William “Will” Fabiano, at 16 years of age, is near the younger end of the entrepreneur spectrum within the city limits.
“My friends and I longboard all the time,” he said.
“But there really was nowhere in Cedar Rapids to get a longboard — or a skateboard. We knew a ton of people who liked to longboard and others who wanted to get them, so we talked to my dad about opening up a shop.”
The Washington High School junior and his father, Dan Fabiano, who’s also offered financial assistance, traveled to various trade shows around the country to connect with manufacturers and suppliers.
“We went to Los Angeles, New York and Orlando,” Will recalled. “We went all over the place to talk to people, and it was fun, but some of the companies didn’t want to take me seriously because I was 16, but I convinced them to do it and it has worked out.”
The Peanut Butter Squad Board Shop opened its doors in August last year.
His shop stocks component parts to complete boards, to clothing, helmets, wheels, decks, “trucks” — the turning mechanism that attaches the wheels to the deck — and even sunglasses.
“We also carry a ton of pads and helmets,” Will added. “I’ve experienced my own things with the safety equipment saving me.”
Will and two employees work in the shop, do setups and make repairs along with handling online ordering — all after school and all day Saturdays.
“When I’m not in school, I’m here at the shop,” Will said.
Dan assists with the payroll, bookkeeping and the tax end of things.
The shop also supplies equipment for the Cedar Rapids Roller Derby team, Will said, “because they had nowhere to buy their stuff. We support them by getting them whatever they want.”
Know a manager or company in business for more than a year that would be great for “My Biz”? Contact business editor Michael Chevy Castranova at firstname.lastname@example.org