One day after work, a trip home led Kenneth Canady to the residence of Bill Jones.
"I looked over on the side of the road and saw this old man building boats," recalls Canady. "I just jumped out and wanted to buy one right away. I said, 'Man I want to buy that boat right there.' And he said, 'That one's not for sale.'"
Not taking no for an answer, Kenny returned to Bill's as often as possible, for months.
"I was determined. I was going to get one of his boats," Kenny says. "Every time I stopped, he'd never sell me a boat."
Finally, three months later, a chip in the wood -- one that Kenny had never imagined.
"Before I met Bill I probably couldn't build a straight birdhouse," Kenny says. "He said, 'Well, I'm not going to sell you a boat, but I'll teach you how to make one.'"
So Bill taught Kenny the process of building hand-crafted, all-cedar kayaks, canoes, and now paddleboards.
"You've got to have patience," says Kenny. "Before I started building boats I didn't have any patience. I was young."
Bill taught Kenny patience is a virtue. But now for Kenny, patience is not just a virtue, but also a value.
"2013 we're going to stop working in my house and get a shop," says Kenny. "Hire employees and try to shake up the industry."
With a thriving business, Kenny and his only assistant, his 11-year-old daughter Kayla, are now six months back ordered.
"I love building boats. I can't believe I'm only 11 and I know how to build boats," says Kayla. "It's something fun for my dad and I to do."
"I have a full-time job and I do this on the side," says Kenny. "I work 16-18 hours a day easily."
And with every boat and board, Kenny and Kayla pay tribute to the man who started it all: Bill, who passed away in October.
"I only knew Bill for five years, but it felt like a lifetime," said Kenny.
The same amount of time his boats are built to last.
More information: http://www.Elitelightcraft.com