My love for water

31 07 2010

As usual the bamboo bunch has been spending quite a bit of time outside.  In addition to the regular kayaking, hiking and camping, I have added some variety to the routine (ok, if you know me at all, my life is anything but routine).   I’ll dig into the water stuff for this post and share my other activities a little later on.

I think our first kayaking venture took place the last weekend in March.  There were about a dozen of us standing around the landing parking lot trying to decide which river to run.  We had just received quite a bit of rain so we knew (kinda) what we were getting ourselves into.  We were so anxious to get back in our boats that we wanted to challenge ourselves on a river we had never done before which was known for downed trees and some twisty turns.  I believe the temps were in the 50’s with the water temps maybe in the 40’s.  I was the first (wo)man down….got hung up in an overhanging branch, knocked me out for a bit, current ripped off my sandal and my storage cover, and down the river went my boat.  Luckily my friend saved it along with 2 other boats our crew lost that day.  My friend and my sister both got sucked in by a fallen tree….and miraculously we all survived.  Needless to say our trips since then have been pretty tame.

Cobb River Crew

Anybody seen a Keen floating downstream?

My sister bought a boat this summer which has been awesome since I’ve been getting back into wakeboarding.  I was so pumped to get back on the lake that I wiggled into my brother’s wetsuit and jumped in on April 2nd.  I have never in my life willingly swam in a mid-western lake that early in the year.  It was worth it though….

We’ve done several other kayaking trips this summer including the Maple and Blue Earth rivers.  I was hoping to take a trip with the boats up north this summer but holy heck where has the summer gone already?  I also wanted to take another shot at the kayak race up on Lake Superior next weekend, but a friend of mine decided to go ahead and get married so that’s on hold until next year.

Photo pose at Red Jacket landing after running the Maple/LeSueur rivers

Family and friend paddle down the Maple

1st annual Femrite Float down the Blue Earth

Lunch break and limbo contest during the annual Blue Earth River Rock Hopper float. Pretty sure there were about 200 people on the river that day...way too much fun.

Plenty of sun....plenty of Fat Tire


Changing seasons….

22 07 2010

I know I’ve been pretty quiet lately about the business, so thought it was time to update all of our fans.  As you are well aware the economy has really taken a toll on small businesses, including Naturally Bamboo.  We are at the point that the business cannot sustain itself the way it is currently being run.  We are trying to compete with large brands with large operating budgets and without outside investment or a strategic partnership, I fear we may not survive.

If you know me at all, you know that I do not give up easily and will fight to the very end.  I have put my heart, soul (and second mortgage) into Naturally Bamboo and a piece of me would die if I had to let it go.  Although we have halted production for the summer, our hope is to bounce back this fall in a big way.

My work this summer has focused on business consultant and investor meetings and not so much product development which takes an enormous amount of time and money.  I’m happy to be spending quite a bit of time with my boys this summer and look forward to my bi-annual trip to Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City the first week in August.  I have key appointments set up at the show and am excited to explore new relationships with some awesome brands.  Can’t say too much more right now so I don’t have to worry my friends if I end up needing to move to the West Coast, Europe or Asia.

I have the passion, dedication and knowledge to really make a positive influence in this industry….just need to keep looking for that right partner who believes in the Naturally Bamboo mission as much as I do.

Many thanks goes out to my family and friends who have stood by my side during this wild & crazy ride!