Meet Danielle Nesbit and Jennifer Trayler – On the Rocks Ice
Danielle and Jennifer have been friends since they were three years old. They both come from a long line of entrepreneurs, so it was really only a matter of time before they decided to go into business together.
When it came to choosing their new business, the idea developed from a methodical process of analysing and selecting the best industry for them.
They both knew they wanted to create a business that had strong core values, that was fun, and that gave back to the community they worked in.
They also knew that their backgrounds in marketing and sales would help them, especially with a product based business.
So they decided to pick an everyday item and make it cool; they chose to rebrand ice!
Within the ice industry Danielle and Jennifer saw a unique opportunity to change a product that has not been revamped since the invention of the ice cube tray. It was also a predominantly male industry that was just begging for the newly deemed “Ice Princesses” to switch things up.
Help Along the Way
To get their venture off the ground, the girls sought a lot of advice, from some familiar resources including Small Business BC, Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE), Vancouver Board of Trade, BCIT and SUCCESS.
And they’re not afraid to say that venturing out into entrepreneurship was an intense education on all fronts. "Starting a business is not an easy thing," observes Danielle. "You have to do a lot of things that you are maybe not so comfortable with…and push yourself every day to keep going. It is definitely not for everyone."
Well Earned Success
But their hard work is paying off. They are now a well-established brand in the Lower Mainland, and have been seen at events such as Voices in the Park for Sarah McLachlan’s School of Music, Live at Squamish, Vancouver Pride Parade, Vancouver International Rugby 7’s, North Vancouver’s Caribbean Days and many more.
It has not always been a smooth ride, but Danielle shares, “What seemed like an obstacle at the time, always ended up being an amazing lesson that lead to better things in the future.”
When it comes to being recognised for their achievements, they’ve had a few home runs. Earlier this year they were featured in the Vancouver Sun’s 100th Anniversary paper and in the Spring, they faced the line of fire on CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
Not only that, but in January this year the girls became a Top 5 finalist for Best Concept at our very own Successful You Awards. When asked what they learned from going through contest process, Danielle comments, “It gave us the opportunity to really look at our business as we mapped out a plan for future success and growth. The feedback we received from the judges really helped strengthen our goals.”
So, what’s next for the Ice Princesses? With, On The Rocks Ice, already stocking grocery stores and liquor stores across downtown Vancouver, they are now looking to expand their business throughout the rest of BC and beyond.
When asked what gives them the inspiration and motivation to carry on, Jennifer comments, “Vancouver is full of amazing business people and entrepreneurs that are very happy to share their knowledge and experience with others. Surround yourself with people smarter than you and learn from them.”
Danielle Nesbit and Jennifer Trayler
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