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Virginia Beach high school students design new surf wax, turning assignment into budding small business

The young entrepreneurs are selling surf wax, "Swag Stick," in Coastal Edge stores in Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — From the classroom to the cash register, "Swag Stick" is now on the shelves at Coastal Edge stores.

A group of Virginia Beach high school students are now full-fledged entrepreneurs.

They created the new surf wax product as part of a classroom assignment. It's now sold in stores and benefitting a local non-profit.

“I’ve always known that I wanted to be an entrepreneur," Abby Marcus said. “We are a 100% eco-friendly surf wax.”

High school students Abby Marcus and Christopher Spruill are behind the new product, alongside two other teens, after teachers at Kempsville High School’s Entrepreneurship and Business Academy tasked students with identifying a problem and coming up with a product.

“Our first initial idea was how do we prevent people from losing their surf wax," Spruill said. "So then that’s when we came up with the idea." 

Surf wax is designed to give the smooth surface of a surf board more traction for surfers to grip.

Surfer Wes Laine said the wax is easy to misplace, waste and become contaminated. 

“Most wax today comes in a paper or cardboard dispenser," Laine said. “Having it melt in your car, get into your carpet, melt on your floor.”

Swag Stick is a conveniently packaged, easy-to-carry and easy-to-use, all-natural surf wax. It looks like a stick of deodorant. 

After pitching the product to Academy leaders, the Virginia Beach teens secured $6,000 in funding to make Swag Stick a reality.

“It does feel good," Marcus said. "It’s crazy we walked in here and saw Swag Stick sitting on the counter of Coastal Edge with a sticker on it, and it makes everything worth it.”

The product is also for a good cause. One dollar from every Swag Stick sold at Coastal Edge goes to the Surf Rider Virginia Chapter’s Blue Water Task Force. It's a group that works to protect marine life in our area.

“We’re really just kind of branching out, starting locally and then we’ll see where we get from there," Spruill said.