brightly colored Penny skateboards — set up shop and waited for customers to roll in.
And they did, often asking for Jordan by name and wanting customized specialty boards.
"I definitely am learning to be more confident," he said. "And, learning to be customer friendly. If you are, [customers] will like you, and they definitely will be more happy and satisfied. That's a good feeling."
More than 1,000 Penny boards have sold through Crush since Jordan first set up the mini skate shop less than a year ago.
Encouraged by his success, the family opened Balboa Boardsports, an action- and water-sports apparel and rental store, in early October. A grand opening is planned for the second week of November.
The 1,400-square-foot store on Marine Avenue features popular brands such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, Volcom, Quiksilver and Vans, and rentals for water sports. Eventually, the shop will offer electric bike and golf cart rentals.
Jordan has big plans stemming from the new store.
"I want to be an entrepreneur and own my own store one day," he said. "I'm just really excited because this has been so much fun."
This passion is exactly what Pratt had hoped to sow with that initial shipment of Penny boards.
"One thing that I've tried to teach my kids is to find something you're passionate about and try to make money doing it," she said. "It won't feel like work."
Pratt's lesson is working if Jordan's plans are any indication.
"It will help me in college because definitely it's setting me on a path for where I want to go in life," he said. "Instead of just being a star soccer player, I'm thinking of a logical job that I can get.
"I'd like to be my own boss one day," Jordan continued. "Set my own rules and not follow anyone else's — which is not my favorite thing to do, as my family knows."
Address: 213 Marine Ave., Balboa Island
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Paddleboard rentals: starting at $25 per hour and decreasing each hour thereafter