DARRINOwner, Broken Rudder | Member-Owner since 2010
#MyNextStep?To bring more toys to Alaskans
What a wild ride it’s been! In 2011, I was working in IT and flipping boats and cars on the side to save up for a boat condo. Over the past 11 years, that side gig has turned into Broken Rudder. And now, I can say, I have the very best job, the best crew and the finest customers in Alaska!
As a kid, I always loved boats. I spent summers walking the dock in Auke Bay admiring some of the boats that would come through. I’d have sold organs for a number of them, but there was one in particular – her name was the “Chipper.” Man, I just could never get her out of my blood. For several years, she came up every summer from southern California. And every summer I always kept an eye open for her arrival. Honestly, I never expected to own one or anything like that. Come on, I was a small-town kid drowning in the rain in a little boat (a Sport Yak) we affectionately named the “Death Yak” in honor of its constant flooding. Now, I think it’s amazing what can happen with a strong community supporting you.
Last winter, I ran into a sister-ship of the Chipper for sale in the Florida Keys. She was a special one, originally built for the president of the manufacturer. I negotiated a deal I never thought would fly, sent earnest money, booked a flight and burned tires to True North to get things dialed in. William, my loan officer, went to bat and got me hooked up. With financing secured and a few weeks preparation in the Florida Keys, my baby was headed for Panama and then north to Alaska, and my childhood dream became a reality!
It's been invaluable to have True North on my side, a financial partner that invests in Juneau - in real people, not just numbers. I’ve expanded my products with Broken Rudder to include Sea-Doo, Can-Am and Ski-Doo, plus Lund and Thunder-Jet boats. I’ve been able to use my True North credit card to quickly get cash in a pinch when a smoking deal comes along. I’ve financed a literal sea of cars and boats. During COVID, I was able to utilize the Payroll Protection Program to keep my crew on and actually add positions through the pandemic. And then True North helped me qualify for loan forgiveness based on that success.
Starting Broken Rudder wasn’t without roadblocks. It took years of high stress, being broke and reinvesting every dollar, but when I look at it now, it’s truly a dream come true. When people ask what I do for a living – I own a toy store. And man, if you’ve been by, you know… those toys are something!
What’s my next step? To bring more Toys to Alaskans with my community and credit union by my side! I’ve always had a love affair with autos and I’m pumped to think about bringing more options to Juneau. And we’re planning to open one or two more locations in Alaska. I know with the True Crew’s dedication to my vision and the support of my community, anything I can dream up, we can make happen!