Tash Lockey - Rossland Entrepreneur Going Hard

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
December 4th, 2008

Tash Lockey is, in a word, a spark. A spark of energy and enthusiasm that tends to rub off on anyone with whom she comes in contact. A native Kiwi, having grown up in the Bay of Islands on the north island, Tash and her boyfriend Ian have called Rossland home since 2000. The couple’s adventurous spirit and outgoing attitude lend themselves perfectly to Rossland’s laid back, recreation-driven lifestyle.

With a marketing and business degree in her back pocket, coupled with an entrepreneurial spirit, she launched her self-inspired brand, “Betty Go Hard”, in the spring of ’07, inspiring other females to get out there and go for it and learning about herself along the way.

Where did the inspiration for Betty Go Hard come from?

It was about seven or eight years ago, I got really sick of not seeing pictures of girls out there doing stuff. You pick up a snowboarding magazine and there will be a picture of a girl standing there with her goggles and her board and smiling. I kept thinking why have they not got a picture of this girl on a rail or on a jump or doing something and it was like that in all the skiing magazines too. Surfing had kind of started, but there wasn’t a whole lot out there. So basically I created a website as a place for girls to go and be inspired.

{My boyfriend} Ian came up with the name Betty Go Hard when we were randomly talking about my idea. I started taking photos and I created the website as kind of a hobby and then I discovered that it was really hard to find pictures of girls doing [action sports] and I think a lot of that is inherently because girls like to just go and do and we don’t like having our pictures taken.

I discovered that I need to come up with something else to get the photos. That’s when I created the Betty Club. I created a little gallery online to inspire girls to send in photos. The site started to work but then I figured really the way to do it was to take girls out. Get them doing something and take photos of them put it on the website.

So naturally you got into organizing women’s only adventure sports events?

I just started the local mountain biking to head-start Betty Go Hard and get it out in the community, and it’s been really good. The mountain bike program I doubled this year so I was running two programs a week and I was taking the girls who had started with the wine and chocolate last year upgraded into the advanced class this year and the intermediates this year will hopefully come along to the advanced class next year creating a nice flow-through for them.

The idea is basically to get them to the point where they’re confident to go out on the black trails on their own until the point where they don’t need that anymore and they just want to go riding with a group of women.
The whole idea is creating that space where women can try and succeed at things that they otherwise wouldn’t have tried if they were just out on a ride with their boyfriend.

We go out and do something fun and then we eat good food and chocolate. That’s pretty much what it’s about (laughs).

How did you get into organizing events?

I was actually doing a university course at the time, and we had to do a project that showcased a community in our lives. The idea is that you look at all the different communities in your life that you are a part of, like your family and snowboarding friends. I looked at the women’s surfing community and sort of came up with the idea that I wanted to take a group of forty girls surfing. I later look back and think that was quite retarded, that you can’t take forty girls anywhere. So twenty five was what we started with, and it was really the perfect amount. It was the first time I ever did anything like that and that sort of planted the seed.

All of the girls that came on this surf camp improved tremendously. We didn’t teach them things; it was all about being with like-minded individuals that were all at a similar level and the confidence that they got from being in that environment improved their surfing. It wasn’t about being taught. That’s what I want to do with all of my Betty Go Hard camps.

What has been the biggest challenge starting your own business?

The first thing that pops into my mind is not having a boss. Not having someone to give me direction when I’m not quite sure where I’m headed and just having confidence. I think a big part of Betty Go Hard and a big part of what I am trying to do is about me and where I’ve been on my journey with all of this. I’m that typical girl that started surfing with my brother and then I got a boyfriend and I sold my brother’s board and started snowboarding. But I really got into the whole side of that because that was the person my brother and all his friends were, so I kind of just followed along in their footsteps.

I wanted to create that inspiration for myself because I know there are a lot of girls out there like me that would love to go riding with girls every day, but they are really hard to find. Just knowing that I can do this and I am doing it and people really like what I‘m doing has been awesome, but not having someone to tell me what to do can be really hard.

Things seem to have been going well for you, what does the future hold?

It’s been really successful in Rossland. I’ve started to look at how I’m going to expand it to other areas. Funnily every time I start making plans to do something outside the area I have a bunch of really positive stuff happen within the local market. I’ve got to figure out how to deal with that when I’m not here. Finding those special people that can take on the role that I’ve been doing which originally wasn’t where I had envisioned myself being, but that’s what you have to do right. It’s kind of fun because there are a lot of people that are like, ‘But you won’t be running the courses? How will that work? It’ll lose the Tash touch.’ I’m purely just a person that has passion for doing stuff. I’ve never been a super-competitive person; I just go and do it. I want to keep growing the online community and out of that begin setting up little satellite operation in other places.

It’s not about Betty Go Hard becoming a huge multinational corporation. It’s purely about being a community, and sometimes I feel like I want to employ all of my friends that don’t want real jobs.

What advice would you give other budding entrepreneurs out there?

It’s been a huge challenge. It’s been a crazy experience, and it’s such an amazing lesson in trust and just letting things go with the flow.

I think following your heart and believing in what you’re doing is the biggest thing. It’s all about following the opportunities and not getting stuck on each little thing–making sure that you are open to everything that might come your way. There are so many different doors that are out there then you never really know which road you’re on, but if you stay true to where you started and what you’re actually doing, then you’ll end up somewhere and it’ll be the perfect place to be. You’ll create your own dream.

Categories: General

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