A Reflection on 10 Years
It’s always interesting to me when people make remark on how large our company has become. There is a look of muffled surprise sometimes, perhaps that we’ve made it to where we are. That makes me smile. It wasn’t like this at the start.
West Coast Sailing was started on June 13th, 2005, with little more than passion and a vision for wanting to serve dinghy customers in a better way. To be honest, I really had no idea what I was doing at the time. I still remember my family waving and going home on our first day. Who knows what they were thinking. I’d graduated college two days earlier and spent every dollar I had to start this place. I knew I loved sailing and was ready to work endlessly to grow our sport.
Something unique happens when you have no plans and a completely overwhelming amount of work to do - you focus. From one day to the next you step carefully, but quickly, learning as you go. I knew I loved dinghy sailing, college sailing, and that was it. The rest fell into place. I made a lot of mistakes, made them daily. I slept at work when the job wasn’t quite finished. I’d work however many days in a row it took to assist my customers. In the early days when the phone didn’t ring, I was there, ready to help.
I still see that subtle look of surprise, 10 years later. We now sell almost 300 boats a year (all dinghies still, no kayaks, no paddleboards, no sportboats). There are 12 hardworking employees here that bring it every day. We fulfill our customer’s needs by shipping boats and products around the world. I still consider us the underdog compared to our competitors, even though we’re larger than most of them now. Honestly, I like it like that. There is nothing to brag about, even if we wanted to do so. There remains a plethora of work to be done to help our sailors get on the water faster, more easily, and with less hassle. I am personally humbled by what we have accomplished, and absolutely driven to help even more people go sailing.
One interesting aspect of our company is that our staff is almost completely made up of dinghy sailors. Combined experience racing boats is probably over 100 years, and we go to work every day and get dirty. We move boxes, unpack containers, do demos, coach teams and go sailing. We aren’t some suits in a room who don’t know what you need. We are dinghy sailors from top to bottom. Our warehouse has close to half a million dollars of inventory on hand at all times. Our world is constantly in motion. We’ve made our fair share of mistakes and know the pains of growth. When we screw things up, we fix it. When we face challenges we dig deep and apply our skills and management to make sure we’re all pulling together and working towards a common goal.
I want you to know that we are serious about this. We’ve moved into a new facility, launched a new website, and updated our logo and tagline. None of it comes without hard work, long hours, dedication, and a passion for serving our customers, sailors, and friends. We hope that our reputation has you consider shopping with us. If you’re a long time customer - thank you. We know you can shop anywhere, and we’re honored by the trust you place in us to take care of your needs.
I look forward to seeing you on the water,
West Coast Sailing, Inc.
June 13, 2015