July 20, 2018

How it All Started and Where We’re Going

This month marks BOATsmart!’s 15-year anniversary and we could not be more excited to celebrate this milestone with some company history of where it all began and share the news of where it’s going. We took this opportunity to interview Cameron Taylor, the founder and CEO of OUTDOORsmart!, the parent company of BOATsmart!, HUNTINGsmart!, SLEDsmart!, ATVsmart! And PADDLERsmart!, for a little trip down memory lane and to give our customers a more authentic look into the mind of our fearless leader.

From the time Cameron Taylor was 12, he already had a taste of what entrepreneurship looked like when he began to cut lawns. He has always had a passion for innovation which is the driving force behind many of the accomplishments he has had throughout the years. “I’ve always thrived on challenging and succeeding without a safety net, knowing it was up to me to succeed, and learning how to take advantage of opportunity. Inspiring others to share in your vision is ultimately rewarding.” – Cameron Taylor, OUTDOORsmart!. From this drive and innovative thinking came the idea of BOATsmart! which evolved and grew into the company it is today.

What’s the hardest thing you’ve had to do as a business leader?

“Learning to say no. When you’re growing your business, you naturally want to take advantage of every opportunity you can in order to drive growth, sales and valuation. But laser focus delivers more to the bottom line than trying to capture every dollar. If you can’t define the consumer problem and your offering in two sentences, you’ve got a problem. It’s taken me a while to learn this, but saying no is more powerful than saying yes.”

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you started your business?

“Not everyone on your team is wired the same. As an entrepreneur in a lean start-up, you’re doing everything. Embrace and savour that. However, once your business and your team starts to grow, you’ll need to recognize that not everyone you bring onboard will be built like you. That’s a good thing. You don’t need more of you; you need more of not you. Truly tap into what drives different people on your team, learn from them and build intrapreneurs that know how to make awesome decisions without needing to have their hands held.”

Some key dates that we are really proud of:

June 1, 2011: BOATsmart! recognized as Canada’s 32nd  Fastest Growing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 200

September 2011: BOATsmart! Peterborough Employer of The Year – Final Nominee

June 2012: BOATsmart! recognized as Canada’s 69th Fastest Growing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 200

June 1, 2013: OUTDOORsmart! recognized as Canada’s 113th Fastest Growing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 500

June 1, 2014: OUTDOORsmart! recognized as Canada’s 274th Fastest Gorwing Company – Profit Magazine’s PROFIT 500

October 22, 2014: OUTDOORsmart! wins Peterborough Employer Of The Year

Where we’re going from here

We have an exciting new chapter ahead as we embark on a new adventure with our company and brand. We’ve re-branded with the name Campfire Collective. Campfire is a collective of Brands, Educators, Publishers, Ambassadors and Public Agencies with a mission to inspire and empower outdoor pursuits. We do this by providing online outdoor education courses and through content that informs our Collective of users about spending time in the wild.

At Campfire, we have an affinity for the outdoors and believe that people are better people when they have more ‘wild in their lives’. We want to be a brand that truly connects with people and help them ‘go boldly to their wild’ while having the best experience possible. We are also very passionate about conservation and sustainability efforts and believe there needs to be more of an effort to shed light on these important issues.

As an innovative, agile company that puts people first, we are constantly looking for ways to improve ourselves; continuous improvement is at the centre of everything we do. We are passionate about what we do, and when you do the things that you love, amazing things happen; that’s what sparked Campfire Collective. So, here’s to BOATsmart!’s 15 years as North America’s leading boat licensing and PCOC company and the many years ahead of ingenuity, growth and inspiration as we set sail for our new venture!

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