Business & invest,
Meet the local surfer mixing barrels with business
Maggie Gray | August 20, 2021
“Find your niche, follow your passion, and make it happen right here in your own backyard.”
Avid surfer, entrepreneur, and born and bred Gold Coaster, Matt Williams, has a two-minute commute to work, the ocean on his doorstep, and a business that is booming.
His Mermaid Beach-based start-up, Gold Coast Ding Repairs, is a fiberglass repair service specialising in surfboard, stand up paddle board, and surf lifesaving watercraft repair – and is one of 69,000 small businesses registered on the Gold Coast.
The full-time frother, and business graduate charged out of university with a clear vision in sight – to start his own business, doing what he loves, in the city he loves.
“When I left university, I really wanted to put my tools to use. I initially noticed a big gap in the market for reliable, professional, surfboard repairs,” says Matt.
“I’ve always had a passion for making things, and surfing became a hobby of mine when I was around 10 years old. These two passions evolved into making surfboards and now with the way my business has gone, my focus is on repairing them.
“I started Gold Coast Ding Repairs in 2015, when I was 21 years old. I remember laying on the ground going why have I started a business, to growing it to where it is now – we’re struggling to keep up with demand!
“All surfers want a professional service where you can take your board and it’s done on time and to a high level of quality. And it sounds simple, but that’s exactly what sets us apart from other similar businesses.”
Whilst initially considering making the move to a larger city to launch his career, Matt came to the realisation that the Gold Coast offered unique business opportunities as well as a lifestyle that couldn’t be matched.
“I went through university and school very opened minded about where my career would lead me,” says Matt.
“It was more of a growing realisation that the Gold Coast, in a way, is big enough that you can have almost any career that you want here, but at the same time its small enough that people still value that tight knit community.
“Geographically, you’ve got the ocean on your doorstep, then 20 minutes’ drive west you’ve got the hinterland.
“In combining these things, it slowly became clearer to me that it wasn’t necessary to go to a bigger city to have a career, there’s so much opportunity right on our doorstep.
“Even though I’ve lived here my whole life, I don’t think I’ve ever had the feeling that I want to get out. You travel somewhere and you come back home to the Gold Coast and it’s got absolutely everything you need.
“My advice to young entrepreneurs is to find your niche and try and specialise in something you’re passionate about.
“The Gold Coast is a lifestyle choice that would benefit any young person trying to start their own business.
“It’s got the right balance of business and leisure. It’s the whole package.”
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