GRAVENHURST – Growing older doesn’t mean letting go of the pleasures of youth.
NEW BIZ IN TOWN.
Mayor Paisley Donaldson, centre, was on hand with members of the chamber of commerce, town council and the Gravenhurst BIA for the official ribbon cutting of Trendsetters on Muskoka Road North.
Two Gravenhurst born-and-bred, youth-turned-adults have just opened Trendsetter at 130 Muskoka Road North near the Albion Hotel; a place where their passions from days gone by drip from the very walls in a new business venture.
Curtis Broomer and long-time friend Jason Sutcliffe opened Trendsetter on the main street in early December, just in time to get in on the Christmas shopping rush.
A skateboard and apparel shop, the duo say business has been so brisk and feedback so supportive, the one-month old venture is likely to expand to two other Muskoka locations by the end of this coming spring.
“It’s been going just great,” Broomer said. “It’s been above and beyond our expectations and now we’re looking to expand to Bracebridge and Port Carling.”
The two grew up in Gravenhurst, skateboarding together, and while Sutcliffe remained, taking up carpentry as a trade for the past 20 years while also owning Stratus Construction for the past 10, Broomer headed south to Toronto on several ventures. A former professional rapper and musician who once held his own line of T-shirts and a custom leather jacket fabrication operation, this is Broomer’s first retail business and a chance to keep in touch with the passions of his youth. The two reconnected this summer after some time apart and the reminiscing of good old days turned into discussions about their future. Trendsetter was born.
“And we both plan to get right back on our boards this summer,” Broomer added.
“Retail is really refreshing for me; as a carpenter for the past 20 years this is definitely something new to me,” Sutcliffe said, adding Stratus will still remain his key focus during the peak construction season.
They carry a wide variety of skateboards, parts and skateboarding apparel, as well as shoes, sunglasses, shirts, sweaters and T-shirts, all geared to youth and teenagers, both boys and girls. They carry popular brands like Converse, Adidas, DGK, Crooks and Castle, Keds, Elephant Brand and King Snow. They also have some snowboards and will be introducing wakeboards and wakeboard apparel this spring.
With a focus on local youth, Broomer added they will also look to host events in 2013, from a potential skateboard festival in the vein of Wakestock to all-ages dances.
“I grew up in Gravenhurst and I know firsthand it seemed like there was never anything to do,” Broomer said. “We want to provide a place and events that will help give them something to keep them occupied.
“If it’s cold outside and they (youth) want to come in and just hang out for a while, loiter, that’s fine with me, so long as they’re not out getting in any trouble and just want to listen to some music or watch the TV,” Broomer added.
For the time being the store will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. In the summer months, Broomer said the hours of operation will likely increase.