From Wall Street to Main Street - that sums up the career of Chris O’Donnell, a former Wall Street executive who opened C & C Skate Factory on Main Street last month.
O’Donnell, a Farmingdale resident with his wife Colleen, decided to give up the long hours as the director of events at the New York Stock Exchange, where he managed more than 900 annual events, to be closer to his family and neighborhood.
What makes C & C Skate Factory different?
O’Donnell: We’re bringing extreme sports to Farmingdale. We’re the only skateboard shop in the area offering custom skateboards, t-shirts, trucks, wheels, bearings, razor scooters, and accessories. We carry more than 300 skate boards in stock. I’ve taken my own ideas and designs and incorporated them into our skateboards. We’re the only shop in the world to offer a Farmingdale skateboard featuring the green colors of the village and the geographic coordinates on the board. We also carry our own line of clothing called “Don’t Judge Me” in t-shirts and hoodies that I designed.
How is business in this economy?
O’Donnell: So far, so good. We’ve been very successful with our Facebook Fridays where we offer discounts and specials for our followers. For example, on one Friday we might offer 50 percent off to the first ten people in the store or a buy one/get one free deal. That’s attracting a lot of interest and making it affordable for our younger buyers. Our “Don’t Judge Me” t-shirts have been flying off the shelves.
What is the best/worst thing about running a business on Main Street?
O’Donnell: When I began to look for a site for my business, I knew I wanted Main Street. I had 12 different sites to choose from. This site gives me great visibility and it’s within walking distance of my home. It was pretty easy to open my business. I only had to walk across the street to file paperwork and the Mayor and board members have been very supportive. They were here for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. I’d like to use my extensive public events planning background to help bring concerts and Main Street events to draw visitors and help our local businesses.
It’s sad that the only skateboard park in Farmingdale at Allen Park closed but it was misconstructed and noisy. I’ve heard that a new skateboard park received funding and is being built in Bethpage and might open this summer. Every kid wants a big skate park of their own.
How is the Farmingdale community?
O’Donnell: My wife and I live in the community and we have a stake in it doing well. I don’t want people to drive through Farmingdale; I want them to drive to Farmingdale. That’s a big difference. My wife’s family has been here for many generations. That’s what’s great about Farmingdale—it’s multi-generational. I have support from my local businesses. has given me help in that he sends business my way and I send business to him. It’s nice to be part of the community and hear from parents. They’re happy that their children are out of the basement, in the fresh air, getting exercise, and talking to their friends.
Why a skate board shop?
O’Donnell: I grew up skateboarding. It was my transportation and passion way before it became a big sport. The only other business I considered was to open either a bar or a restaurant, but we all know Farmingdale does not need another one of those at this time, but it's not off the table for the future. I do already have a name and theme picked out for when the time comes.