A decade ago, Angie Farquharson and Evan Fair were working at Mount Washington, living in an oceanfront rental on Kin Beach, and ready for a change. It was either move to a different ski hill or do a 180 and try something new.
Around that same time, Fair, an avid snowboarder, wondered what it would be like to design and build his own snowboard.
Not long after, they spotted a Craigslist ad for a second-hand snowboard press.
Call it a stroke of good timing.
Two days later, they drove to Vancouver to buy the press, and Kindred Snowboards was born.
The couple would make a good business team. Fair is comfortable around tools, having worked construction in the off-season. Farquharson is a talented graphic artist and, with her experience in ski resort marketing, also had a natural flair for promotion. The rest is history.
Today Kindred makes roughly 250 boards annually from a small shop behind their home on the North Island Highway. They relocated to Merville after quickly outgrowing their rental on Kin Beach (it’s where the name Kindred came from).
Customers find them mainly through word-of-mouth. They come from across North America, Europe and as far away as Australia and Japan.
Fair does the heavy lifting, building yellow cedar and Douglas fir cores out of wood sourced from local sawmills.
Farquharson designs the top sheets with marquetry, a technique of using wood veneers to create striking stylized patterns. She credits social media and great support from ambassadors in the guiding and snow sports world for helping to build their brand.
So far, the small company employs one other person at peak production times. But they will need to bring on more help if they keep growing and reach their target of selling between 700 and 800 skis and snowboards annually.