Tag Archives: Karen Jewell

KJ’s Fitness For Kids

When Downunder closed recently, Karen Jewell was out of a job.

The former manager/kayak instructor soon began giving kayak and paddleboard lessons, rentals and tours out of nearby Bridgebrook Marina.

But the season ends soon. Karen needed another gig.

Karen Jewell

With her 30-year background in physical education — including certification as a speed and agility coach, core instructor and fitness trainer, plus her experience playing and coaching a variety of sports — and her passion for working with young kids, KJ’s Fitness for Kids Magazine seemed a natural “fit.”

The free online site is now live.

Aimed at 4- to 10-year-olds — “an overlooked group,” Karen says — it’s filled with content for athletes and non-athletes alike. Her goal is to provide information about movement and activities in a fun, engaging way.

KJ’s Magazine covers nutrition, education (what biceps and quads actually do), fun facts (how jump ropes began), and a daily fitness challenge (youngsters earn points, leading to prizes like t-shirts).

There’s a page for parents, teachers and coaches too.

Karen created the site entirely herself. She’s getting the word out through social media, networking and flyers.

Right now it’s local in scope. But she has visions of expanding far beyond this area.

Maybe even Down Under.

Westport Paddle Club Surfaces On The Saugatuck

When Downunder closed earlier this month, kayakers and paddleboarders mourned the loss of a rental and launch facility on the Saugatuck River.

Karen Jewell mourned the loss of her job.

For 9 years she ran the Riverside Avenue shop, and worked as an instructor. The day before it closed, Robbie Guimond — owner of Bridgebrook Marina, just a few hundred yards away — and his wife Taryn Bolotin saw Karen at Garelick & Herbs. He asked what she’d do next.

“I’m not sure,” she said.

On the spur of the moment — justlikethat — Taryn suggested she run something similar out of Bridgebrook.

Karen Jewell gets ready to paddle.

That was the day before Labor Day. Last Saturday — at the Slice of Saugatuck — Karen’s Westport Paddle Club opened for business.

Quicker than you can paddle, she had created a website, made an Instagram account and printed business cards.

She provides many of the same services as Downunder: kayak and paddleboard rentals, lessons and tours. Next year, she’ll add kids’ camps.

Westport Paddle Club is not a retail outlet. But Karen will help people buy kayaks and paddleboards — making suggestions, and offering resources.

With a 30-foot dock, Bridgebrook is a perfect spot. And the location is even better than Downunder. There’s a beautiful view of the Saugatuck Rowing Club next door; it’s further from I-95 than the store was, and the entrance is away from the busy street.

Westport Paddle Club is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 10 to 5, and weekdays by reservation. Click here for the website, email karen@westportpaddleclub.com, or call 203-998-1519.

Life on the Saugatuck River is good!