WHO KNEW THERE WAS SO MUCH DIY IN THE BUSINESS OF STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING
Back when we were developing the ideas that would become the physical reality of Wild SUP Tours, we thought being mobile would be a great idea! So, we bought a trailer off a sheep farmer (he claimed it had once transported 40 sheep at one time) in south Kerry and turned it into our bohemian SUP home. After a thorough power washing and some major modifications the trailer was finally ready to use. We rocked up to Dingle with our trailer in tow and… couldn’t find a place to park.
Being mobile turned out not to be feasible in the reality of customers needing to be able to find you, plus parking in Dingle is a nightmare, even without a 10 foot trailer attached to the back of your van. The hunt was on for a more permanent premises!
We found a small garden, up an alley, across from the marina and in a potentially prime location near the centre of Dingle town. We were happy with our find… that is until we had to remove the one tonne of earth before it was in any way useable. Along with the dirt we found an old bicycle, a few buoys and more bottles than we could count, not to mention the fishing net. All that being said, it was a start and a welcome break at that.
Now, attached to the back of our garden is a shed, belonging to a fisherman. A shed that hasn’t been touched in years, I’d guess at least 10. This shed, which we had the opportunity to expand into for our second season, was full, floor to ceiling, in this fisherman’s paraphernalia. And tiles for some reason along everything else you could possibly imagine. It became our job to tidy all this away into the back half of the shed (like tetris gone wrong) to somehow make room for our SUP boards, other equipment and changing rooms. This shed also contained a thriving colony of huntsman spiders and daddy long legs, all of which were bigger than I’d like to say.
The shed is not quite complete but it is ready for use, stuff stored away, junk hidden and spiders on the run. Throughout this process we have sawed, cut, painted, grinded, sanded, ordered, tidied and cleaned till our hands were raw. Luckily Ed and I both have a background in such trades or it could have been a serious challenge. The process has been worth it. We have a place to call our own, our groovy shack from which we can emerge to explore along the coast.
Business, as it turns out, is never only about the product. Our product may be stand up paddle board adventures but our business is about bringing fulfilling experiences to our customers and taking them on genuine adventures. That starts as soon as they have made a booking and walk into our newly refurbished shed, all the way through the event and on until they see photos and video of themselves on social media rocking SUP like pros!
Being an entrepreneur means using any and every skill at your disposal and adding to your arsenal at every turn. I may not be designing sets at the moment but I am definitely using the skills of designing space to tell a story. The story in this case just happens to be Wild SUP Tours!