Paddle Your Balanced Life — Van Isle Paddleboard Co.
Van Isle Paddleboard Co. is a mobile Stand up Paddleboard Company specializing in adventure tours, fitness classes and lessons. Jennifer Vroom, a registered nurse, the founder of this company, came up with this business idea in 2012 when she first came to know the sport. It seemed like the perfect fit as she believes in promoting health and wellness in all aspects of her life.
Although Stand up Paddleboarding was a new sport for Jennifer, she found out it was her passion very quickly. Jennifer believes “Paddleboarding is about nature, overcoming fears and challenges, taking a deep breath, slowing down, being silent, working together, an awareness of the environment, respect for each other, making meaningful connections and accomplishment as we experience this adventure together and alone.”
Jennifer is a thinker and a doer. Once she found out this sport was her passion and that it provided an opportunity to improve people’s quality of life, she decided to do something about it. She founded this Stand up Paddleboard Company in 2013. Through networking and building strong community relationship she found out Startup Nanaimo, who’s committed staff introduced her to Leo Boon who agreed to be her business mentor. Now the company provides various Stand up Paddleboard activities as well as ”drop off” Paddleboard rental service.
2015 is the third summer for Van Isle. Jennifer is satisfied with the performance of her business. Currently she works 10 to 30 hours a week and she would like to develop a schedule for all the activities instead of being ‘on call’. “I am trying to find the balance between administration and being in the water. Personally, I just love to be on the Paddleboard as an instructor.” Jennifer laughed.
“Startup Nanaimo is the place where startups can build relationship, network and become part of the community. In addition to facilitating a mentorship, Startup Nanaimo also partnered me with Laurel Sliskovic, an instructor from VIU. It is really resourceful.” Jennifer said. Next step for Van Isle is building more community partnerships and expanding her business on the island. Jennifer sees it as a challenge but also an opportunity.
Talking about her startup story, Jennifer said, “What really inspired me is my belief that if you have a dream or an idea and you have the resources to do it, you have the responsibility to do it. To help create a world that will enrich the life of others. We all want to be part of community and help others, that is our humanity.”
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