What do you get when you combine a 25-year career in finance, passion for yoga, love of the ocean and an overseas military move? A surprising recipe for entrepreneurial success.
Air Force spouse Christine Considine, a former mortgage company executive, today is the owner of Salty SUP n Kayak and Boat Adventure on Lake Medina in Texas as well as OM Your Yoga and Expedition Yogi. But her career pivot from corporate bigwig to lifestyle entrepreneur began 7,500 miles away in Okinawa, Japan.
When the Considines arrived in Okinawa in 2015, Christine decided to step back from corporate America to help her then-15-year-old autistic son adjust to their overseas duty station. While networking to get her son services he needed, Considine realized there was a void in activities available to military families outside the confines of Kadena Air Base.
“Everything was on base and there were those who just needed to get out of their bubble every once in a while,” says Considine, a long-time watersport and yoga enthusiast. “There are a lot of fun things you can see and do, but if you’re in a country where most people aren’t speaking the same language as you, you can get feeling isolated.”
All photos by Josh Huskin.
Considine’s solution was to open Salty SUP n Kayak, offering paddle boarding and kayaking excursions outside Kadena Marina, and an off-base studio specializing in hot yoga and aerial yoga. As a military spouse, opening businesses in Japan meant navigating both local and military licensing requirements and regulations.
“There was a lot of red tape, but I figured out how to do it,” says Considine, who returns to Okinawa each year to offer courses on operating a business in Japan as well as designing yoga workshops.
A native Floridian, Considine tapped personal experience when launching Salty SUP n Kayak, but she turned to uber-successful yoga-studio owners for coaching when developing the business model for her studio. She also took advantage of the Small Business Administration’s Boots to Business Program. By the end of year one, both ventures were profitable.
By year three, Considine was turning the page on her husband Adam’s new military orders. If starting multiple overseas ventures was challenging, letting go was harder. The yoga principle of “non-attachment” ultimately helped Considine focus on the journey, not the outcome. She closed Salty SUP n Kayak’s Okinawa location and sold the Okinawa Yoga Studio to Marine Corps veteran Tammy Borsini, one of her lead teachers. As part of the deal, Considine, a registered yoga teacher, returns to The Okinawa Studio each year to train instructors.
“Just because we moved doesn’t mean I can’t travel, be active with clients, or keep those relationships that already existed,” Considine says. “I soon realized with technology, travel and social media anything is possible.”
In the Texas Hill Country, Considine has launched a resort-based rendition of Salty SUP n Kayak. In tune with her new clientele, she recently added a party barge to her lineup of watersport activities and yoga. Despite being shut down for 30 days in April by the COVID-19 quarantine, the stateside-version of Salty SUP n Kayak has continued to flourish.
“It’s all about changing with the times. I had to figure out how to serve people through the pandemic.” explains Considine, who continued generating income by creating new protocols for equipment rentals, adding boat tours as the state reopened and teaching yoga online.
“This is our first summer of providing everything we’re doing and we’ve already hired our first employee,” she added.
Buoyed by endless enthusiasm for what she does, Considine would like more military spouses to turn their passions into paychecks.
“It just takes research on what it is you’re wanting to do and then asking the right questions of people who are already doing it,” she says, adding that base spouse clubs, welcome seminars and other activities provide built-in networking opportunities.
While the military lifestyle creates challenges for entrepreneurs, Considine is proof dreams can become reality.
“Find a way to make it work,” Considine urges. “Think outside the box. Just because you might be at one place for a limited amount of time…make the best use of your time. And, use social media to help you grow and share what you love to do.”Read comments