SIA Newsletter

Jennith James

Growing up on the west coast, surrounded by the most spectacular mountains, I snowboarded as much as I could. In the late 90’s, during a trip to Indonesia, I fell in love with surfing and the entire lifestyle. I then decided that I needed to be more involved in this lifestyle, but getting into the industry wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. I needed to learn the ropes, and the best way to start was from the base and work my way up. Bill Fend, who had been running Pacific Boarder in Vancouver, was kind enough to give me a shot. I spent a fun couple years working part-time at PB, chatting with reps in an effort to gain some insight into the industry. It was an awesome place to work; ask anyone, as it seems everyone has worked there at some point.

A couple years down the road, I met Gerry Mckay, one of the owners of Centre Skateboard Distribution. We chatted for a while, and he asked me if I’d ever been interested in repping, as they had a position open. Before I knew it, I had an interview for the RDS women’s rep for western Canada. Fluke or fate, this was my official start on the rep side of the industry. Centre took a chance on me, in December 2006, and I’ll be forever grateful! It was an amazing opportunity and I’ve met a ton of people, including David Boyce, my wonderful fianc_.

After an eventful and educational year and a half with Centre and RDS, I received an email from Drew Hawkshaw, who I had met during my days at Pacific Boarder. He was now the Sales Manager for Rip Curl and he was looking for an independent rep for all divisions of the brand. I love how small this industry is; through all of my different jobs, I continue to get to work with the same people. Anyway, needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity to rep Rip Curl, finally having the chance to sell both surf and snow, combining the best of both worlds.

It’s been an amazing three and a half years with Rip Curl. I currently rep all categories of the brand; from mountain wear and wetsuits to watches, and the categories continue to grow with each season. I would love to expand my agency one day, but for now I manage to keep pretty busy! The job can be overwhelming at times, but then I look around at all the awesome people I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years and remember just how lucky I am. Huge thanks to Rip Curl for all the support and to everyone who voted for me!