Wood on Waves is a company set up by 10 students from The Ilfracombe Academy as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme which enables students to find out what it is really like to set up and run a business. We have made all the decisions about the company from deciding on the name and product to creating a business plan, managing the finances and selling to the public.
We wanted our products that reflect the beauty of the beaches and coastlines that surround us and that are so unique to our area. We identified a local problem for which we wanted to create a solution and in doing so ‘Bettering our beaches’. Over the last few years there has been a big campaign against polystyrene body boards because of the litter and damage to the local environment they create. Holidaymakers buy them, use them in the summer months and then leave them behind on the beaches causing littering and endangering animals. Being non-biodegradable useless for recycling, these boards remain on the beaches polluting the seas and coastline around Devon. Our company aim is to produce an alternative to these. We came up with the idea of constructing wooden body board, and whilst doing this also be tapping into the vintage market. Through this concept, we are able to strip back surfing to its original state and bring this type of surfing to a wider audience. As part of the business we have also extended our product range to include paintings inspired by the North Devon landscape, such as sunsets, palm trees, the ocean and the beach. These are hand painted on planks of wood, again reflecting back to our Wood on Wave’s theme.
We developed the surfboard concept further and we now offer an option for a personalised design. Customers can either choose from a selection created by our art team or supply their own design to be painted onto the wooden boards; we can also engrave a name or message. We believe we have created products that are not only functional but also beautiful, personal and unique to the market. So far we have attended two trade fairs in Exeter and both have been excellent opportunities to promote our business and sell our products.
We have the South West final coming up on the 26th April where we present our company outline, our aims and values, identify the challenges we have faced and show how we to have learnt from these mistakes and used this to improve our business understanding. If we are successful at this stage we will then be heading to the National Finals held in London later on this year. We also hope to continue selling our boards and paintings to the public as summer approaches.
Maya Nardoni, Managing Director ‘Wood on Waves’