Teen-turned-entrepreneur has favorite ‘Subject’

Teen-turned-entrepreneur has favorite ‘Subject’

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
Sunday, April 8, 2007

Michael Kirby/Auburn Journal Corey Worrell prepares a graphic for application at his home shop in Applegate. Turning a longtime passion into a business is fairly common. But for skateboarder Corey Worrell, it happened earlier than most.

The 16-year-old Colfax High junior has created Subject Skateboards, a home-based company that makes and sells boards, T-shirts, hats and buttons.

Corey started the business a year ago, with his parents’ financial backing. Dad, Paul Worrell, is a construction contractor.

Corey’s interest in skateboarding began when he got his first board, at age 6.

"I really got into it at about 12," he said.

It was also around that time he started thinking about starting his own business.

"I’d been messing around making up pretend companies," he said. "Then this I got this idea for skateboards. I thought it sounded kind of cool, so I decided to go with it."

He sells his products through his Web site, and at Boards N Motion in Auburn and The Riders Union board shop in Colfax. Many of his customers find him through friends and word-of-mouth.

"It’s going good," he said. "They’re actually selling pretty well."

In fact, he has been selling about 10 boards and 10 T-shirts a month, he said.

Boards N Motion in Auburn has been carrying the Subject boards since November, according to Ricky Krull, skate buyer for the store.

"We try to carry stuff that is a little more local," he said.

Corey introduced the boards during a traditionally slow period for the sport – late fall and winter – and is producing a product for a very competitive field. But, for Krull, the artistry stands out.

"People like the graphic," Krull said. "For a local product and something he’s done on his own, he’s done a stellar job." Corey has organized a skateboard team to generate momentum for his fledgling company.

"We give our products to them and they use them when they compete," he said.

The team members are friends he’s met at skateboard parks, along with a couple of skateboarders who found his Web site and asked to join.

For Corey, the uniqueness of his company is based on pricing and design.

"I think a good skateboard should be built with good concave and have a good interesting graphic on it," he said.

Krull agrees that there’s a definite market for the design.

"His boards have quite a bit of concave, so for a skateboarder who likes that, it’s a major selling point," he said.

Worrell also emphasizes reasonable pricing. His Web site offers three skateboard designs, each selling for $42.

He orders the boards and shirts from a supplier and then adds his personally created graphics. It takes 10 to 15 hours of work a week to run the business, he said.

At school he enjoys the arts and math and would one day like to be a sports photographer, but building his business is his primary focus for now.

"I just want to expand and get products into more shops, and hopefully it will grow," he said. "We’re going to come out with more new designs and new T-shirts, hats and stickers."

He gets a lot of encouragement from friends, as well as his family.

"They think it’s great," he said. "They’ll buy stuff to help support the business and they give me ideas for designs and logos." The Journal’s Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com

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