North Sails LOFT NEWS
WHO WE ARE: CHELSIE STRONG
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How long have you been with North Sails and what lead you to pursue a career with the Detroit office?
I am the newest member of North Sails Detroit with only seven months under my belt. I was interested in working for a sail maker due to my parents and in particular, my father’s passion with sailing. Although my parents sold their modest sailboat shortly before I came into the world, I still grew up instilled with a high respect for the sport and craftsmanship involved in boat building and sail making. I thought that working for a reputable sail maker in Detroit would be a unique opportunity to sort of reconnect with my family’s past.
Why do you believe your background makes you a good fit for North Sails Detroit?
I see a lot of parallels with my personal background to the marine industry. I was a swimmer my whole life and am still a very avid water sports person. I love the great lakes and the beauty that our region offers, being the largest freshwater resource in the world. So to me, whether it be by sailboat, canoe, kayak or other vessel, being out on the water is one of my favorite places to be. I also spent many years working in the aquatics industry where I honed my customer relations skills which I believe is a very large part of the north sails mantra- providing excellent customer service.
What excites you about your future with North Sails?
Two things come to mind: One being my adult sailing lessons that I will take at Bayview Yacht Club this spring. The second being North Sails Sustainability push and the #GoBeyondPlastic campaign. I feel like learning to sail is something that should have happened for me many years ago; so I am ready to finally get out there and learn how to use the wind to power a boat. Although sailing is already a pretty sustainable activity, North is taking it a step further and doing its part to help remove harmful plastics from the oceans (and lakes) and to help each loft become more sustainable in daily practice. I like that North is being part of the solution, not the problem on this subject.
What have you learned thus far about the sail-making industry?
Well, I have learned a lot. Bill Lesnek, our service manager has been teaching me the lingo and a lot of basic technical stuff about sails and boats which I find fascinating. Karl Kuspa has started introducing me to the sailing community of our area so I am getting to know the people. I have also learned how much science is going into sail making today and much about the history of sails and materials used. I can also see that North Sails is a deep company with a lot of very passionate, hard-working, and friendly people that are always there to help when you need it.