How many of you can say that something you loved to do when you were six years old has grown into a business? That's exactly what happened to the father and sons trio who own 3DEE Boardworks, a longboard (think skateboard) design company that landed on the Traverse City Business News' annual "Hot List" of 2013 – a compilation of companies, people and ideas worth watching in the coming year.
The Ticker caught up with the Diment family to find out how 3DEE came to be – and its plans to go national this year.
It’s nothing new for a dad and his sons to knock a few boards and screws together for a weekend project. But for Scott Diment and his two sons, Dugan, 18, and Jensen, 14, playtime turned into serious business this summer with the launch of 3DEE Boardworks.
Just now hitting store shelves, 3DEE’s longboards - a hugely popular, larger variation of a skateboard used for downhill, carving, slalom and free ride – are the result of a mutual interest in the sport the father and son trio have.
“This was something my boys and I always dreamed of doing,” said Scott Diment, a technology education teacher at Traverse City East Middle School who taught his boys how to carve turns when they were about six. “We are having a blast designing, testing and developing the best longboards we can make.”
After coming up with their unique design, they ship it to California, where the boards are produced.
Scott Diment’s connection to his manufacturer in California resulted from a popular unit he teaches called “Create-a-Skate,” in which students develop their own skateboard decks incorporating math, science, engineering and design in the process.
Participation in this program, which is national, gave Diment and his sons the connections they needed on the west coast.
“Sales have been local and small so far, but the product has been received well and we are fine tuning our initial design for 2013,” he said. “This is the year we plan to market throughout the state and at a national level.”
Along with launching their website this year, the Diments are planning on designing and selling a smaller "urban assault" board to complement their longboard line.
3DEE longboards cost about $90, or $250 with the full set that includes wheels and trucks. They are available at the M-22 store and Brick Wheels in Traverse City, and at the Wet Mitten stores in Traverse City and Grand Haven.
Check out the entire Hot List in the January 2013 issue of the Traverse City Business News, available on newsstands across the region now.