What are some of the reasons you started Breezy Boards?
Brianna (Breezy) Enders: Skating has always been something that I’ve felt deeply connected to, a passion that was sparked the moment I first stepped on a board at the age of 10 and was fueled by the encouragement and support from my parents throughout my life.
Longboarding is everything to me; a creative outlet to express yourself with physical determination and unique style, a personal release to free yourself from the troubles and worries of daily life, a way to bond with others and bring people together and, for a few fun years, my main mode of transportation. The dynamic nature of longboarding – ranging from a truly personal, meditative experience, to a way to get around town without fighting for a parking space – is something that I’ve always felt compelled to share with my friends, family and colleagues. Breezy Boards is how I hope to tap into the minds and hearts of people on a larger scale, while submersing myself in my life-long passion to produce and distribute badass, shred-able boards. My focus for Breezy Boards is as simple as this:
1. Longboarding is good for the soul. I strive to provide personal insight, approachable knowledge and unique, quality boards to present people with the opportunity to fall in love with skating.
2. People are wonderfully talented, creative, passionate and driven. Since longboarding is such a versatile and inclusive activity, I believe that Breezy Boards is the perfect platform to promote the wealth of human capacity, with a focus on the local St. Pete, Tampa Bay and Florida communities.
3. Ventures, ideas and individuals thrive with human interaction. Establishing connections, developing relationships and sharing experiences is valuable and rewarding beyond measure. Breezy Boards fosters the importance of shared experiences and successes.
What have been some of the biggest challenges?
I’ve faced a few challenges in the startup phase that were off-putting, sometimes even debilitating, but taught myself to channel them into positive reactions and efforts. Initially, Breezy Boards was an incredibly exciting concept, with expansive possibility for growth and seemingly endless potential (and still is!) which was incredibly overwhelming for someone who was working full time through college and buried under a never-ending course load. The idea was ultimately put on the backburner, twice, before utilizing my studies in mass communications,
journalism and entrepreneurship to develop a solid foundation for the company. This invaluable tug of war of “What Breezy Boards could be” and “What’s the next step for Breezy Boards” taught me that it’s okay to dream big and have grandiose plans, but that I need to hone my focus on the execution of the next immediate task at hand, in order to be successful.
Another challenge has been a bit of a female complex. Although I am utterly confident in my industry knowledge and physical abilities, it always seems as if I have to answer 20 questions to prove that I’m worthy of owning a skateboard company and am capable of speaking intelligently on the subject. Honestly, it makes me love what I do even more, breaking into both the skateboard and business worlds as a headstrong, determined female presence, and fuels me to keep “kicking ass and taking names,” a favorite idiom of encouragement I often receive from Corey, my loving stepdad.
Launching Breezy Boards as a young female entrepreneur, fresh out of college, was a daunting task in itself and there have been some obstacles along the way, but the way I look at it, all of the taxing, draining or difficult tasks that I have to push through or find ways to overcome are all just part of the process. Breezy Boards is my conceptual child, a product of my personal passion, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to foster its growth and development, to see my vision through to its fullest potential.
What are some of the things you are most proud of as it relates to the company?
First off, I just want to say that I’m damn proud of the fact that I took the leap into business ownership, after years of toying with the idea for Breezy Boards. It’s incredibly humbling to have friends from grade school say “I remember back in middle school when you talked about having your own longboard company, and now you do!” I feel it was just a matter of time before I turned this dream into a reality.. and I couldn’t be happier with the steps I’ve taken to launch Breezy Boards successfully and the response it’s received from the local community.
The three things I’m most proud of, in relation to Breezy Boards: The Street Team, the Launch Party and the Adjective Dragon board collection.
The Breezy Boards Street Team is comprised of a group of genuine, respectable and selfless individuals who support Breezy Boards and its vision. Levels of participation and engagement vary, but that’s the beauty of the Street Team! It’s a platform that allows people to be involved with Breezy Boards and its on-going projects in whatever capacity they choose. Members have helped coordinate and run events, design graphics and event flyers, skate and model for the Breezy Boards Lookbook (which is currently in production,) and even helped grip and assemble the debut board collection in preparation for the Launch Party. I believe that the DIY and grassroots approach is the best way to appropriately convey the ideals and principles that are at the heart of Breezy Boards. Establishing and developing a team of like-minded individuals who are eager to contribute to the success of Breezy Boards has been truly humbling throughout the startup phase and I look forward to expanding the Street Team in the future.
