Kitson Boards, a paddleboard manufacturer that began as a home-based business in Tumwater and then expanded into 7,500 square feet near the Port of Olympia, has been evicted from that space, according to a notice on the door.
The office and manufacturing space is at 710 Marine Drive NE Olympia. The property at that address is owned by the port, but the building is owned by Swantown LLC.
Owner Michael Kitson could not be reached Tuesday. It was not immediately clear whether the business has closed for good or resumed business elsewhere. Furniture and equipment were still inside.
Kitson Boards, maker of carbon fiber paddleboards, launched in spring 2012 from Kitson’s home in Tumwater.
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And the business found success, expanding into a larger space and employing 15.
A paddleboard looks like an elongated surf board, except people stand on it and use a paddle to move through the water.
The business demonstrated its products on East Bay, between the port’s boat haulout area and Swantown Marina, Kitson said in March for an Olympian business profile.
Business apparently slowed over the summer because in November the landlord sued Kitson in Thurston County Superior Court for unpaid rent and other charges, totaling about $31,300.
A later court filing shows that Kitson Boards made a partial payment of $15,000, reducing the overall balance, but it also shows that by then the landlord was seeking about $57,300, “representing double the amount of rent due and damages for unlawful detainer through Dec. 19, plus costs and disbursements herein taxed in the amount of $589 and a reasonable attorney fee of $1,500.”
Kitson also had advertised in The Olympian looking for investors.
In the March business profile for the paper, Kitson was asked to share some advice for other business owners.
This is what he said:
“Beginners should talk to friends and family or try crowdfunding in order to raise money for their business because access to capital is still a challenge.” He added that he was able to secure a small SBA loan, but the rest of his capital had come from company earnings reinvested into the business.