SICK DOG PUTS COUPLE ON WAVE OF SUCCESS
Written on the 20 November 2014
A SICK dog, a stack of surfboards and one big idea has seen a Gold Coast couple’s dream turn into a major business success story.
Today, Tim and Avalon Beban employ more than 30 staff, manage four retail outlets and their business, Surfboard Warehouse, is among the biggest suppliers of surfboards and stand-up paddle boards in Australia.
In September, the business scored its second Gold Coast Business Excellence Award, in the category of retail, wholesale and distribution, and is now in the running for the annual award at the gala dinner held at Jupiters Hotel and Casino on November 29.
“It seems like a lifetime ago but was only 2011 when our dog Maevin was struck with a terrible sickness,” Tim Beban says.
“We were cash-strapped and had no way of paying the vet bill. So we thought a garage sale to sell our surfboards may be a solution.
“We tied the boards to the front fence of our Burleigh Heads home and, in no time, had sold all of them. It helped us pay the vet bill but gave us an insight into what many surfers seemed to want – quality used boards.”
The Bebans later figured that if surfers could get their hands on quality new boards at a competitive price, they would choose them new over used boards.
“We set about researching both local and international markets to see what was available,” Avalon says.
Since Surfboard Warehouse was established in July 2011, the business has opened stores in Palm Beach, Mooloolaba, Miami and Byron Bay.
“Ironically, we still tie boards out the front of our stores, just like that crazy garage sale a few years back,” Avalon says.
The couple work alongside designers to develop their own brands.
“Our passion for surfing and the ocean helps us relate to our customers, I think it gives us that extra edge,” Tim says.
“We have since joined the cyber retail world with a successful online store, and can ship boards Australia wide.”
Sharing the business’s success is Maevin, who the Bebans say recovered from her sickness.