Labooshing with Cole Barbera

An Interview With Cole Barbera, Jordan High School Student and Young Entrepreneur

Saleana Zheng, School News Editor

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Falcon Post: Where did the name Laboosh come from?

Cole Barbera: *Laughs* Basically, my brother came up with it when he was in 6th or 7th grade. I don’t know where he got the idea from, but he just came up with it and we just ended up sticking with it. 

 

Can you tell me a little about Laboosh’s history, like creating and starting up the company and how long you have been a part of it, as well as the brand itself (type of wear, style)? 

So, it actually goes back pretty far. Me, my brother, our friend Sergio, and our other friend all lived in the same neighborhood. We used to mess around and we would make videos of ourselves. As we kept doing that, and as we got older, we eventually started doing prank videos. We would, like, skate around or film ourselves skating. Our little thing was called “Anonymous” and our little, like,  catchphrase was “#Laboosh”. As that grew and progressed, we eventually started making shirts for “Anonymous”. There’s like this super old pig shirt where there’s like a little piggy bank on the shirt and it said “Anonymous” on the side. And then, as we pushed that forward, we eventually started getting more into like, skating and we started making more and more skate videos. We started getting more resources to make better clothes and then we eventually changed the name from “Anonymous” to “Laboosh”. That was probably like 2014. And then, from there, *claps hands*, we just went off. 

 

 

Can you explain your role and what you do? Walk us through a daily schedule of yours. 

I probably, like for the most part, I just draw stuff and like, think of logos and ideas. I just contribute to whatever idea they got or if I have an idea for an ad or like how we want to take a picture or film something, I just say what I think or I’ll draw something or… yeah, help make the shirts, obviously. 

 

 

You are clearly passionate about skateboarding–you’ve skateboarded for a long time–so what sparked this interest and how have you maintained this hobby over the years? 

Basically, my dad sort of put it on me when I was super young ‘cause he used to skate when he was around my age and like when he was older. He just sort of put that on me and my brother. He’d always have skateboards hung up on the wall or he’d always… *laughs* he would always show us skate videos and eventually take us out skating and he’d always push us to like, try a new trick or to just try and learn something. He’s always super supportive of that.  

 

As a high school student, what has been the biggest challenge when managing your time between school and running Laboosh?

It’s funny ‘cause there’s no challenge. *Laughs* There’s no challenge at all. Like, I mean, if I wasn’t in school, I’d definitely be able to put more time into Laboosh and more work. But, I don’t struggle at all, like having the two in my life. 

 

So you clearly value Laboosh more?

*Laughs* Yeah… yeah, for sure. 

 

How do you balance your two schedules and your social life simultaneously? Is it difficult dating–are you currently dating?

Haha, I’m not dating. I’m currently on the market. But, yeah, like I said before… I’ll just do my homework, like real quick. I don’t really spend too much time on it, I just make sure to get it out of the way whenever I can…. yeah. *chuckles* There’s not really much of a struggle for me having to deal with the two. As I said, I don’t really spend too much time on school outside of school. 

 

Is Laboosh what you see yourself doing and want to do in the next five, ten years?

That would be ideal. I mean, honestly, I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the next couple years, but yeah. Ideally, I would like to have Laboosh and push it as a brand. Maybe have a store even. You know, just try to get our brand more out there and just work on it. 

 

What has been the hardest obstacle you, your brother, or Laboosh has had to surpass? This can be recently or over the years. 

Well… I mean, honestly, the hardest thing is trying to get people to buy your stuff. Because you got to give them a reason to like it and you gotta give them a reason to want to support your brand. Like, they got to find it interesting and so, it’s just hard to sort of, get people’s attention and have them willing to spend their money on your stuff. 

 

What makes Laboosh stand out from other skateboarding brands? 

Well, I don’t know… I guess, I wouldn’t want to say we’re like, *air quoting* “Oh, we stand out because we’re so much better”. I mean, I say we definitely try to just have fun and just, we try and try to have fun with whatever we’re making. We try to be creative about it and we try to like, not be basic, I guess, or to not do something simple. Like, we try to add our own little twist to it just from stuff we like. 

 

What or who has influenced you the most? Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get most of my inspiration just from the skateboarding community and the skateboarding culture, because the skateboarding culture is so deep. Within that, there’s music and art and clothes and all this stuff that I can just take bits and pieces from whatever I like and try to come out with my own product. 

 

How hard is working with your brother, and what do you guys argue about most? 

It’s easy, we don’t really argue about anything. I mean, yeah, there’s nothing hard about it. We just live in the house… like, we make the shirts in his room and then… yeah, there’s not really any difficulties. I mean, we’ll like disagree every now and then maybe, or like, he has an idea and I don’t really like it or vice versa, but it never gets to the point where we’re arguing. We always find a middle ground. 

 

What is the end goal of Laboosh? (I know you said you want it to eventually grow into a store and you hope to reach out to more people.)

I don’t know, I just want it to get bigger and just spread as far as it can and reach as many people as we can. Just to progress more and more as a brand so that we can eventually make stuff more than just clothes and we can make accessories or even random things like… I don’t know, forks or something. *Laughs* I think that would be cool, if we just made whatever we want and people would actually like it.

 

What do you hope to gain and who do you hope to inspire from this skateboarding company? 

I guess, it’d help if we could just inspire other people… Basically saying, like “You can do it too.” Like, it’s not hard. If you really take the time and work for it, you can do anything. 

 

From this interview, I have gathered three important takeaways about Laboosh: 

  1. Those who are involved in the making and creation of the clothing are passionate about what they do and show a clear interest in the business, which is why they thrive as a local business.
  2. Their main goal isn’t to make money, but rather to have fun with what they do, whether it be skating, designing logos, or making shirts. 
  3. Cole Barbera is single and is “currently on the market”. 

 

Although they debuted as a skateboarding brand, Laboosh is really for everyone. Their designs are fun and creative, and as Cole said, they are far from basic. While it is personally difficult for me to balance work and school, it seems like Cole is skating through just fine. 

 

I have no Laboosh wear in my closet, but I think it is time for me to become a customer. If you feel the same, click the link to their website: https://www.labooshskate.com