By JAMES BELL
When Isaac Bloom, 11, Hays, was presented with the idea of creating a submission for the elementary division of the statewide Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, he turned to something he knows and loves — skateboarding.
"My idea was Boom Boards," Bloom said. "Ever since I got my first skateboard, I've loved riding skateboards. So every day, I ride my skateboard and I ask if I can go to the skate park."
His youthful passion, along with an interest in environmental causes and entrepreneurship would pay off, winning him the top spot.
"I did Boom Boards, not only to give back but to help the environment," Bloom said. "We would take all of the wood from people that didn't need it — like old dressers and headboards — to make skateboards."
Bloom had just completed his video submission for the Ellis County Famous Figures Contest, so when his mother, Sara, presented the idea to him and his brother Judah, 8, of submitting a video for the contest they jumped on it.
Sara saw the contest on the Grow Hays Facebook page only days before the submission deadline, so the brothers began working on their ideas and filmed the next day.
"They both came up with their ideas," Sara said. "The competition said they wanted to see the youth of Kansas, get creative, have fun and dream big. So that's what these two did."
Judah also submitted a business idea with the environment in mind. His idea would send trees to forests impacted by wildfires.
"They are very environmentally minded," Sara said. "I think a lot of that is due to the schools these days."
While the brothers submitted separate ideas, they worked on their submission ideas together.
"I basically got my idea from him helping me and I helped him," Isaac said.
Judah's submission would not place in the top three, but he was still excited for his brother.
"For (Judah) it was his first time participating in anything like that," Sara said. "But he was happy his brother won, despite him not placing."
"After he lost, he congratulated Isaac and was really happy for him and handled it like a champ," she said. "I was really proud of both of them."
Isaac even went above and beyond to show recognition to his brother for his help.
"I gave him $50 of my $300 (prize," Isaac said.
He plans on using the remaining prize money to buy a new skateboard with the winnings, some baseball cards, and ebooks.
But staying true to the entrepreneur spirit he also will use some to help a friend start a second business and put some into his next venture.
"This is not his first time thinking entrepreneurially," Sara said.
At the farmers market last year the Isaac and Judah sold breakfast burritos, but with COVID-19 concerns that is not possible, so they are shifting to selling products from the Alma Creamery this year.
"They are called the brother Bloom," Sara said.
For the challenge the contestants were judged on 3-5 minute videos that showcased their business concepts.
"I did it over and over again until I got it right," Isaac said.
The repeated attempts led to a "blooper reel," which was submitted with the business idea.
The judges commented they enjoying seeing the fun aspect of the video. Sara and Isaac could not be sure that helped Isaac win, but made for a stand out submission.
And with the contest being statewide, Sara said she was glad contestants from western Kansas made it to the top.
"Being a statewide competition, there was a lot of big-city winners and it was great to see Hays, Kansas, natives and Plainville, Kansas, kids on there," she said.
With such large competition it was also somewhat of a shock to Isaac that he came out on top.
"When my dad told me I did not believe him," Isaac said. "I was really excited."