Cole Watkins is a marketing analyst, small-business owner and Augusta University alumnus (BA ’12). An undergraduate assignment to build a business plan led to the creation of Cole Watkins Tours. Now in its sixth year of business, Watkins’ company is one of the only organizations in the Augusta area that offers both kayak rentals and guided tours of areas like Betty’s Branch and Stallings Island. Watkins also founded a clothing company, Next Peak Apparel, to encourage individuals to travel and step outside their comfort zones.
1. Cole Watkins Tours was originally a class project. What made you decide to turn the project into a small business?
After getting an “A” on the project and running the numbers, I decided to turn the plan into a reality. A lot of people encouraged me, and it was something I thought the community needed.
2. Where is your favorite place to kayak?
My favorite area is Stallings Island, an archeological site that is namesake to the Stallings culture who lived there 3,500 years ago. The 16-acre island is now home to wild donkeys and goats, which can feed from our kayaks. We always have a good time when we’re out there.
3. What’s it like being a small-business owner?
It’s nice being your own boss and deciding when you want to work. It’s also really extremely rewarding to hear how much fun our guests had once we are finished.