When Alex Hunt and Caitlin Jostlear decided to turn their passion for skateboards into a business, they did what many avoid doing by holding onto their full-time jobs.
Crafting handmade, bespoke skateboards isn’t everyone’s idea of a hobby, but for Alex Hunt and Caitlin Jostlear it’s almost become a second job.
Driven by their shared passion for quality products and skateboarding, the couple operate Hunt Skateboards from their home on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, designing and building hardwood cruisers using locally sourced timber.
And unlike many other new business starters they haven’t thrown it all on the line by leaving their regular nine-to-five.
The pair’s love of skateboarding couples with their fervor for unique products, which is why they offer their customers the ability to order one-of-a-kind pieces from them online.
And while many of their orders aren’t processed face-to-face, the occasional in-person reaction is what helps keep Hunt and Jostlear motivated.
“When you’re creating something bespoke, the individual customer experience is always front of mind,” said Hunt.
“And seeing how happy people are with the end result makes the whole thing worthwhile.”
Another way that Hunt believes business intenders and small business owners can help stay motivated and creative while slogging away is to “dig down and invest in the roots of the industry”.
“For Hunt Skateboards, that means understanding the history of skateboarding, but also the perspective a lifestyle of our customers.”
To achieve this, the pair took a year off full-time work to travel Australia by van, making and selling their skateboards as they went.
Neither Hunt nor Jostlear have a specific goal in mind for their fledgling brand, instead they rely on their passion for skateboarding not only keep the business alive, but to drive it forward.
Quick to point out that passion alone won’t necessarily lead to success, Hunt called out his number one piece of advice for others thinking of starting their own passion play: “You have to be prepared to invest a lot of your time into it”.
“You’ve just got to persevere and keep pushing.”
Meanwhile, Jostlear’s advice is specifically for those couples out there also thinking of starting a business.
“Things can get tough,” said Jostlear. “You have to remember to always work as a team.”