Last month the Highland Village City Council honored one of the city’s residents for having made a significant monetary contribution to the local Neighborhood Sports Youth Flag Football League. The donation came from the owner and CEO of a business that makes protective safety helmets for youth athletes. The business owner the council recognized was Grayson Griffith; he’s 10-years old.
Griffith started his business, Melon Armor, as a response to head injuries he had heard about and, unfortunately, experienced personally.
“I’ve had three concussions,” Griffith said. “I have heard about other kids getting head injuries also, and I wanted to do something that would help kids protect themselves.”
The Highland Village Elementary fourth-grader said the genesis of the name of his company was pretty interesting as well and said he hopes that his helmets will prevent injuries like the one’s he has suffered.
“You know how people say that your head is your ‘noggin’ or ‘melon’?” Griffith said. “Well, a helmet is like armor, but for your head. So I thought of Melon Armor. That is how it got started.”
Griffith donated $1,500 to the youth flag football league for a storage shed that would hold the league’s equipment.
The league began in the fall of 2011 with 151 players and has nearly doubled in the last two years with 291 players this last season. The league practices during the week and plays games on Saturday at Brazos Park on three flag football fields. Griffith has played all three seasons.
This season, he noticed the league director was loading and unloading from his car three fields worth of gear for over 25 teams and nearly 500 players every practice and game day. It was destroying the director’s car, his garage and taking a lot more time than necessary. Griffith suggested a storage shed.
Grayson’s father, Shawn Griffith, said that he has been very impressed with all of the thought and effort his son has put into the company and was emphatic that it is Grayson, and not him or his wife, Tamara, who runs the business.
“It’s his company,” Shawn Griffith said. “He owns it. He said he wanted to invest some of his money. I told him he should invest in himself, so that he is responsible for it. About a week goes by, and he comes to me and says, ‘Dad, I’ve figured out what I want to do.’”
Griffith said he encouraged his son and informed him he would need to put in at least 10-hours-a-week during the summer months to get the business off the ground and show him the responsibility that goes into running a company.
“He spent four hours at Dick’s Sporting Goods just doing market research,” Griffith said. “He looked at helmets and their costs versus their benefits. He looked at which helmets were better and asked the store manager about how they buy them, what sizes they were, how much they were retail and wholesale, and he has some cool ideas.
“I work at Cook Children’s Hospital, and he had the chance to see some of the kids first hand. He saw the kids with the cranial helmets, and he said, ‘Dad, can we carry those helmets?’”
Shawn said that said that Grayson gets his business sense from his wife, Tamara, who majored in International Business and helps Grayson run the financial side of the business.
Melon Armor will sell everything to “Protect Your Melon!,” such as skateboarding helmets, ice hockey and baseball helmets to name a few, as well as mouth guards, ear protection and protective eye wear.
Grayson is on the honor roll at school and is always ready to lend a helping hand.
One of his goals is to pay for his own—and hopefully other kid’s– college education. He has chosen the University of Oklahoma, rather expensive for an out of state student. He has even taken a tour of the OU campus and got an autograph from the football coach with the note: “… see you in 2021!”
The city council said: “we recognize Grayson Lee Griffith for his entrepreneurship, his community spirit and his giving heart.”
Those who know him would add: and for using his “noggin.”