Monday, November 24, 2014

The Dynamic Duo: Bringing Family and Friends Together on the Water

Today, we welcome again, Guest Blogger, Lori Neufeld.

I knew we had to own a Jackson Dynamic Duo after paddling one for only a few minutes.  While the 12 foot boat may not seem practical for Manitoba rivers, we actually used the Duo a lot this summer.  With only a few mishaps and a lot of laughs, our family and friends got to experience kayaking either for the first time or in ways they had never thought possible.

Being a “Go Big or Stay Home” kind of season, Finley spent most of her time paddling the Duo at the beach.  It was during one of these days that my mom went kayaking for the first time and Finley's friends got to join us, too.  Who knew that a kayak could also serve as a daycare?
Finley and friends, Carter and Landon enjoying the water with "Cool-Mom", Lori.  Photo: Cheryl Falk
The Duo was our go-to boat for after work adventures on the rivers within the city.  The swifts and eddy lines were fun to experiment on and it was good practice for bigger water.  The Duo is stable, fast and very manoeuvrable, and it didn't take long for me to feel in control and confident while paddling it.  There's often a stigma about Winnipeg's rivers that they're dirty and dangerous, so many people stay away from them.  But thanks to the Duo, the proper safety equipment, and an experienced paddler in the stern, a number of people got to see our local rivers from a whole new perspective. 
Lori, Finley and Grandma, Marilyn.  Photo: Cheryl Falk
But it was the days that we took the Duo out to Sturgeon Falls that really stand out for me.  Dan and Finley happily watched from shore as my friends and I punched through giant foam piles and surfed the waves.  While I left the attempted airscrews to the boys, I thoroughly enjoyed carving back and forth.  Communication and feeling your partner's movements were key in getting the Duo to surf smoothly.  I loved those days on the water.

The Dynamic Duo bringing folks together on the water.  Photo: Lori Neufeld

Our Dynamic Duo brought people together this summer.  From experienced and sponsored boaters to newbies and toddlers, everyone who sat in the Duo came out smiling.  It was a fantastic teaching tool and I'm looking forward to introducing Finley to whitewater with this boat.  The Duo is really one of a kind and I glad we invested in one!

The Duo from Dan Neufeld on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Taking Your Retail Business to the Next Level

During my time repping, south of the border, I saw a big difference between the retail market in the Western USA and Western Canada.  We were lagging behind a bit up here but I am happy to report that a few of my larger dealers are investing with their dollars in the on line sales world.  I remember, chatting about online sales with long-time retailer (he's been in business for over 30 years),  Mike Garcia owner of Northern Lights Trading Company (Bozeman, MT).  He told me, "Nikki, if you can't beat them, join them".

The convenience of online shopping is known to all of us, you can do it from the comfort of your own home and have items delivered right to your door.  Perfect timing for retailers as we head into the very busy, Christmas shopping season.

Aquabatics in Calgary, AB and Western Canoeing and Kayaking in Abbotsford, BC are two of retailers who have shared with me over the last while their commitment to on line sales.

Both, retailers have invested significant dollars in re-doing their websites to efficiently and easily handle e-commerce from customers across Canada.  The biggest surprise is both retailers, shipping rates.  Aquabatics FREE for orders over $75.00* and Western FREE for orders of $100.00 or more*

*this does not include canoes and kayaks.  Please check out their websites to review their shipping policies.

I have mentioned to both retailers that I am expecting to see an increase in their overall sales with this commitment they have made.  This is only helped by the fact that the Canadian dollars is low and hopefully, Canadian consumers will have more interest in doing their shopping here in Western Canada.  

Green River, UT

Green River, UT
Photo: Shawna Franklin