Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ivory & Jeremy Lloyd, owners of Lloyd Boards, located in Lloyd Boards, HI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Drawing inspiration from the inventors of surfing, the Polynesians, we design and shape wooden surfboards to honor those who have shaped and rode before us here, in Hawai'i.
Our aim is to blend the old with the new. Sourcing our wood locally, milling and curing it when we can, while being open to mixing it up with a few beautiful pieces of cedar or redwood to create our 'Hapa' pieces. We make our boards for the surf and for the home. These boards are for the next generation of surfers, they are for our kids and their friends, they are for those of us that grew up here that have only heard stories of legends surfing Alaia, and for anyone and everyone that appreciates and has a love for Hawai'i and the history of surfing.
Tell us about yourself
Jeremy: I worked in the visitor industry for 20+years on the north shore of Kaua'i. At the time, it was a great gig for what it was, but when the pandemic hit and the hotel shut down, I knew this was the perfect moment for me to do something different. I've tried a bunch of different things, whether it was being a handyman, carpenter, electrician, lunch wagon, sailing canoe tours, etc. but never really had anything that stuck or that I could put my full attention to. My dad actually had a cabinet business and was always working with wood. It was something that I have always loved to do. When I first met my wife, I was building a Hawaiian sailing canoe and had finished it by the time we got married. Knowing that I have the full support of my family in doing something that I love is the dream, and it's what I'm doing now, so I'm just really grateful for it.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Being able to build a business around my family as opposed to vice versa. Yes, it's important to be able to provide for our family financially, but one of the main reasons we started this was so that we could carve out more time with our family. Our dinner table discussions are filled with new ideas and talking about little tweaks that we could make here or there. Even for our youngest, that is only three years old, he loves riding our Alaia and then giving us notes on which one he likes the best!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For us, at the stage we are right now, we are not thinking about it too much. You know, you're always kind of thinking about what are the next steps, where we will procure our wood if the last shape we did was better with a rounded nose or pointed nose. Making a point to take a break from it every once in a while is so important.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be sure to have a solid team around you. For your business and your home!
- Just go for it! Kind of like having kids, you will never be 100% prepared for whatever is thrown at you, and that's OK. Being flexible and learning from each step is all a part of it. But if you don't start, you'll never know.
- Be agile. I think we've all seen since the pandemic a business that can be agile in the way that it operates has been the most resilient!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I love how interesting this business is to me because of the constant learning I am able to do from it. I'm now milling the wood, drying the wood in a solar kiln I built, shaping the wood, and then finishing the boards with a homemade mixture.
The wood speaks for itself. I honestly don't have to do too much to it; the beauty of each piece pops out with each individual grain and color. You never know what you're going to get, but it's fun to be able to bring the character of each piece out. Mahalo for giving me the platform to talk about Lloyd Boards!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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