At 15, Chris Skraba met with his first advertising client, in North Carolina. Today, at 17, he attends Flagler Palm Coast High School and is trying to expand his company, Ralston & Anthony Advertising.
To 17-year-old Flagler Palm Coast High School student Chris Skraba, nothing is more boring than the status quo.
Along with two friends, Ann-Marie Nunziata and Jessica Hartweg, Chris began outlining an alternative future. The question was simple: How do we use our art to make something of ourselves in business?
Here they had all of these assets. Nunziata was the publications/print guru; Hartweg was a photographer; and Chris specialized in video production with what he calls a “strong business background.” His parents always promoted entrepreneurship. He used to be president of FPC’s Future Business Leaders of America. His heroes are Zig Ziglar, Brian Buffini and Donald Trump.
Three months of planning later, in October 2009, Ralston & Anthony Advertising was born. Skraba was officially a CEO. The company was featured on Fox News and even had a client, Aw Shucks Farms, for whom it worked for free to build a portfolio.
“We were shocked. Here we were, three teenagers, and we were a company,” Skraba said. “We had clients … We wanted to prove to the world: You don’t have to go to college to be something. And I’ll be honest, we were scared.”
After their first project, others fell in line. The trio at R&A did work for an Aw Shucks affiliate, The 13th Acre Haunt; then the teens led promotions for the Central Academy of Technology and Arts. They’ve also designed logos for FPC events and clubs.
Skraba said the company’s plan was to offer high-quality advertising at low prices and target clients who might not be able to afford bigger firms. But just because they’re teenagers doesn’t mean they don’t have resources.
R&A uses professional video/audio equipment and market standard editing/design suits. They know whom to contact to get campaigns in the media, he said, “And we never leave your side when we do it.”
Skraba said he and his team can run a “full blown campaign” — including TV spots, website creation, branding, custom videos, postcards and ad design — for fewer than $800.
“When you become an adult, creativity is lost and you begin to think logically,” Skraba said. “ … (Being young), we have this freedom and imagination … We can see things that we don’t think adults can see … That’s exactly what makes us the perfect choice.”
Skraba believes no business can succeed based on a cookie-cutter education. “Something about you has to be unique, innovative.” Youth equals enthusiasm, and his team has it, he said.
“It’s a passion to us, and it’s a hobby … It is our life,” Skraba said. “Our clients have always said that they’re awestruck by the results.”
Call Skraba at 704-713-8946 or visit www.raadvertising.co.cc.