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World's biggest kite store is on Washington's coast

Kites are for everyone and wind is free says Ocean Shores Kites owner. Sponsored by Grays Harbor Tourism.

OCEAN SHORES, Wash. — Flying kites began as a hobby for Andy and Brenda Sias

"We came out, we camped, we flew, we slept, we flew, we flew, we ate, we flew,” Brenda said. When she was laid off from her Seattle area job 25 years ago, the couple moved to Ocean Shores to unfurl a brand-new life — and take to the skies.

"We had an unemployment check and thought well, now or never!” Brenda said.

When their favorite kite store in town needed to sell, the couple took another leap of faith and bought it.

"Started with a credit card with a 1500-dollar limit on it, brought in our personal kite collection, and sold it off,” Andy explained. 

That store is Ocean Shores Kites — and it's come a long way since that maxed out credit card.

"It is, I believe, the world's largest selection of retail kites for sale,” Andy said.

They have every kite imaginable here, from pocket kites to multi thousand-dollar kites that can lift a person off the ground. There's even one with owner Andy on it

"We actually sold out and we had to make more of them,” he said.

The backroom is virtually a kite museum — it is stuffed with personal finds that are not for sale, like WWII military target kites, which were used to train sharp shooters, and hand painted kites from Japan. There’s even an old kid’s kite with a motor and a prop on it.

But the best thing about Ocean Shores Kites is its neighbor. The beach is just two blocks away, welcoming both flyers and fans.

"Anybody can do this,” Andy said. "If you're short, if you're tall, if you're skinny, if you're fat, none of that matters. It doesn't even matter if you're rich or poor doing this.”

The owner of Ocean Shores Kites may be a frugal guy — but he and his wife have made themselves a life that's wealthy with wind and color and friends. He gathered some of those friends for an impromptu kite flying session for Evening's cameras —  it looked like a kite festival, a bright blue sky filled with a rainbow of colors. There was even a massive arch of those kites sporting Andy's face. Just another day living at the beach for these folks. 

“Once you buy the kite, the wind's free, there are no greens fees or lift tickets or any of that, it’s free. You just gotta get there, and if you're smart you just move there!” said Andy as another one of his colorful kites launched skyward.

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Ocean Shores Kites is located at 172 W. Chance a La Mer N.W., Ocean Shores, WA 98569 (360) 289-4103 

Story sponsored by Grays Harbor Tourism. Go to www.visitgraysharbor.com for more information on events and adventures in Grays Harbor. 

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