Three Takeaways: Little Bay Boards

Courtney Overbey

Friday, December 3, 2021

Petoskey craftsman Jason Thelen of Little Bay Boards shares his “bottom line” advice for budding entrepreneurs looking to expand and grow their businesses in Michigan.

Prior to founding Little Bay Boards, Jason Thelen worked as a carpenter and craftsman for his father-in-law’s energy-efficient construction company. Through this experience, Jason mastered the wood carpentry skills required by his trade and learned the importance of carefully sourcing natural materials. Now, Jason applies this knowledge to his own business.

Located in Petoskey on Lake Michigan’s shoreline, Little Bay Boards creates paddleboards, surfboards and wakeboards using an efficient hollow-core, eco-friendly structure and beautifully hand-crafted design, providing riders custom hollow-wood boards that last a lifetime.

In this edition of 3 Takeaways, Jason shares this advice for entrepreneurs looking to launch and grow their businesses in Michigan.

  1. Educate yourself before diving in. It’s important to educate yourself before jumping into a new business. Do your research and talk to the experts in your area, like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
  2. Demonstrate confidence. Don’t be afraid. Starting a business is scary, but just 30 seconds of courage will get you anywhere in the world.
  3. Make a difference. Invest in products and ideas that make a difference. It doesn’t take much to be kind to the world and to others around you.

To learn more about how MEDC can help businesses of all sizes expand and grow in Michigan, visit

Contact Us

To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.