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Sophomore turns old skateboards into furniture

sophomore psychology major Gabriel Arrandt started his own business in June of last year selling skateboards refurbished into furniture. Joey Johnson | The Appalachin

sophomore psychology major Gabriel Arrandt started his own business in June of last year selling skateboards refurbished into furniture. Joey Johnson | The AppalachinBy recycling old, broken skateboard decks and turning them into affordable furniture, sophomore psychology major Gabriel Arrandt started his own business in October of this year selling homemade benches, stools and chairs.

So far, Arrandt has transformed skateboards into 13 functional pieces of furniture.

At the start, donations were hard to come by due to the lack of skateboarders in Boone, and the quality of the skateboards Arrandt received was fairly low.

“I’ve been driving all over North Carolina to meet with people responding to the website about donating skateboards, and I’ve got a lot of supplies now, so I’m working on getting a couple more pieces done soon,” Arrandt said.

Arrandt’s creative energies were first put to work while he was in his hometown of Weddington, and was in need of a Father’s Day present. Because of his hectic work schedule, Arrandt did not have time to shop for a gift and the unused skateboards in his garage gave him the idea.

“I didn’t like seeing them uselessly sit there, so I thought of what I wanted to do with them and started designing a bench,” Arrandt said.

After about three days of work, the chair was complete.

“Whenever people saw it, they had a lot of good things to say and told me I should keep it going,” Arrandt said.

He said he is a “nature freak” and did not like how he would previously trash his old skateboard decks.

“Since I have a way to put them back into use and keep them out of the landfills, I want to reach as many people as I can to build something practical out of what most people would call trash,” Arrandt said.

As a former skateboarder, he knew that many others would throw away unused decks, as well.

Arrandt made a Facebook page, “Recycle Your Skateboards,” two weeks ago. Since then, there has been an overwhelming response.

Arrandt attended an art show held by Rarebreed Magazine, where his chairs received a lot of positive feedback and interest.

Arrandt expressed excitement over the interest of one particular potential buyer: rapper and skateboard enthusiast Pharrell Williams. Williams’ cousins found out about Arrandt’s work, and put him in contact with the musician.

Arrandt prices his furniture according to his cost for supplies. Stools are $40, benches with a backrest are $120, a bench without the backrest is $75 and the chairs are $100. All the leftover scraps are turned into key chains for $3. Arrandt also provides a 50 percent discount for his customers who donate supplies. If a customer donates upwards of 10 items, they receive a free stool.

“I’m always trying to tailor prices to be affordable, even for students, since they’re a majority of my audience,” Arrandt said.

More information can be found on the “Recycle Your Skateboards” page on Facebook.

 

Story: KALEY CAMPBELL, A&E Reporter

Photo: JOEY JOHNSON, Staff Photographer

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