POPLARVILLE – Two marketing management students at Pearl River Community College make a little spending money with a business they hope to turn into full-time careers after graduation.
Collin Rust and Ryan Hodgson, both of Picayune, founded Urban Boards in the spring of 2013.
“We started our own company to manufacture skateboard decks from scratch,” Rust said. “The idea started our senior year in high school.”
They use Canadian hard rock maple veneer – about 1/16th of an inch thick – to build the boards.
“They are usually about seven layers per board,” Hodgson said. “They’re extremely sturdy.”
A thin air press gives them the skateboard shape.
“That’s the part that shapes the board and gives it the curvature,” Rust said.
Hodgson described Urban Boards as a money-making hobby right now because both he and Rust are full-time students and also work at Walgreens in Picayune.
“We’re not pushing it as much as we could,” he said.
The decks – without wheels – sell for $90 to $125. Marketing for Urban Boards has been through social media and word of mouth so far.
But they chose to major in marketing management because they want to make Urban Boards a profitable business and have gotten valuable tips from their instructors, including Kate Davenport.
“Miss Davenport was showing us about a grant that we can apply for to get the business started,” Rust said. They hope to eventually open in Hattiesburg.
He graduates in December while Hodgson will finish in May.
A decorated Urban Board skateboard deck
A skateboard deck emblazoned with the company name