Navarre Beach Paddleboard Business and Teen CEO
NAVARRE BEACH – Like a lot of teenagers, Sage Offutt spends her summer working. However, her job is not quite ordinary. The 14-year-old high school sophomore is CEO of her own paddleboard and kayak rental company, Sage Paddle Co. For the past three years, she’s been running the business (with a little bit of guidance from her parents) on Navarre Beach.
It started when Sage and her family spent their summers visiting Navarre Beach from their home in Colorado.
“We’d get asked all the time, ‘Where did you get those paddleboards?’ ” Sage said.
Sage was just 11, but she believed there was a market for paddleboard rentals and asked her parents how she could go into business. They gave her $5,000 to purchase six boards and told her to pay back at least half of the money by the end of the summer.
After setting up shop, she paid them back in 17 days.
Today, her rental business includes three golf carts, as well as 50 paddleboards and kayaks.
Sage does it all, from delivering the rentals in her golf cart to the tax forms while also balancing her online schoolwork. Her mother, Linda Joy, is vice president of the company and co-owner since Sage is under 18. During the busy season, Sage Paddle Co. will have a staff of about seven or eight including seasonal employees.
“She literally is one of the most organized bosses I’ve had,” said Linda Joy, who is a special education teacher. “Her forethought is amazing. She’s a planner and a thinker.”
Linda Joy admitted she was a little surprised to see the business take off. After two weeks of the business, she said her husband turned to her and said, “I don’t think this is a lemonade stand.”
Since the family has moved to Navarre Beach full time, Sage said she’d like to do more to be involved with the community. Last weekend, she donated her time and paddleboards for an event with The Starfish Project of Northwest Florida, which supports families with special needs children. Sage was out there snapping on life jackets and giving lessons.
“I love getting to see people live out my passion,” she said.
Looking toward the future of Sage Paddle Co., Sage said she’d like to expand into the upcoming hotel on Navarre Beach, but doesn’t have too many plans beyond that.
“I’m only a sophomore in high school and I’ll be graduating when I’m 16,” Sage said with laugh. “I’m just trying to see where the business takes us in the next couple of years.”
Sage Paddle Co. offers paddleboard and kayak rentals on a half day, full day and weekly basis. To rent yours, visit www.sagepaddleco.com.