Bowen Island, Mainland/Southwest
Zoom Zoom Bowen
Bowen Island, Mainland/Southwest
Zoom Zoom Bowen offers scooter rentals to explore beautiful Bowen Island. We provide visitors with a fun, adventurous and sustainable transportation option to explore all of Bowen's stunning highlights, from coastal beaches to artisan shops and fine dining. Committed to sustainability, we are proud to be a "Carbon Positive" company through carbon offsetting, and to have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence as Trip Advisor's #1 recommended activity on island. We have hosted over 2600 riders from 31 different countries and are proud to serve as ambassadors for beautiful Bowen Island, BC and Canada.
In Business Since 2016
What motivated you to start your business? What challenges did you overcome as a Solopreneur?
Zoom Zoom Bowen is a small scooter-rental business on Bowen Island which grew from a combination of many life experiences and some lofty goals. I have always been personally inspired by ethical and sustainable businesses, as well as any experience which cultivates a sense of connection between people. Zoom Zoom has also been fuelled by that vision. To date, we have welcomed riders from over 31 countries and have been “Carbon Positive” through offsetting since 2017. In 2010, I co-founded an experiential education company in Bali teaching sustainability, leadership and global citizenship to international students. During my 5 years there, I discovered the joys of riding a scooter - a sustainable and adventurous mode of travel with a breathtaking 360° view. Moving back to Bowen Island in 2014, I became aware of many transportation issues on island. Tourism plays a significant role in Bowen's economy, yet we have very limited transportation options for visitors. During peak season, Bowen Island saw many ferry overloads, parking scarcity and a congested Snug Cove as visitors needed to bring their cars in order to explore the island. I recognized an opportunity to create an effective transportation solution that would serve both locals and visitors alike. Unfortunately, there was a bylaw prohibiting the rental of scooters but in February 2016, after a year of research and many presentations to the community and Municipal Council, I was successful in amending it. This was my first big hurdle, and a great way to launch, as this success reflected the strong support of not only the local government, but the community as a whole. On such a small island, finding a suitable location had been (and continues to be) challenging, but just a month later I had a location to open Zoom Zoom Bowen with a humble fleet of 8 scooters. Now visitors could leave their cars behind, walk off the ferry, grab a scooter and travel anywhere on island. They could now rent accommodation anywhere and reach other local businesses not previously accessible. I have had to move 3 times since opening, yet through community support and creative problem-solving, Zoom Zoom maintains a global and loyal customer base. I have faced many challenges along the way and the learning curve has been steep. Robert Frost wrote, “The only way out is through” and indeed, every obstacle I have encountered has offered an opportunity for growth, and the refinement, of everything Zoom Zoom has to offer.
Why do you deserve to win the Best Solopreneur award?
There are many excellent "Solopreneurs" and success has many definitions. I believe that the best entrepreneurs, solo or not, are those running businesses that have positive impact. I don't focus a lot on the “competition” but rather, do what I can to learn from others. It is my goal to maintain a reputation as a business that cares deeply about people and the environment. I feel that Zoom Zoom has developed a reputation as a company that invests time and energy in its riders, and that goes the extra mile to make them feel valued. The ranking of #1 on Trip Advisor reflects this as they are supported every step of the way, from first contact until they drop the keys and say goodbye. I am very proud to be a "Carbon Positive" company by contributing to a reforestation project on Quadra Island to offset Zoom Zoom's carbon footprint and I look forward to a long partnership with them. My riders are not only choosing a green transportation option, they are doing something positive for the planet. I see myself as a Bowen ambassador and value the opportunity to offer custom itineraries, tailored to people's personal interests. What I have created with Zoom Zoom is more than just a business, but an unforgettable experience that connects people to local businesses, each other and the natural environment. Through conscious effort, it has evolved into a kind of community. A few years ago, I rented to a lovely couple who celebrated a year together with a day on scooters. They returned this summer and shared that riding the scooters had been their "best date ever". Later that day, he made a romantic proposal and they messaged me, bursting at the seams, to share the news. When they returned the scooters, I was ready with some Bowen-made organic chocolates to celebrate! On another occasion, a woman arrived alone, extremely nervous but keen to learn. She took over an hour to teach and I ended up riding by her side but it was worth every second to witness her empowerment. I've rented to families, reunions, wedding parties, and people on retreats and been able to gift a ride to someone who just completed chemo. One blogger I taught to ride went on to earn her motorcycle licence and write about her adventures. In 2019, mentored a First Nations woman who has since launched Haida Gwaii Scooters. I share these stories because these are the people and experiences which motivate and inspire me to be the best "Solopreneur" I can be.