Teens open up paddle shop

Active brothers launch business at the beach

Wet Willy’s Kayak and Paddle Board Rentals was in full swing last week as sun finally hit the lake and beaches. Started this spring by two entrepreneurial local teens, Jake Flamand, 13, and his 15-year-old brother Isaac, the News went to the beach to check it out.

The teens, beginning with a loan from their mom, Leah Gilliland, have had a crash introductory course to small business management. They went through the process of applying for a business name, number and learning the legalities of it all. Taxes, waivers, rental agreements; Jake and Isaac are getting a step up on many of their peers as they learn the nuances of running their own business.

There were some nervous moments. Due to the location and uniqueness of their home-based operation, their proposal for a business licence had to go to Nakusp village council and be voted on. They were successful in their bid and expressed to the News the support they felt from council throughout the process. The teens say they plan to pay their mom back from their profits.

Being very active in multiple sports, it follows that the boys would want to pursue an income earning path that has them outdoors for the summer and maybe longer, depending on how many brave souls want to be out there through the cooler months.

The fleet at Wet Willy’s covers many interests. Whether someone wantsto paddle around in front of our local beach, conveniently located across the street, or rent fishing kayaks for several days, these guys have it covered. With big smiles and accompanied by their pooches, Delilah and Olive, the teens are a solid addition to the waterfront.

Wet Willy’s is open Thursday to Sunday, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rentals are also available Monday to Wednesday by calling 250-265-0005.

The fees — which include lifejackets and safety gear — range from $30 for a half-day kayak rental to $70 for a paddle board full day.

And the name? Jake says that within 10 seconds of discussing opening up shop, Isaac blurted it out. It was perfect and it stuck.

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