The first annual Bonafide Kayaks Open House was one for the books. Dealers, vendors, employees, and friends from all over came out to discuss the new boats for the 2018-2019 season, to tour the factory, and to enjoy some good food. As tours of the factory were given, everyone enjoyed appetizers and music by rising musician Tehya Cifers and singer/song writer Perry Major. With the acoustic music playing in the background and the general babble of guests filling the space, the relaxed atmosphere allowed old friends and business partners to meet once again – as well as allowing new connections to be made. However, the factory wasn’t the only place that was bubbling with conversation. Outside, Luther smoked some ribs and chickens while guests filtered in and out.
Around 7:30, the star of the show arrived: the food! Good southern eats such as collard greens and BBQ ribs filled everyone’s plates as Luther stood up and thanked all for participating in the event. “One of the secrets of success,” he said, “other than a series of unrelenting, imperfect actions is to surround yourself with great people.” He was, of course, referencing every person who was a part of the brand whether it was employees, consumers, vendors, or dealers. Without the support that Bonafide has had in the past year, it would have been impossible for it to be the success that it’s been. The purpose of the open house was not just to provide an inside look at the factory – it was an opportunity to thank some of the people who helped make Bonafide a success.
Once the food was gone and bellies were full, everyone filtered out into the South Carolina evening. A few team members and a handful of dealers went to the after party at Invert SUPs, and the rest headed home. The event was a success, and it helped Bonafide wrap up their first successful year. While launching a brand-new company has been a roller coaster, it’s been an exciting one. With the promise of continuing to live the story we want to tell while making some of the best USA-made kayaks on the market, Bonafide Kayaks has one thing to say: see you next year!