Thirty six years ago I built my first kayak. I built it for my own use. It sold before I could launch it. The next morning by 11am we had nine further kayak orders. Kayak #12 was mine. My light engineering / invention development business became by accident a kayak manufacturing business…………..By 11am the next day we had 9 kayak orders.
I have enjoyed the past 36 years. Making kayaks was certainly not a dull vocation. At times very exciting.
Last December I built a huge batch of kayaks. The market looked good. I invested in some more time saving plant. Maybe kayaking will weather this recession as it had in the past – because of its simplicity and low entry costs? When compared with power boating.
But the kayak market died. Totally! No just Sisson Kayaks – Lots of other kayak businesses were rearranging their ‘deck-chairs’.
At 69 years of age I was certainly not interested in advertising and marketing – just to increase market share from a dead market. I know how it is done. The boom years 1987 through 1995 coincided with our nation-wide marketing efforts.
I chose to stay at home at Anakiwa. The Methven factory lawns grew knee high as I abandoned my usual summer trips South to build batches of kayaks. Instead I tried out the life of retirement. Yeah right! Never been so busy in years. It was nice to have the time to catch up on projects that had been stalled for 15 years – since the factory fire in 1996.
I am here in Methven casting an eye at Mt Hutt as I set about building that last batch of kayaks. All of these nine kayak orders were received just recently. I find it amusing that my last batch of kayaks is equal in number to the orders received on day one.
The Methven farmland now has a For Sale sign on it. Our Farm Clearance auctioneer CRT, will move in October, at any cost, in a September Clearance Sale, all of the stuff associated with the kayak business, plus my 6 ton tip truck and JCB digger. Yeah – I admit – I like digging holes. Whew – says my wife Lynda – no more holes to fall into.
I still have time to make a few more kayaks in this last batch. So – if you want one of the last of a huge line – place your order now. I promise to make the last one the very best one. SORRY – NO MORE ORDERS WILL BE ACCEPTED – WHEN THESE NINE KAYAKS ARE FINISHED I AM GOING SKIING
I must thank all of those thousands and thousands of nice customers who have made my lifestyle possible. Thank you.
The future? The Sisson Kayak company will likely trade on, but with a different name. It started as Sisson Industries Ltd. At home at Anakiwa I have the most amazing workshop and I will be developing some crafty alternate energy devices – the prototypes for ourselves. Maybe some of these may end up being sold by other companies by arrangement. I am not retiring. Just heading off in the new exciting growth direction.
Some photos following
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