Wesup creating cultures and careers
- Credit: Wesup
Wesup Torquay Marina is backing the Torbay Weekly campaign to promote the wonderful array of career possibilities available in the tourism industry and their story is a perfect example of how professional ambitions can evolve into something special.
Founded by Sean White, Wesup grew from a love of paddleboarding and has now become a whole business based around the great outdoors, great coffee, great food and having a great time.
Situated on Torquay Marine and Torre Abbey Sands, Wesup believes in modernising coastal culture, a concept that is opening career opportunities for people of all ages across Torbay.
“I started my life in the music industry,” said Sean. “By chance, I was shooting a music video with a band and the lead singer wanted to be on a paddleboard for the video.
“It was the first contact I had with a stand-up paddleboard and I fell in love with it immediately. Over the next year, my wife was pregnant with our twins and we wanted to move back from London to start a new career in London because we already had a little boy.
“I decided that I wanted paddleboarding to be my life, so Wesup started on a beach in Falmouth. We were the first dedicated paddleboarding business in the country and we combined music with the outdoor pursuit. We wanted to create a culture around the activity.
“Over time, paddleboarding became more popular in Falmouth through our Club Wesup. People were connected to each other, connected to the environment and drawn together by a love of the sport.
“Our mission statement is to help modernise coastal culture and we’ve created a business with paddleboarding at the centre of our operation.
“Were trying to give people a really nice experience, making people proud of where they live, proud of their coastline and proud of the things that happen in their town.
“The business has become a place for people to meet and our job is to connect with people, giving them amazing experiences.”
From those Falmouth beginnings, Wesup has developed into a cultural enterprise, ensuring those within this unique family have the scope to grow their own skills and knowledge.
“About six years after launching the business in Falmouth, a lot of my staff were about to finish university and we didn’t want to lose them, so I set up a franchise out of the brand,” added Sean.
“The staff we had were all studying things like graphic design, photography, web design and we used all their skills from university to create a franchise pack.
“The day that we launched, it was picked up by a marina in Southampton and they wanted everything we were offering in terms of a paddleboarding club and lifestyle pursuits, but they wanted us to run it for them.
“It was a great opportunity to prove the concept and a great success from the start. MDL Marinas operate marinas across the country, including here in Torquay, and they asked if we could do the same for them.
“Torquay was the pilot project and Wesup’s first opportunity to not only provide paddleboarding but also a complete lifestyle opportunity for our customers, so they are intrinsically involved in the whole culture of the sport.
“It ranges from the coffee culture to evening events of music and entertainment. We embrace everything that makes living by the coast incredibly fun.
“We take people out on the water to enjoy paddleboarding and then come back to share those experiences. We built Wesup in Torquay Marina as the ultimate hangout for active people, promoting the positive wellbeing and connection to where we live.
“From the career perspective, Wesup can offer a huge range of opportunities; graphic design, web design, chefs, baristas, admin, accounts, everything.
“Wesup is a viable career opportunity for people. Someone looking at a job posting for a barista, for example, could also be a keen photographer and we will develop your passion into a career.”