I had just returned back to Australia from my ski trip to Park City, Utah and went online to find a ski boot bag on wheels which I could use for my next trip. A major online store had a bag which they advertised as a wheeled ski boot bag/backpack and even though it looked nothing like ski boot bag, I ordered it. The backpack feature didn’t appeal to me as the last thing I wanted to do is to carry ski boots on my back – I’m a stylish woman for heaven’s sake! Needless to say, that when the bag arrived, I spent an hour trying to fit my size 8 boots in it – with no success. So, I gave the bag to my 15 year old nephew as he said he could use it as an overnight bag. Unfortunately, the bag fell apart on its first use. So, the search continued, but again, with no luck. It was at this point that I thought about getting a bag designed to the specifications I wanted. And while I didn’t know exactly what I wanted yet, I knew I wanted it to look stylish and not look like a backpack.
I contacted a friend of mine, James, who was a skier and who had contacts. I gave him my old canvas ski boot bag and asked him if he could get someone to put some wheels on it but after two months and no progress, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I used my very limited graphic design skills to draw a ski boot bag with a trolley system, and then sat down with my friend James, and his partner, Lee-Anne, and it was her who came up with the name, Skboot – or the Skboot bag. But what was I going to do with this drawing? I needed someone to take this idea and make it real, but had absolutely no idea how to go about this. And then, I remembered a guy I met a few times at the Hash House Harriers running club I was a member of – Colin. He was an inventor of sorts, but lived about 300kms west of where I lived in Brisbane. I found his email address and emailed him my very crude drawing of the Skboot bag and asked him if he could design me a bag.
He emailed me back and told me that he thought it was a great idea and he would come to Brisbane to meet with me. We met for lunch and he said: “Look, if you just want some wheels on a bag, I can do that, but what I think you need is someone who can design a prototype bag for you – and it just so happens I’ve set up a meeting with a company who does this kind of thing this afternoon. Are you free in about an hour?” “Gosh, yes!” I replied. Colin then left the coffee shop where we met, called the company I was to meet with to confirm our meeting, came back to the table and said: “And boy, do I have a surprise for you!”.
So, off Colin and I go with my old canvas ski boot bag, and my amateur drawing of the Skboot bag. We were ushered into the board room, and I was introduced to my surprise. Daniel, their chief designer, was not only a skier and snowboarder, but had also worked for some of the biggest luggage companies in the UK as a designer. Wow! What luck.
Now, it’s at this point that I think I should mention, that everything just prior to this point and onwards, seemed like it was meant to be. People ask me how I got started and why, and I just have to say that it’s almost like the project chose me, and that everyone who came into my life at this point was through some divine intervention. The people who appeared in my life were the right people at the right time. I really can’t explain it other than to revert to two of my favourite sayings which are: “life unfolds as it should” and “what is meant for you, will not pass you by”.
It was also at this time that I met my husband-to-be, Brian.
It is my hope that I don’t bore you completely, however, I think it’s important to give you some kind of “personal” background so you can see how it all ties in together.
I had run my own business called “Miss-Organisation” for 9 years. Miss-Organisation was an executive outsourcing company that specialised in audio transcription, document design and training. It was running quite smoothly as I had an assistant who was doing an excellent job of taking care of things while I was away enjoying myself on the ski slopes!
I was trying to figure out a way that I could spend at least a month or two in the USA skiing every year, so after having a five minute conversation with my neighbour about how he had met his American wife on Match.com, I thought it would be a great idea to put a profile on this site, not looking for a boyfriend, but rather as a way of expanding my business into the USA and perhaps making some contacts who I could meet while skiing there. One of the things the website asks you is your zip code, so, I used a Park City zip code, but in the first paragraph of my “profile” said that I was from Brisbane, Australia and apologising if the zip code was misleading.
Brian saw my profile, thought I looked “cute” and sent me a “wink”. I was so excited that someone actually responded to my profile that I emailed back, and it was only then that he read my profile and realised I was from Australia, and his first thought was “good, she won’t bother me then”. Little did he know!
Stay tuned for what happened next….