Near the corner of Marine Ave and Balboa Ave., next to the Balboa Candy shop on the Island, sits the Balboa Beach Company, the recently-revived accessories and apparel destination. The shop offers distinctive apparel and gift items for both locals and tourists. The t-shirts and sweatshirts emblazoned with “Balboa Beach Company” include retro designs like the iconic Fun Zone, as well as fresh new designs by its new young owners, siblings Samantha and Jordan Pratt.
The Balboa Beach Company was founded in 1979 on the Balboa Peninsula and then in 1981, moved to Marine Ave. on Balboa Island. Founder Jim Roberts then closed its doors in 2002. The Pratts revived the company this year.
One summer afternoon, I wandered into the shop and met Samantha and Jordan. It was very refreshing to see this teen brother and sister team at work.
Right now, Samantha and Jordan are trying to raise funds to update their website and grow “The Balboa Beach Company.” There are less than two weeks left on their crowd funding campaign and you can click here to learn more and to contribute.
“Being entrepreneurs is in our genes,” reveal the Pratts, “ Our grandfather owned a pharmacy on Balboa Island in the 1950’s and 1960’s, while our mom runs Crush Clothing also on Balboa Island, and our dad was an executive for several large surf apparel companies.”
Looking around the store, you can get a feel for the “California Lifestyle,” embodied by Samantha and Jordan, who live in Newport Beach and attended local schools. The day I visited, Samantha is getting ready to leave for college on a water polo scholarship and Jordan is celebrating the fact that he made it to his high school’s surf team. What is truly impressive is seeing how driven these polite teens are – I just had to ask their dad, David, how he and his wife fostered their entrepreneurial spirit. He said “We have always encouraged Samantha and Jordan to give their best in whatever arena they choose to participate. Probably via osmosis, they have gravitated toward the idea of traveling down their own path in life; creating an experience that was all theirs. They enjoy the business process and writing their own paychecks. Our job has been to help them define their goals, create a structure, and then get out of the way.”
Now those are valuable lessons for everyone.
The Balboa Beach Company is located at 301 Marine Avenue, Balboa Island, CA 92662