What does your business do?
We rent boats and offer various supplies for the fishermen, campers,
hikers and day use people who visit the lake. We are located at the
lake and are 18 miles outside of Sisters so we are the only resource
in the near vicinity.
When and why did you start the biz?
I bought the store in May 2015. I've always had a passion for
camping, and spending time outdoors. This was a perfect
opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in summer and help my fellow
camp/hike enthusiasts. I am single and it is sometimes hard to
find family or friends to recreate with so this gives me a perfect
opportunity to be social and active at the same time.
How Many People are in your Company?
Where's your office?
Small store about 300 square feet, located lake side at Three Creeks
Lake in Sisters, Oregon. There is also a boat dock and a camp spot. I
lease the space from the USFS. There is no electricity or running
water. I run the freezer and fridge on propane.
What's the toughest part of running your biz?
The timing of opening due to USFS opening the gate to the lake and
also repairs needed on boats, dock and staircase. It's also very
difficult to find 2 or 3 willing able strong bodies to help open
up (move boats, unboard the store) in the spring and close up in
What's the most fun part?
The repeat customers that have been coming to the lake for 30+ years
and bring their new family members. I love to see them every year. I
meet people from all over the world. Also the family of eagles that
nest at the lake are always a welcomed site each year.
Anything you would have done differently?
Perhaps gone in business with a partner....one who can do repairs
affordably and provide some capital.
What's next on the horizon for your biz?
I want to do some repair work to the staircase. It's wobbly and
needs to be fixed. Possibly put in a ramp to assist some of the
folks that have a hard time getting around. Also to do some
repair work to the dock. And then eventually add some kayaks to
the fleet of boats, as a lot of people are kayaking and have
requested them for rental.
What advice do you have for others?
When I first started the venture so many of my family, friends and
acquaintances said they would help and they were all psyched for me
to start. But in reality a lot of that support is verbal and it is
very difficult to find real, honest help with repairs or whatnot when
I need it. I guess my advice would be to make sure you really have
someone hired or available and will really come through for you when
you need it.
How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I have a five year loan for the store. Making the loan payments on
time every month leaves very, very little for repairs. I've had to
dip into my personal savings to the tune of about $20k over and above
my initial investment and it would be so helpful to get some
financial assistance for some needed repairs.
School (where, still in school, degree)?
San Jose State- no degree
Prior jobs or business?
I work full time as a Controller weekdays and have been in finance
for 30 years.
What are your pets' names?
Lizzy - my dog
Do any of these pets help with your biz?
Lizzy is the lake dog. She's been going to the lake with me every
season since I opened in 2015. She's 8 years old now and I hope she's
able to continue to go with me for many years to come. She is my
buddy and a great companion. All the customers love her.
Is there any one person or event in your life that led
you to go into business for yourself?
I've always worked for someone else. I got a divorce in 2013 and
was felt in that marriage to feel unworthy and incapable of doing
anything substantial. Those two things were mostly the driving
factors. I found a niche that I can do and keep my 'day' job to
keep the roof over my head.
Anyone you publicly want to thank?
Hi to anyone who has challenged themselves and is succeeding with
hard work, dedication and passion for what they do.
2799 NE LaPointe Ct
Bend, OR 97701