On June 1st, 2018 I opened the doors to Experience North. I survived my first year in business! It is a tremendous accomplishment, I am very proud and appreciative of all the support I've received along the way.
I researched for 10+ years before I would be my own boss. I knew it would be the most difficult challenge of my life so far, and that there was a lot involved which I knew nothing about. It was terrifying, to quit all my jobs and start from nothing. But I had to do it, it was a passion of mine, something always called me back to the idea of sharing outdoor adventures in this spectacular landscape.
No research could prepare me for what I was to encounter, but I persevered. I now watch my business grow a little more each day :)
I put in long hours, I make costly rookie mistakes, and its impacted my lifestyle, health and relationships as I poured everything into creating the outdoor adventure hub I've always dreamed of. But my efforts are constantly rewarded when clients return to tell me of their first experiences, or show pictures of the fish they caught on the lure that was recommended, etc. I've learned from what really works for my business as well as what doesn't.
Work/life balance is always a struggle for everyone, I am no different. I do my best to make the time for my own family's adventures. It's important to practise what I preach after all. All while keeping the doors open with consistent regular hours - so we're here when you need us. I have help from employees who contribute their own knowledge and experience, as well as loyal clients sharing my business with their friends and offering their great ideas of what they would like to see.
In the first year Experience North evolved from a large hang-out space/venue for events with a small retail space - to primarily retail space, with a small hangout section for trip planning and events etc. Inventory continues to expand with something new almost everyday! The equipment rentals are ready for the season, and the store is still filled with local artists work on consignment. The live bait although new, has proved very popular.
Another thank you to everyone who helped me get to where I am today! Couldn't have done it on my own.
I'm very excited to see what is in store for the years to come...