Here’s some photos and notes I took on my recent consulting trip to Discovery Trekking which has some interesting growth opportunities. The segment of Leslie’s business I dealt with mostly was the technical outerwear. From her website, you wouldn’t know she does a lot of it. She has a storefront selling performance jackets, vests and pants in the front, with the sewing shop in the back. She also does a lot of custom work. I forgot to ask but I think the cost is the same between ready made and custom. If you had a running or biking team and wanted matching team jackets and pants, this is the place to get them (can order over the web).
Before I get too far ahead of myself, here’s a photo I took from the window of the airplane prior to landing in Vancouver. There’s lots of little islands lying between the Canadian mainland and Vancouver Island (Leslie’s company is located on the island in Campbell River).
From Vancouver, I took a puddle jumper over to the island. Another option is the ferry which takes a bit longer and involves a long drive up to Campbell River but on a holiday, I would think the long way would be preferable. Campbell River is a great tourist destination for outdoor enthusiasts, fishing is big; it’s the Salmon Capital of the world. It’s a nice, clean and friendly place to visit. I think summer is the best time to go, it was a bit chillier than southern New Mexico. There’s lots of wild life other than fish. Bald eagles are very common in the area, I saw quite a few of them. Below is a photo I took of one from Leslie’s deck. She has a lovely home overlooking the water.
Leslie has a total of three businesses. Discovery Trekking has a staff of seven (four stitchers). Two of the seven are part time (Leslie’s daughters) who help out in the office. Here’s some photos of everyone. First up (below) is Barbara who is originally from the UK and worked in a sewing factory there years ago. Till now, Barbara’s primary job has been to make swim diapers for the incontinent which is another product Leslie sells.
Next up is Heidi (below), originally from Austria and is the newest person on staff. Heidi has been sewing outerwear and minding the store when customers come in but her duties are evolving to focus on pattern work in the future. Previously, there was no one person assigned these duties.
Here’s a picture of Jackie, Leslie’s daughter all wrapped up in saran wrap. Jackie does office work and will be in charge of product specifications and cut orders. Leslie wanted the staff to see a demonstration of how to make a pattern from a wrap. That saran wrap pattern making method (pt.2) was truly a lark, I’m amazed at how it’s taken off to become so popular. With the wrap, I was able to show the human body looks a lot different than people suppose. For starters, neither your center front nor center back are vertical lines.
Below is a picture of Laurie, also Leslie’s daughter and part time office worker. She is working temporarily because she’s off to New Zealand for an extended trip. Like Leslie, Laurie is fond of horses and rides frequently.
Below are two other stitchers, Nancy and Donni (left to right). I think they’ve been here the longest and do most of the jacket construction. By the way, all of Leslie’s jackets are made by the handmade method meaning one person constructs the garment start to finish. I think it remains the best option for Leslie’s operation considering the product variety and small cuts involved.
The photo below is of Martina who doesn’t work here anymore. She’s a former employee with her own business who Leslie invited to attend the sessions. I’ll be talking more about the sessions here in the forum because being proprietary, really doesn’t belong in public.
Not shown is Leslie. I have a picture of her on my computer at home that I’ll post later. The one I took on this camera (the other was on the iphone) was too blurry.