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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Meet the student behind the business Grayson Board

Grayson+Lord+wearing+her+own+shirt+from+her+small+business%2C+Grayson+Board.+Photo+courtesy+of+Ian+Urquhart.
Grayson Lord wearing her own shirt from her small business, Grayson Board. Photo courtesy of Ian Urquhart.

Grayson Lord specifically picked the perfect outfit that was baggy where it looks cool, but not too baggy where it looks like you don’t care.

The 20-year-old had to dress in a way that seemed effortless: As if she just threw it together, but in reality, it was meticulously planned out. 

She wouldn’t dare go to Solstice Skateboarding unless she was wearing oversized, trendy clothes in terms of the skate world. 

She smoothly walked into the skate shop in downtown Bedford, Massachusetts in January 2019. The local skater guys with their good style and casual ways all turned their heads to see who it was. 

She was intimidated by the employees; all were young, talented male skaters and all of their eyes were on her. 

As she perused the store she had been in countless times, she walked calmly through the small space illuminated by neon signs everywhere, including an especially bright one saying “Solstice” above the door. The store was filled — the walls were lined with designed skateboard decks and local art.

A young employee with his distressed jeans and baggy (but not too baggy) clothes approached Grayson Lord and said, “Hey, you’re the girl who flips boards right?”

Although Grayson Lord felt as if her heart might explode with a rush of affirmation, she said in the most laid-back way she could, “Yeah, I am.” 

The business

Grayson Lord is the creator and owner of Grayson Board, a business and brand she built in November 2018. She repurposes old skateboards and turns them into works of art. She sells custom boards as well as a full line of merchandise, including hoodies, stickers and hats. 

Grayson Lord is an undergraduate student at the University of Arizona, originally from Mattapoisett, Massachusetts. She’s an economics major with a minor in communications.

She has sold 35 custom skateboards, over 200 hoodies and countless stickers. The store has even become a micro-community on campus. 

“I would say one of my favorite boards is of Garfield smoking a blunt, but I don’t know if you can write about that,” Grayson Lord said.

“I’ve run into total strangers on campus wearing the Grayson Board sweatshirts and become friends with them,” said Nolan Tomshack, model on the Grayson Board Instagram page (@graysonboard).

How did Grayson Board become the brand, business and community it is today? 

Where it started

In Grayson Lord’s junior year of high school, Old Rochester Regional High School art teacher Kate Butler nominated Lord for the Artrepreneur Program through Artible SoCo in New Bedford,   Massachusetts. 

Although Grayson Lord wasn’t in Butler’s art class, Butler had a chance to see Grayson Lord’s character and artistic talent through a mural she and a few other students painted in their high school, on their own time. 

“I could see Grayson’s dedication, her artistic talent, and I think the thing about Grayson is that she’s a doer, she leads by her actions … she struck me as someone who would be invested … she shows up and does the work,” Butler said.

This was a three-month program where high school students worked on practicing their art form and learning the basics of entrepreneurship. They received a grant from the state to buy supplies, and at the end of the program they had a final gallery show to showcase and sell their work. 

“She didn’t really know what to call it at first, we were just popping out a bunch of names at first and none of them really stuck, it kind of just built up to the point where the next obvious answer was Grayson Board,” said Grayson Lord’s younger sister, UA sophomore Payton Lord. 

Grayson Lord left this program with Grayson Board, her business. “I wasn’t in love with the idea of selling skateboards at first, it felt tacky. Just having that name completely transformed how I felt about it and made me so much more excited,” she said. 

The risks

Skate culture is largely dominated by young males and Grayson Lord was nervous to put herself and her artwork into the skate world. Grayson Lord didn’t even skate until after she started the business. 

“I didn’t skate at the time … the skate community is so intimidating. Oh, I hate posers. But I was kind of just doing my thing being the biggest poser ever,” Grayson Lord said.

Grayson Lord is a female who previously didn’t participate in this very male-dominated sport. However, she still put her art completely out there to be consumed by the skaters. It was terrifying at first, but Butler was not shocked by her brave choice of business. 

“I am not surprised because that’s the kind of person Grayson is, I think she likes to push boundaries and she does so in a quiet, confident way,” Butler said. 

Her risk worked out for the better, and the support Grayson Lord received shocked her. This is why her brand continues to flourish four years after its creation. 

The most she’s ever sold a board for was $190 and on average she sells them for about $70.

The rewards

“The positive feedback is honestly why I still do it because I get such a positive response from everyone,” Grayson Lord said. “The first time I sold sweatshirts I lost money, but seeing them on campus is literally the best feeling ever.”

“I have my board hung up in my room, and I wear my sweatshirt all the time and always get compliments on it,” said Mateo Montolfo, a customer of Grayson Board.

Grayson Board brings people together, and the business has only continued to flourish and bring joy to Grayson Lord and those around her. 

“Wherever I go I see people walking around in the brown sweatshirts or the green trucker hats, it’s so crazy to see just how many people she knows on a level where they want to support her … it’s so good to see her having the success she deserves,” said Payton Lord. 

Grayson Lord couldn’t have made Grayson Board into what it is today without the continuous support of others and she credits her continuation of the business through college to all the positivity she receives. 

Grayson Lord is working towards her economics degree and she believes that Grayson Board has given her amazing insight into the world of entrepreneurship. As for the future, she doesn’t know if Grayson Board will continue after college as a serious business. However, she is currently loving every minute of it and she is forever grateful for everyone’s reactions and support for her.


Follow Maayan Cohen on Twitter 


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