For my first blog on BestHockey.ca I would like to share the story of me and how I ended up in the Hockey business.
I grew up idolizing Patrick Roy and the Montreal Canadiens
. There were many days of playing street hockey until I couldn't stop the ball because I couldn't see it anymore. I was fortunate to grow up having a family cottage in the Laurentians. My parents put me on downhill ski’s at the young age of 3 years old. From the age of 3 to 17, almost every weekend in winter I was at the slops. When I was 12, I started a new tradition of downhill skiing on Saturdays, cross country on Sundays, and I would get in as many hours as possible on my sled (snowmobiling) before we headed back to Montreal for another week of school. With years of practice and a few lessons along the way, I became an expert downhill skier. The highlight of my ski days was being asked to join the USA Olympic ski team during a ski trip to Vermont…but I’m Canadian, so that didn't work.
My math skills were always good, but I often found myself struggling through the other subjects in elementary and high school. I completed my college degree in health sciences. After failing organic chemistry and taking it for a 2nd time, I decided to continue my education in Commerce. I attended Concordia University, the John Molson School of business and earned my Bachelors of Commerce. After working for just one year at my family business, I moved to Australia to continue my education. At the University of New South Wales I completed my Masters of Commerce in Management Information Systems.
Following my masters program, at the age of 24 years old, I moved to British Columbia. I started my hockey days at a Learn to Play Hockey program offered by the city of Surrey. I went out and bought myself a set of hockey equipment. After just 8 weeks at the level one program, I advanced to the level two program, added a power skating class, joined a local beer league, and spared whenever possible. Skating 3 to 4 times per week, I quickly learned how to stop, do cross overs, skate backwards, and positioning. I moved back to Montreal two years later, and joined the local men's hockey league in the West Island. Today, with 13 years of skating and playing experience, I am able to play in a league with guys who are former AAA players.
If there is one thing people always say about me, its “Andrew is a really nice guy”.
I have many mottoes to live by: Always be friendly to everyone, everyone deserves to be paid for the work they have done, never burn bridges, and growing your network of connections is priceless! I could write a book on my experiences. For today I will tell you just one. I grew up knowing the inventor of the Wet Gear hockey equipment drying rack. When he wanted to retire, instead of just closing up shop we made an agreement for us to continue manufacturing and distributing his dryer racks. One day, I was looking up one of those 1000 contacts I have and accidentally dialed Mark’s personal home number instead of his former employer’s work number. I had realized I dialed wrong before it started ringing, but instead of hanging up, I called to say hello. This phone call turned out to be the start of BestHockey.ca with Mark as our Sales manager for North America. After talking with Mark, I dialed the right number and got the slat-wall hooks I needed.
Mark introduced me to Chris, the owner of hockeytron.com
. We instantly made a great connection. Besides the obvious fact that we both love to play hockey, we quickly realized we had valuable experience to share. Chris sent me a few samples, and I was very impressed with the quality of the Elite Elbow Pads
, 20K Gloves
, and a few composite sticks
With my company’s 65 years of experience working with China, warehousing, importing, and distributing products, and Chris’ expertise in retail and product development, we started our cooperation.