This story first appeared in print in the August 2018 issue of Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.
You’ve probably seen them around town or on the trail, advocating for environmental stewardship, guiding clients, or just having a beer. For Matt Yaki and Sahana Browning, partners in life and business, Wandering Wheels has slowly grown from a far off dream to a steadfast reality.
The two met through friends some eight years ago just after Browning had moved to Revelstoke from Nelson. The first time they hung out, Browning, Yaki and a number of friends tried to climb Mt. Begbie. Browning says that by the end of the day the entirety of their crew had abandoned the mission, leaving just her and Yaki to conquer the peak. They made it as far as the glacier. On the way down, Browning says Yaki jokingly talked marriage.
Eight years later that chance encounter has blossomed into a long time partnership and a business with its own storefront on Mackenzie Avenue.
Browning says it’s been kind of difficult sitting behind a desk, and having standard hours, but that it’s been a really great experience.
“It’s a bit of an experiment,” said Browning, speaking from behind a desk at the Wandering Wheels brick and mortar home base. “We could never previously afford to do it, but we were lucky to find this space. It’s been really, really cool.”
Browning says that the idea for what became Wandering Wheels started when Yaki moved to Revelstoke and decided he just wanted to be on his bike as much as he could.
Previously, Yaki had managed grocery stores in Ontario. He did the same here before pursuing his Mountain Bike Guiding certification.
Wandering Wheels currently offers guided mountain and heli-bike tours and manages Skookum Cycle & Ski’s rental fleet out of their adjacent storefront on Mackenzie Avenue, in Grizzly Plaza.
Revelstoke Trading Post
Joey Norsworthy says retail is in his blood, sitting behind the till of the Revelstoke Trading Post’s new location on Second Street East. Norsworthy has lived in town for seven years, and for the Ontario native and long time action sports sales representative who comes from a family of merchants, having his own storefront was a natural progression.
“I’ve worked in the action sports industry for years,” said Norsworthy, walking across his new location, which sports an art deco façade and was the location of a former grocery store called the Red and White. “I just got tired of seeing the same things over and over again.”
The concept for the store came to him while briefly living in Calgary. When he returned to Revelstoke, Norsworthy approached long time friend and current business partner Mark Baron, who runs Integrative Apparel, located just next door to the Trading Post. Baron got on board and the business was born.
Instead of just being another retail outlet, Norsworthy says the Trading post is all about lifestyle and personality, showcasing unique and small brands from across Canada and the U.S. He says he likes to think of the store as being about everyday lifestyle, highlighting soft goods that’ll take you from the trail, the crag or the beach, to downtown Revelstoke for Aprés.
“Being where we are, we are a destination store,” said Norsworthy, demonstrating the utility of a short that is a classic stylish chino designed to function as a regular garment or a bathing suit. “We try to support your adventure, whatever that is.”
On top of just selling soft goods, the Trading Post has also started renting townie bikes, light adventure rentals, stand up paddleboards, canoes and e-skateboards.
Norsworthy and Baron say to stay tuned. They have big plans for the Post over the next two years.
Fine Line SUP
For Natalie Harris-Pehowich, it was love at first paddle. The former firefighter, photographer, sea kayak guide, and mother of two, says she had always loved the feeling of gliding on water, but that when she got on a stand up paddle board for the first time seven years ago, it all changed.
“It was just exhilarating,” said Pehowich-Harris.
“I had always loved that feeling of floating in and gliding on the water, and spent a lot of time swimming, rafting and kayaking back East—but it was just different.”
Harris-Pehowich, along with her husband Dave, who is a heli-ski guide and operates a glading company in the summer, has just opened Fine Line SUP, a stand up paddleboard retail outlet located at the corner of Mackenzie Avenue and Second Street.
The one stop SUP location, which offers rentals, lessons, a number of different kinds of SUP options, and guiding on bodies of water surrounding Revelstoke, shares the space with PULSE Boot Lab & Ski Company, who occupy the location between October and May.
It’s a new venture for Pehowich-Harris and her husband, who have never operated a retail outlet before, and have just become members of the local chamber of commerce. But as much as much as it’s challenged her, Pehowich-Harris says it’s been rewarding to help introduce others to the sports.
“I know boards and know the sport, but retail is new to me, so it’s been challenging and exciting,” said Pehowich-Harris. “I really just want to share the experience out on the water with other people. It’s great getting into it, and I hope we can turn some people on to the sport.”
Fine Line SUP will be open in its present location until the beginning of October.