We are Cath, Eliot and Cassie Shook. Welcome to Flying Smiles Kites, our pro kite shop located in the Corolla Light Town Center, on the northern end of the Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Eliot has been flying since the 1970’s beginning with Peter Powell Stunt Kites, complete with the 100 foot tails! Cath picked up Eliot's love of all things kite beginning in the mid 90’s and has pursued a passion for quad line kites since they moved to the Outer Banks in 2000. Cassie followed in her parents footsteps, finding work in the kite trade during her early career and in 2020 rejoined the family business with a passion for all things nostalgic, especially kites and games.
Cath's passion designed the Compass Rose (CR) Mesh Quad, and Eliot's production has perfected it. Over the years, the CR has been improved upon by the best team possible, us and our kiting community! Eliot, Cath, sport kite competitions in the Eastern League and AKA Grand National invitationals include just a few places where a huge number of people helped field test the kites, leading to innovation and design improvements. With over 300 CR quads flying in the sky, there are now 6 styles of the original 93" sail since the first sail was sewn in 2007. We have also added a 72" mini Mesh Quad (the CR2) as well as the AUA (Ashworth's Unfair Advantage) to the quads that Eliot builds in-house.
Though they personally came to their level different ways, Cath and Eliot are both considered Master Flyers in quad lines and can often be spotted flying solo, together, or even with a team of flyers at their favorite festivals. Cassie is proud to be able to almost keep up with most flyers ("in good conditions!!"), and is hoping to define herself as the "stack flying Shook" soon. All three Shooks are capable of teaching and encouraging you on any kite that you want to fly, be it single line, dual line, or quad!
We started dreaming of the shop in 2006, started planning in late 2007, and in Spring 2008, we opened our doors! The first year, it took a team effort to get the shop open. Cath and Eliot were of course the core of the plan, but their kids (Ty and Cassie), Kim Rakowski and Dr. Prashant Rathee all enthusiastically helped. From building fixtures and laying down floors, to helping in the shop with day to day operations - we thank them for all the time they spent that first year, and since then.
We grew up loving the outdoors with our family and friends…and we want to pass forward that opportunity to all of you. We look forward to seeing you in our little slice of heaven!
– Cath, Eliot and Cassie Shook