The Visionary’s Manifesto in association with heART of Cool Presents Cornell Miller creator of WarDrobe Galaxy Skateboards My Life in Interchangeable Parts
This week we begin with a narrative based on an inventor, a person who embodies what some would call the American dream. This innovative forward thinking young man of melanin infused genetics has tapped into his creative genius and taken a childhood hobby and turned it into a global phenomenon in the skateboarding genre. His love for the freewheeling lifestyle has been made manifest towards the independent spirit that dwells within us all. Let’s hop on a virtual skateboard and cruise along with Cornell Miller as he takes us down a smooth path beset with hills, dips and curves but nonetheless a road less travelled.
HoC: Can you give our audience a look inside of your creative process as it relates to being an innovator?
CM: I tend to sleep on my ideas and I never rush into things, I am always thinking about what could be the next big idea. It’s not forced but it flows in a very organic fashion my decision-making process is one that allows for me time to explore the intent and outcome of any given situation. The conceptual phase knows no limits as it relates to how I put pen to paper and often times the visions come to me in the form of dreams.
HoC: What is the hardest part about being an entrepreneur?
CM: The hardest part is not always having the support of people who you deem close such as certain family and friends and perhaps that is due to how difficult it is for some to understand a vision of such depth and meaning. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder and often times no one person or group can see the magnitude of what you may consider a gift from God. The bright side of owning your vision is knowing that it will catch fire! Those people that were skeptical will then become believers and supporters for that which they could not comprehend in the beginning.
HoC: How do you envision your product impacting the views and habits of your intended consumer base?
CM: I hope that these innovative skateboard designs that I have created along with the artistic interchangeable faceplates allows for another avenue where people can express themselves more freely. Being able to design your own deck in a user-friendly way, you can really personalize the skateboard design and mechanics that speak to your unique style whether it be from a clothing aspect where the WarDrobe color combinations can become an accessory within your own personal wardrobe (pun intended) to that of the new age of virtual self-expression where the board can accommodate your picture landscapes via selfies.
HoC: What was one of the happiest moments in your life’s journey?
CM: Overall, I would have to say it was when I received the patent for my idea/design to see something of that magnitude come through even when there were some that didn’t believe it would happen. The officials at the patent office said that they had never seen a patent be completed in such a short period of time in over twenty-five years of the process, it was a proud moment of confirmation that I had found my purpose within the vision I had created for myself.
HoC: Why did you decide to venture into the competitive world of skateboarding?
CM: It started with one of the guys who I began this venture with, we wanted to do a skateboard set in an artistic design where we could draw art on the bottom of skateboards. We were going to introduce the line but as I thought about it I knew that if it caught fire and someone who had an already established platform and or performing artists at their disposal it would phase me out and my idea would be lost in a more capitalistic environment. So I decided to go in a different direction and create something that I could patent, I thought about cell phone covers and how consumers can change their face plates with a myriad of cool designs both functional and artistic. I was the type of skateboarder who was more of a cruiser type and the sport was one of a leisure activity for me so I went for a design that spoke to the more casual skateboarder to include the beginner to intermediate user.
HoC: In building your product and brand if you could go back to the beginning what would you have done differently?
CM: I believe God does not make mistakes so that being said I would take the same journey, there are ways of doing things differently but it doesn’t speak to the ultimate outcome and the lessons learned which are unique to the experience. I am very secure in my journey thus far and I am a firm believer that yesterday’s challenges are meant to prepare you for the greatness ahead.
HoC: Where do you envision the WarDrobe Galaxy Skateboard brand going in the next 5 years?
CM: It is my hope that we venture into the sporting aspects of the industry such as in-line skating, snowboarding, and surfboards maybe even stepping into the tech field with laptop covers the ability to morph the interchangeable skateboard system with regards to my patent are only bound by the limits of my imaginations. Being able to start building more skateboard parks, host skate teams and having panel discussions on entrepreneurship towards community involvement are relatable and necessary growth sectors that I hope to achieve also.
HoC: What can you tell our audience about your sense of focus and what it takes to stay relevant in the business aspects of your life?
CM: Staying focused is hard at times because of the distractions of everyday life such as family issues, financial burdens and relationship nuances to include personal and socially. The intent of my mission within regards to my vision of creating the skateboards was always a part of the bigger picture and that was to give a voice to those kids in the community that were underserved and to allow them a tool to feel a part of something positive and creative. The cost-effective pricing model was set to be inclusive of those individuals and families that wanted to give a gift of quality, fun and durability that housed a positive message of self-determination and hope for the road ahead. When you are riding a WarDrobe Galaxy Skateboard you are constantly moving forward, pushing yourself beyond the known limits of the galaxy. The relevance factor directly relates to the vision and responsibility of including everyone in my journey ahead, my desire is to plant a seed of feel-good emotions within each person who has the experience of owning one of my skateboard designs and it’s something of quality that can be handed down to the next generation within a family unit.
HoC: What type of man were you before you decided to build a first of its kind skateboarding system and would you say you are comfortable in the evolution of your mindset as of this moment?
CM: I am one of a set of triplets, I grew up not only seeing the identical likeness among my brothers physically but we grew up as best friends and always supporting one another in our endeavors. I leaned on them to discuss life as it unfolded for me growing up, we always had a desire to help others in need and that was the nucleus from which I transferred that supporting energy towards a larger audience. I am a much stronger and more confidant person than when I started this process.
HoC: What footprint will you leave as a result of your creative designs?
CM: The footprint I hope to leave is one of never giving up, even in expressing oneself we become self-conscious in how people will perceive and ultimately judge us. It is that mindset that will stagnate and stop you from reaching your full potential and ultimate purpose. Be that which calls to your spirit and never betray who you are for someone else’s idea of who you should become in their limited understanding of how great you truly are.
WarDrobeGalaxy has a crowd-funding campaign on IndieGoGo where you can help via donations and purchases to assist Cornell Miller in expanding his brand and reaching a global audience. For more on Cornell Miller and his innovative designs within the WarDrobe Galaxy Skateboard genre, please visit his website at www.wardrobegalaxy.com and join him on his social media platforms via Facebook at Cornell Miller and on Instagram @wardrobegalaxy.