We had the good fortune of connecting with Greg Fishell and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Greg, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Fishell Paddles started out of Ontario Canada with crafting and selling functionally artistic canoe paddles. Our family owned business started with purchasing the equipment and tutelage from the legendary canoe paddle maker Ray Kettlewell. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but when Ray retired someone needed to fill his shoes for the paddling community and we knew that from Ray’s 40+ years in the industry, he had created a following. So we knew it was a smart business decision.

The first 5 years were a success in the canoe paddle market and we have created our own following of customers. Present day, we have expanded down to the US, tapping into the paddling market here and are now based out of Flagstaff Arizona.

We have recently taken on other markets and products. The thought was that we create a lot of scrap wood in this line of work and its tough to see it thrown in a dumpster or given to people to burn. We are now Fishell Woodworks and offer custom cutting boards, butcher blocks, coasters, and trivets all made from 100% recycled scrap wood. We still offer our custom canoe paddles, and soon we will also be offering custom SUP paddle board paddles made from cherry wood, customized to the customer.

8+ years in business and we couldn’t be happier. We have loving support from our customers and can’t thank them enough for helping support our small family business over the years.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
This last year 2021, Fishell Paddles has grown into Fishell Woodworks. We started selling custom handmade cutting boards, coasters, trivets at the flagstaff farmer’s market. We use 100% scrap wood from the paddle business in order to recycle it as much as we can. This is quality American hardwoods here, we do not want to throw it away, or let alone burn it.

In late 2021, we were reached out to by a high-end boutique store in Toronto that wanted a bulk order of all wood SUP paddle board paddles, yup ALL WOOD, no carbon fiber shaft, no adjustability in length. This allowed us to break into the SUP paddle market for 2022. Similar to our canoe paddles, all wood, custom sized to the user, and even add custom laser engraving. We cannot be more stoked to release this product to the public in February 2022.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them climbing or skiing depending on the time of year. Flagstaff is a great mountain town filled with lots of great restaurants, bars and is surrounded by the largest ponderosa pine forest in North America. Must dos, get a sandwich from Proper Meats, go for a bike ride around downtown, ski the Arizona Snowbowl, walk the urban trail and climb at The Pit.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My father and business partner John, he took me under his educational wing after dropping out of college. He has taught me far more than I’d imagine learning in school at a desk. I have no doubt that I was one stubborn young man trying to run a business with, yet here we are 8 years in, and he still teaches me so much about running a business. Thanks Pa!

Website: www.fishellpaddles.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fishellwoodworks/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fishellwoodwork

Image Credits
Gerald Situ

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