Business student owns skate shop

Article By: Delia Mooney

Sawyer Business School entrepreneur, Matt Polianites, has turned his ten year passion for skateboarding into a growing business. At age 20, Polianites owns and manages his own skate board shop named The Board Walk Skate Shop. Growing up just outside Boston in the town of Winchester, Mass., Polianites decided to open up his shop in the bordering town of Woburn.

Polianites got his experience in the business by helping out at his friend’s skate board stand in the center of the Burlington Mall.

“I’ve been working in a skate shops since I was in seventh grade,” said Polianites, “The idea just happened. My first thought was to buy the stand in the middle of that mall from my friend.”

In between running the shop, ordering supplies, and planning the store’s expansion to a new location, just a couple blocks from the current store, in mid November, Polianites attends part-time night classes at Suffolk University. He is working towards a Global Business and Entrepreneurship degree.

Polianites never finds managing the store and completing his school work “too overwhelming.” He is inspired by one of his friends who owned and managed his own shop in the center of the mall. “He worked a 50-hour work week,” said Polianites, “and was still a full time student at MIT. You just have to balance your schedule.” Polianites takes care of all the orders, promotions and expenses, such as rent and insurance. He relies on his friends to help out and make sure all aspects of the store are in check.

The Board Walk Skate Shop is currently in transition and looking to expand to a more spacious area- 5,000 square feet. Polianites plans to say in the town of Woburn and is looking forward to the new space. It will include an indoor skate park, equipped with “a new ramp in the store so kids can skate.”

The store provides skate sessions, clinics and camps for all skaters. “We offer after school programs from 3-6 every afternoon for kids who are just starting out, ages six to thirteen.” The Board Walk Skate Shop also sponsors skaters.

“I just have to like them [to sponsor them]. We give them free clothing and they represent our name,” he said.

The Board Walk Skate Shop is stocked with dozens of skateboard products: decks, trucks, wheels, helmets, and other skateboard gear. In addition to selling skate boards, The Board Walk Skate Shop carries popular skate board brands; DC and Supra shoes as well as jackets, sweatshirts, polo shirts and t-shirts. Purchases can be made in the store or online.

Polianites wants his employees to work in a disciplined but fun environment. He stresses how important it is to be amiable with customers and owners of other shops. “You are dealing with the selling of products,” he explains. “You must be personable.”

Although promotions, events, and contests are important marketing techniques, Polianites credits his successful social networking to “knowing the right people” and “through word of mouth.”