21-year-old launches skateboarding and streetwear business in lockdown
- Credit: Ross Woodrow
After launching a business in lockdown, a 21-year-old with a passion for graphic design has started to make his mark in Norfolk’s skateboarding and streetwear scene.
It has been a difficult year for university graduates, after finishing their degrees and struggling to find a job during the pandemic.
But for Ross Woodrow the last year stuck at home has given him time to focus on his dream of launching his very own skateboarding brand.
Now his business, Cigarette Skateboards, is officially up and running and doing better than he could have ever expected.
Mr Woodrow said: “I had the idea of creating this brand in college in 2016 under a different name and design. It was just a project.
“I lived in London for a couple of months after university but I moved back through lockdown because it was so hard. I had no income coming in.
“I had so much free time, I thought why not put this time and energy into starting it up again.
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“I redid all my designs and I made a new website and set it up. My first big campaign was making and giving away free face masks, we gave away 400.
“And ever since it just got bigger and bigger.”
On his online site, the 21-year-old, who studied graphic communication at a London university, offers a variety of products including his own artwork, hoodies, T-shirts, hats, lighters and tote bags.
But his ultimate goal is to sell custom made, branded skateboards, wheels, trucks and skate hardware.
Despite only being a fledgling business, it has already caught the eye of skate fanatics in Norfolk, including Supply Norwich, an independent streetwear and skateboard stall on Norwich Market – where Mr Woodrow’s products are now being sold.
“I never thought I would be able to do this as a stable career," he said.
"It gives me validation that people like what I am doing and it makes me want to keep going.
“I am definitely proud of what I have done. I started it as a personal project so for it to turn into this is mind-blowing. I only have the community of Wymondham and Norwich to thank. They have boosted it and got it out there.”