With the help of the Street Team, Breezy Boards hosted an insanely successful and epic Launch Party on Friday the 13th at the local World of Beer in May, 2016. We partied into the night, celebrating the official launch of Breezy Boards with four local bands, a killer merch booth set up, local beers on draft, a logo-splattered photo op backdrop, locally-themed raffle prizes and pizza served from a freaking fire truck! It was the result of 8 months of planning and promoting, concurrently with senior classes, projects, finals and graduation, paired with a slew of “holy shit, is this going to happen?” moments, most notably just barely having the boards arrive in time for the event.. but it all came together for one of the most amazing, memorable nights of my life and am grateful for
everyone who played a part in its success. Oh yeah, and it was my birthday, too!
The Launch Party, in all of its festive glory, was not just a community event celebrating the initiation of Breezy Boards, it was also the first public display of the debut Breezy Boards collection, Adjective Dragon! This collection of boards is more than just your average run of longboards. Its shape was designed specifically for the local terrain, the city streets of downtown St. Pete, and features five original pieces of deck art created by individuals within the Tampa Bay area. The artists, sourced through word of mouth and social media campaigns, participated in an art contest that I hosted in October and November, 2015, for the chance to have their artwork printed on 20 of the 100-board collection. The results were astounding and I meticulously selected the top five entries to represent the debut line of Breezy Boards. The entire process and integration of local artists was a unique, fresh idea that I hadn’t seen before.
Tell me about one of your most memorable longboard experiences.
I have more memories associated with longboarding than could fill a pensieve (sorry, I had to get at least one Harry Potter reference in there) from skating the Island of Venice – where I’d skate through the open-air high school to get to and from my classes, cruise to the beach in between school and drumline or newspaper or whatever I had that day and hit up the little hospital parking garage or the north bridge with friends after dark – taking a stack of boards on the public busses up to Sarasota to hit the gnarlier spots with my skateboarder friends on the weekends, to exploring the city of St. Pete after relocating for college.
I did lots of dumb stuff, like try to street luge a crazy hill in a bathing suit, getting the wheel tangled in my hair and sliding bare-back down the pavement with my board attached at the roots. I’d skate through parks, kicking my board under a picnic table, length-wise and jumping up and running across the table top to land back on the board as it came out on the other side… Skating in dresses and tights to my fancy hostess jobs through college (eating shit once and working the full shift with a torn up knee, bleeding through the hole in my stockings without anyone noticing) and anger skating home from a shit serving shift, power sliding too hard and slamming my head on the curb, lying there concussed for a bit and then slowly skating my way back home.
The most pivotal moment was that first time Jeff Yarrington put me on one of his boards at the annual family 4th of July picnic in Maryland in 2002. With the nod of approval from my parents, he gave me a quick rundown of how to position myself on the board and sent me racing down the parking lot. I’ve been hooked ever since, truly and utterly consumed by my love of longboarding.
Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with?
Endorsing the talent and vision of local artists is an extremely important aspect of Breezy Boards and I make an effort to team up with and promote area artists for every project possible. This was the driving concept for the Adjective Dragon collection, which features original artwork from five Tampa Bay area artists. The lineup of artists, along with their winning board designs, are:
● Kelly Owen – Basic Dragon
● Dylan Haught – Fat Dragon
● Deanna Marinello – Mystical Dragon
● Jessica (Bam Bam) Sarlis – Nom Nom Dragon
● Cameron Miller – Unborn Dragon
Breezy Boards has also worked with local artists to create graphics and flyers, including Street Team members Dylan Carney and Kayla O’Brien , as well as local photographers Laia Gore , Casey Nelson and Alison Rosoff . I worked with my cousin, Darren Simons , to design and create the Breezy Boards logo in 2014 and have plans to continue working together on some exciting projects.
Website – www.ridebreezyboards.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/breezyboards
Instagram – @ridebreezyboards
Twitter – @SkateBreezyDTSP