“You have to make sure that your vision matches your passion.”
What do you get when you combine the style of Jeff Spicoli, the love of surfing and a passion for art? You get Baylor senior and breakout entrepreneur Dan Rettinger.
Dan grew up in Southern California just outside Malibu where surfing, skating and golfing were the daily norm. He never technically had a job, but he had an assorted bevy of side hustles. From washing cars to babysitting, Dan was making money. There was even the occasional hustle on the golf course at the local country club. Whether Dan realized it or not, he was an entrepreneur in the making.
With his older brother already a Baylor student, there was some green and gold influence for Dan to make the move from Malibu to Waco. It was Baylor’s Christ-centered commitment, however, that made the real distinction for Dan.
Dan came to Baylor with a focus on growing his art and creative skills. As a marketing major, Dan’s dream was to ultimately use his skills in the “real world” after graduation. The funny thing about that is he didn’t actually wait until after graduation. In June 2021, Dan passionately put those skills to work when he founded Local Skate Rats. In addition to creating tees with hand-drawn designs with Local Skate Rats, Dan used the business to support other small businesses. It’s the little things that make a difference, like selecting a local print shop to produce the tees. Dan explains, “I intentionally partnered with local business Hole in the Roof to produce my tees as a way to support and build up the Waco community.”
It didn’t take long for Dan to realize there was also a growing small business community right in his backyard, a somewhat undiscovered gem of a network consisting of student business owners struggling to get their name and products in front of consumers. As a way to build community and spotlight these businesses, Dan organized a student market that was largely inspired by the Melrose Trading Post in Los Angeles. Operating under the name of Local Trading Post, the first student market was held at a locally-owned coffee shop within walking distance of campus. The event was a huge success. Not only did the event give students an opportunity to sell their products, but it also brought a general awareness to this growing community of incredibly motivated and passionate student business owners.
After his May 2023 graduation, Dan plans to stay in the Waco area and work full time with the marketing team of Waco Surf using his skill sets to merchandise clothing, make videos and create content via the company’s social media platforms.
Dan’s vision and passion are certainly coming together wonderfully. There’s not doubt Dan will continue to conquer the gnarliest waves that come at him. Sic’ em!
For more information on Baylor Entrepreneurship, please visit our website at baylor.edu/business/entrepreneurship/.