This week, in conjunction with Nutcase Helmets, we’re super excited to profile three strong and inspiring women who are living the lives of their dreams and taking Nuu-Muuand Nutcase along for the ride.
Follow our series, and you’ll hear from the owner of a successful sea kayak guiding company, a talented writer/yoga instructor, and a passionate transportation planner.
We also want to know how you live your passion. Check our Instagram feed (@nuu_muu) to learn how to enter to win a Nutcase Helmet and Nuu-Muu dress package for you AND an inspiring friend! Increase your chances of winning by tagging more friends or sharing a picture of how you #LiveYourPassion – don’t forget to tag us so we can find it. Closes on Wednesday, July 22. We will choose winners on July 24th.
Kicking off the series is an interview with Kristi Kucera, owner of Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures in Bellingham, WA. Kristi is fun and funny and a joy to hang out with, and we’re thrilled to introduce her here.
Tell us a bit about Moondance!
Moondance Sea Kayak Adventures provides education, adventure, and resource stewardship while guiding sea kayak adventures near Bellingham, WA. Basically, we share our passion and sense of adventure by taking folks sea kayaking in our backyard (the Salish Sea). We are constantly exploring, learning, and sharing meaningful experiences with a diverse group of folks from all over the world.
How did you know you wanted to do this? And how did you make it happen for yourself?
I actually didn’t know I wanted to do this, exactly (laughs). I knew I wanted to work and play outside, do something meaningful, and help folks explore new places to build their confidence and feel more connected to nature. I was lucky enough to meet Sharmon Hill, the founder of Moondance, at the right time, and I came in with enough experience to feel just barely confident enough to follow in her paddle strokes. When she told me she was looking to sell the company I knew I would forever regret it if I didn’t go for it. So here I am my second year as owner, still going for it, and I couldn’t be happier!
You have dogs. We need to hear about them.
Two pups : Teo – a “pitiful” pittbull mix who loves mountain biking, all things that fly in the air, and barking at nothing. And Hela – an old, wondering soul who likes hucking cliffs and begging for chips, specifically Juanita’s tortilla chips.
Yay! What’s the best thing about running your own kayak company?
I love being outside in a constantly changing environment and being continuously surprised and excited by all the wonders that the Salish Sea offers. Have you heard of Nature Restoration Theory? Basically, when I’m on the water, my “job” restores me. Oh, and I get to share it with the incredible people I meet along the way.
And what’s the hardest?
Balance. We’re a small company operating in a short season, so finding balance between work (even though it’s fun and exciting) and spending quality time with my family and friends during the summer months is challenging. Within my business, I’m also balancing trying to book trips, be on the water, grow the company, grow as a business owner, grow as an educator, and grow as a paddler. Balance.
What advice do you have for folks who might like to work their way toward a similar lifestyle?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer this question. I’m constantly learning about my “lifestyle”, but I guess I would say whatever you do – go for it. Don’t look back and say, “I wish I would have,” just do it. Life is short, but it’s not too short so if you need try lots of different things to figure out what you want, just keep trying ‘till you get “there”.
Good advice. What do you love to do when you’re not in a boat?
I love skiing, mountain biking, urban biking, bike touring (biking, biking, biking), traveling, white water rafting, eating pickles and other salty delicious things, finding the best happy hour, playing chess, spending time with my loved ones near and far, and a playing a solid round of ping-pong.
How do Nuu-Muu and Nutcase help you along the way?
Nuu-Muu and Nutcase are run by some pretty amazing and inspiring folks. Not only do their products help me by keeping my brain safe and my bod looking good but it’s really the people behind the product that keep me stoked and inspired. Both companies are all about seeing the world just a little differently, having a little more fun, and not taking yourself too seriously while still being very practical. The products are conversation starters – both my helmet and my dress always get people talking–which creates a bigger and better community. That’s what I’m trying to do with the guests that come paddle with me – build community, inspire folks to look for those little details, and have a darn good time while we’re all doing the things we do.
Want to go on the kayak trip of a lifetime? Get in touch with Kristi! She’ll show you the ropes, and you’ll find lots of beauty and laughter in her capable, paddling hands.