Pandemic changes lead Newport Harbor teens to create CurBros curb painting business
Trent Edmondson used to work on the Balboa Island Ferry.
But when the pandemic set in, the 17-year-old decided to quit his job. His mother, Cindy Edmondson, doesn’t have the best immune system, he said, and wants to limit his exposure to strangers to protect the health of himself and his family.
After quitting, he said he was looking for things to do outside of his classes at Newport Harbor High School, where he is a senior.
Then he saw an advertisement for curb painting.
“I thought, ‘This is a great idea. I think I can do it, ”Trent said with a laugh. “I spoke to my friends that day. We started working on it and … just jumped in and got a few different materials. My own curb now has 10 coats of paint because we wanted to get it just right. “
That was the start of CurBros, a company made up of Trent and childhood friends Corey Campbell and Dylan Bernal, both 17 years old and seniors in Newport Harbor. Organization started in December, but the team only started painting in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa last week. Corey and Dylan said the business was all Trent’s idea, but Dylan proudly added that he invented the name.
Newport Harbor High School seniors, from left, Corey Campbell, Trent Edmondson and Dylan Bernal are working Wednesday to paint the curb of their friend Rourke McCarthy’s home in Costa Mesa.
(Kevin Chang / Employee Photographer)
Corey said he stopped helping his father at the family car dealership to limit his family’s exposure to the coronavirus. He used to do things like sweeping the store and cleaning the toilets, but now he’s focused on the curb painting business which has received positive feedback.
“Initially when we posted it on Nextdoor, we didn’t get a lot of attention for the first 24 hours,” said Corey. “But after that it started to blow up with lots of positive things from the community.”
CurBros has planned around 25 curb paintings by next week, weather permitting, and has begun the process to apply for a business permit in Costa Mesa. Newport city officials said the team of three must apply for curb intrusion permission, but can block a number of addresses in the same permit, as long as owners agree.
Corey said the three have known each other since second grade and went to Woodland Elementary School and then Kaiser Elementary. He lives across the street from Trent and Dylan lives nearby. All three call Costa Mesa at home.
Trent Edmondson, right, sprays a coat of black paint while Dylan Bernal holds a makeshift frame in place and Corey Campbell watches as they paint the curb of her friend Rourke McCarthy in the upper right corner of Costa Mesa.
(Kevin Chang / Employee Photographer)
The way it works is that people can call or text any of the three and schedule a time to paint. The three try to work all day on weekends, but on weekdays they go out after class and paint until it gets too dark to see. They can also be reached by email at [email protected]
They charge $ 20 per curb and either split it evenly or keep the total – whoever paints it gets it, Trent said. People pay for them through online apps like PayPal or Venmo, but they also take cash or checks as long as it’s contactless to keep them and those they work for safe.
Trent said he likes that they run their own business and that he feels it is a good experience if he plans to study business when he goes to college, although he doesn’t know where yet – acceptances will only come in March announced. The money he gets from CurBros he wants to use for his tuition fees.
Dylan said he liked the ability to control his schedule for CurBros to go about his daily routine, including weekends, when he works at the Dory Fishing Fleet and Market in Newport Beach early Saturday mornings.
“Whatever I’m up to, I can easily add curb art in between,” said Dylan. “I think if we get it under control and get things going, I could see it continue after the pandemic.”
“Even though it’s our work, we really only spend time with our friends,” he added. “Our bond is strengthened by working together.”
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