We’ve been live in private beta for over a month now and on our second day we sold our very first experience. This story is about that experience from my (Jai Al-Attas, CEO & Co Founder) point of view.
Most people assume that our first customer would’ve been a friend or family member helping out our fledgling start up by purchasing an experience they’d either do themselves or give to a friend. Instead, our very first customer was a lady named Chloe. She bought the ‘Ultimate BOWL-A-RAMA Weekend with Corbin Harris’ which was a skate session with Corbin and then VIP treatment at VANS BOWL-A-RAMA Bondi the next day. The ticket price was $500 per person.
After emailing back and forth with our very first customer, she told us that the experience was actually for her 12 year old son Julian, an avid skateboarder and the whole family were travelling up from Melbourne for VANS BOWL-A-RAMA Bondi. We were determined to make sure that this was a weekend Julian would never forget!
In the worst possible way it looked like our wish was coming true. About half an hour into the skate with Corbin at Maroubra Skate Park, Jules took a spill on a bank and came down hard on his left arm dislocating his elbow. His parents and myself ran over to him while I called an ambulance to the scene. Corbin went and got the lifeguards at Maroubra, who came and gave Jules some green whistle to help keep him calm. They were awesome and extremely helpful.
By this stage I was just thinking “What the fuck have we got ourselves into? Why did we even start this company?”. If I was stressed you could only imagine how his parents were feeling, but they were extremely cool and just making sure that Jules was feeling comfortable and at ease.
Jules’ Dad rode in the ambulance with him while I dropped his Mum and little sister to the Children’s Hospital in Randwick. I went in with the family but they told me that it was OK and they’d let me know how Jules was doing once the doctor saw him. 6 hours of stressing later, I get a text from Jules’ Dad telling me that they’d done some x-rays and popped his elbow back in, finishing the text with “see you tomorrow for breakfast”.
The next day we met up with the other participant Taj and his Dad in Bondi. Taj, a 14 year old from Manly couldn’t make the skate session with Corbin but would be coming along for the Vans BOWL-A-RAMA Bondi experience. We were just about to have breakfast, when Jules comes bouncing in with his arm in a sling and a big smile on his face. There was no way he was going to miss this.
Instead of going into the nitty gritty details about everything that happened at Vans BOWL-A-RAMA Bondi, I took my GoPro along and captured it which you can watch below. But I’ll wrap it up with this: part of the experience was getting to meet the pro skater of their choice and both Jules and Taj wanted to meet Bucky Lasek. We set up a meet and greet backstage and when I introduced the groms to Bucky, I told Bucky that Jules had dislocated his elbow skating yesterday with Corbin.
“Ah dude, there’s going to be so much more if you keep ripping. It’s all part of the fun!” Bucky exclaimed.
Jules just started beaming and was so proud of his battle wound and the fact that Bucky thought it was cool.
After that I asked Jules how he was feeling to which he responded, “This is the best weekend of my life!”. And it was that moment for me that solidified why we started Loqules – our goal is to change the way people experience the world around them. With our first experience done and dusted and a couple of stoked groms, I think it’s safe to say we succeeded.
Big shout outs to Corbin Harris, Chad, Ella and Nick at BOWL-A-RAMA, Jules & Taj’s parents, Ryan at SDS and Petty Thieves for putting together this rad video for us.