Kai Harvey grew up on rural Cortes Island and comes from an entrepreneurial family. She’s committed to the island and wanted to find a way to stay, rather than needing to leave the island to find work, as many young adults do. She’s spent lots of time exploring local waters and worked as a kayaking guide with local company Misty Isles Adventures.
When the business came up for sale, she dreamed of operating her own kayaking tours company. She took the leap in 2018 and proposed that Misty Isles Adventures divide into two entities: one focused on sailing adventures, the other on kayaking tours. The previous owners were intrigued by the notion and agreed to the sale proposal.
Now into its fourth season, Cortes Kayaks has a busy summer ahead. Harvey says a unique aspect of her business is that she employs her two siblings, adding that there are unique benefits to operating a family business.
Top image credit: A tour of kayak paddlers enjoys the waters off Cortes Island. Image courtesy of Cortes Kayaks.