Did you see him? On your carriage ride, if you were out at the Ranch in Sapulpa or had a particularly lengthy trip to your destination, you probably saw Paul Vincent. If you're not aware, he's owner Kathy's husband and Ava K's No. 2! We caught up with him in between rides to pick his brain a bit about what this experience has been like.
So Paul, you're the only other person besides Rocket who's been in this from the beginning. What's your part to play in Ava K's Carriage Services?
I bath, brush and vacuum Rocket and ensure all of our equipment is in optimum shape; everything from the carriage to the trailer to the vehicle we use to tow it gets inspected by me. I check all of Rocket and Kathy's gear before each ride.
Wow, nothing gets by you, eh? What about on the rides, do you play a part there, too?
Sure! I'm the ground man when Rocket and Kathy are at work, keeping the streets clear of vehicles as they're turning a corner, and whatever else I need to do to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable ride.
What has been the biggest challenge from your perspective, as this li'lcarriage company has continued to grow?
How big we want to get. I still work a full-time job, so trying to find the time to help Kathy more and more as she needs is getting to be a challenge, for sure. I love it, though! Wouldn't trade it for the world.
Out of all the rides you guys have had, what's one that stands out?
Oh, there's something special about each ride, and I love them all, from the weddings to engagements to proms and birthday parties and everything in between! Anytime you see someone, especially young at heart, that's always a lot of fun. Their eyes light up!
Where would you like to see the business go in the next year or so?
The biggest thing I want to see is another choice of carriage. You would not believe how many different kinds of carriages there are! When you can provide a different kind of ride in a new carriage, it changes the whole experience. And of course we'd to expand our fleet as well.
What's one thing you wish you'd have known when your wife told you, "I want to start a carriage company?"
Well actually that's the thing - It was me who encouraged Kathy to do this, as she has always enjoyed the draft horses and the buggy. She talked about it all the time over the years and finally I told her to just get after it and make it happen. And she did!
If there's one thing you could change about all this, what would it be?
I wish we would've started ten years ago! Kathy has so much fun with this, and she's providing such a great experience to everyone else, I would've loved to have seen us get all this started a long time ago.