EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Inflation has many people coming up with new side hustles, and a woman in East Grand Rapids is using her love of being on the water to make some extra cash.
“Everyone that has given us feedback has been just thrilled about it,” said Callie Ritsema.
When she and her husband moved near Reeds Lake, Ritsema said they wanted to find a way to be out on the water.
“I’ve always wanted kayaks. We weren’t really sure if we would use them that often, just because we have young kids, but my husband was a little hesitant just paying for them, not knowing how much we would use them,” she explained.
Ritsema decided she would rent them out to other people as a way to offset the cost.
“Initially, you know, I was just posting on neighborhood Facebook pages, was getting a few bookings here and there, and thought, well, it’s worth a Google search to see if there’s anything else out there, somewhere else I could post it, and that’s where I stumbled upon GetMyBoat, and that’s when the bookings really started to take off.”
GetMyBoat allows people to rent out all different types of watercraft either in their area or popular vacation destinations.
Ritsema rents her kayaks for $10 per hour per kayak with a $25 daily max. She typically gets between three and six bookings a week in the Spring and Summer. She doesn’t pay anything to list her kayaks but said renters pay a small admin fee to the company.
Ritsema’s initial goal was to make enough to cover the cost of the kayaks, which she was able to do in one summer.
“My husband and I decided to use (the extra cash) as fun money or extra money, so our next goal is to buy a golf cart,” Ritsema said.
She sees it as a win-win. She makes some extra money, and it allows her to give other people an opportunity to be on the lake who might not otherwise have one due to financial reasons, storage, or proximity to water.
“The side hustle part of it is great, the extra money, but honestly, my husband and I love being on the water, being outdoors, and it’s exciting for us to be able to share that love with other people through this.”