If you think Yoor Mom Skateboards
is an unusual name for a business, that’s because there is nothing usual about the new Grand Ledge
shop. While overseen by adults, the store is actually a collection of skateboarding related businesses operated by kids.
“We’re calling it an ‘incuskater,’” says Jerry Norris, owner of Jadian Enterprises and father of Yoor Mom Skateboards founder Rain Norris. “It’s an incubator for skateboarding companies. My son, who is 11-years-old, came up with the brand and the name.”
Now 20 students ranging from 11 to 19 years old and representing nine businesses are testing out their skateboarding related business ideas in the 600 square foot Grand Ledge shop. They are not only learning about entrepreneurship, but they are also tracking their local economic impact and raising money for the Grand Ledge Skate Club.
“We’re calling this the Summer of Skatenomics,” Norris says. “We’re keeping track of all the money we’re spending, and we’ve spent over $3,000 in the local economy. We’re also teaching kids business things and having business training sessions. Now we’re seeing them starting to train each other.”
Norris and the Yoor Mom Skateboards team have high hopes for the growth of their project. They have created a Made in Grand Ledge brand, and are working to connect with manufacturers in Dubai and California to produce their goods. Meanwhile, students are learning welding, screenprinting and carpentry in the shop. Eventually, they’d like to create a manufacturing facility in Grand Ledge and start a microloan program.