Chase Christensen’s bedroom is filled with bright pink skateboards and smiley faces. On her window sill are stacks of fingered skateboards, marked with a laser cutter from the UNT art building. Plank mockups hang on the wall, featuring different designs, colors and face shapes with fun phrases like “thicc necc” scribbled underneath.
Christensen, a senior in graphic design, is the founder of Pleased To Skate, a skateboard business run from his own home.
“The original idea came from being at the skate park and seeing people getting mad at themselves for not having a trick or sometimes for not being able to impress other people,” he said. said Christensen. “I would wait to skate and a guy would come up to me and put [himself] down and my response was like, ‘I’m just glad to be here. It’s the funniest thing I can do all week and I’m not going to let something ruin my night of skating. ‘ “
But what really sparked Christensen’s debut with the brand was the classroom. As part of a project in their entrepreneurship class, graphic design students were asked to start their own business or product last semester. As a skater since the age of 8, Christensen’s choice to create Pleased To Skate, a company that evokes the feeling of joy in skateboarding, immediately made sense.
“If you didn’t do it for fun… did you do it at all?” “ the reads the slogan.
“Very quickly after ordering the first five boards, I realized I wanted to do more,” Christensen said. “I realized that if I could sell them,
I could earn more because they would pay for themselves. It’s still not a way to make money or make a living from it, but rather “how can I make more of this art?” “
Christensen started selling boards to friends and gradually increased his customer base. His motivation comes from seeing his art anchored in the daily life of people.
“Creating a work of art and bringing it to life on a computer or canvas is cool, but getting it printed on something you can use blew me away,” Christensen said. “Because I wasn’t just looking at my art, I was doing it in class and at the skatepark. “
The skateboards themselves are stored in his room, carefully wrapped in plastic and labeled by model. Christensen designs and selects shapes from a catalog, and the boards are produced and shipped from California.
There are currently five forms – the Original, the All Terrain, the Niner, the Flatsicle, and the Popsicle.
Chase Christensen shows his different bridge shapes available. Does Baldwin
“With the diversity of styles, the boards change a lot,” Christensen said. “To promote this I have had many different forms so that I can add to that diversity and encourage people to step out of their comfort zone and try something new.”
Close friends of Christensen say they also see the brand as an encouraging message for new skaters.
“Skating can be very critical, and I think Chase is trying to make it a more welcoming thing,” said Kristen Barnhart, friend and owner of kb illustration. “Anyone would be welcome or happy to skateboard and try it without judgment for doing so. “
Before starting this, Christensen said there was no concrete business plan or market research to be able to make a big profit. Rather, he was simply drawn to the brand because it was a creative outlet.
“I study graphic design and have never called myself an artist per se, as it’s usually another company’s logo,” Christensen said. “It’s never really been my style until now. This is the first thing that I did [where] all i wanna do, it works.
Now that he has more to show and to say, Christensen is doing more to present his boards in his own way. He created a Big Cartel site, posted a short video of himself and his friends skating on boards around town, and started using social media. These tactics seem to be working.
“Right now that’s a lot of friends,” Christensen said. “But the great thing about Instagram is that it just connects you to the world. Within two days [I got] those, I had been hit by someone from San Francisco and someone from Kansas City and it’s like, ‘How did they even find me?’ “
As Pleased To Skate continues to grow, Christensen said there is definitely more to learn as he goes further with the brand.
“Now that I have to manage things, do inventory, tax – there is a lot of work to be done to run a business that I discover every day,” Christensen said. “It’s all going very slowly because I had to use my savings to fund it, but it’s coming back slowly, as people buy boards and I can invest what I get back into the business. “
While Pleased To Skate is still small and Christensen is constantly learning, others around him are already seeing his tremendous progress.
“It doesn’t change who he is and sends the message he wants about life in general,” said Caleb Jacks, a close friend and fellow artist. “I think it’s great because he’s a college kid, but he’s already done a lot more than the others.”
Looking to the future, Christensen hopes to expand further and eventually sell to other skate stores.
“Skateboarding is really expressive,” said Christensen. “It’s not a super competitive sport, it’s just what you think is fun and what you think is cool. I don’t want the brand to feel super heavy or feel like they’re defining someone who rides this board, but more so that they serve as a platform for them to express their style and his creativity.
Featured Image: Chase Christensen spins his skateboard on the street. Does Baldwin