entreprenuer coverTracy Mikulec; Jacob Knight; & Mike Friehofer
Company: World Oceans Media
Year Started: 1993
Start-Up Costs: $10,000
1996 Projections: $1.6 million

tracy mikulec jake knight

tracy mikulec jake knightIt started as a pipe dream in Mike Friehofer's kitchen. Now it's a San Clemente, California, publishing house that prints free surfing, volleyball, bodyboarding, snowboarding and wakeboarding magazines with a total circulation of 320,000.

How did a trio of surfers with hardly any magazine experience launch five successful publications? Well, for one, they're not just surfers. Tracy Mikulec (l.), World Oceans Media's creative director, is a graphic artist with a background in advertising; Jacob Knight (top) has a degree in finance; and both Knight and Friehofer (r.) have sales experience. In fact, the two worked together at a bike shop before launching Wave Action, the surfing magazine they're best known for.

When they're not out signing major advertisers such as surfwear maker Quiksilver, the partners only occasionally find time to practice what they preach. "That's a common curse," admits Friehofer. "Once you get into the surf industry, you surf less than ever before."