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What is Your Why?

People ask me why I bought a fledgling kayak rental business, and the answer is simple. It was a life and death decision. You see, by early Spring of 2023 I had seen two years of too much death and 51 years of not enough LIVING.  I had kayaked twice in my life.

Like any driven and ambitious business person, I had a life plan.  Finished my MBA in 2012 and in 2018 I was prepping for the VP spot.  When my executive coach asked me to create a five year plan that went outside of my career, one thing that loomed large was kayaking… I just loved it that much both times that I went. 

My first time kayaking was with my mentor and business partner and his beautiful wife on the Okeechobee waterway out into the gulf in Florida. Even though they were experts and left me in the dust. (He too was a sink or swim kind of mentor!) AND I thought I was going to be eaten by an alligator… it still ranked as one of the best experiences of my life. I made it a point to do this again and soon! It was 2011.

Two businesses launches, three graduation parties, an 18-month gig in New York City, and a new Midwest Director position later, I made time to kayak a second time. After trying forever to get my significant other, friends or family aligned, I gave up and went alone. I rented a kayak in beautiful Grand Rapids Ohio. Not quite the Okeechobee, but it was a brisk Fall day and the tiny rapids were a thrilling challenge for me as I had zero experience or instruction in that. The fresh air, pretty views and diverse wild life was fabulous and I must say, I enjoyed the company too. It was 2019.

These adventures were eight years apart and both provided almost no instruction. And I STILL loved it so much that it made the top of my life plan. 

In 2020 we all lost people, but it just seemed to not stop there. In late Summer 2021 I lost a very young co-worker to a car accident. A week later I lost my baby brother, way too young, to suicide. By year end 2022 I lost my mother to cancer. And in April 2023, I lost another way too young co-worker to cancer. Sadly death is a part of life and we must all accept and deal with it. But this concentration of it just really makes one prioritize.

It was that evening, mourning at home alone with Facebook and a nice bottle of wine, that I saw a kayaking company for sale on Marketplace. A jenky-ass (but now much loved) truck, a custom trailer and some really nice boats with all the fixings….  WHAAAT? Kizmet people. 

Seize the day because tomorrow is NOT PROMISED to any of us.

THAT is how Pop Up Paddle Adventures was re-born from the fledgling Point Place Water Sport Rentals.

Are you a small business owner? Why?

Tina Saunders

My name is Tina Saunders and I’m the “new” Owner of Pop Up Paddle Adventures, previously known as Point Place Water Sports Rentals. My family and I are so excited to bring more kayaking and paddle board options to our communities in Northwest Ohio and South East Michigan. 

In 2023 we launched softly and only on the week-ends. Hitting Spring 2024, we are all in! Give us a shout to schedule an event to any paddle friendly waters in the region. 

We Deliver the Adventure to You! #GetOutdoors

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