In 2016, Yuliya Cruikshank founded Epic Experiences, an online platform offering memorable gift experiences and adventures that bring fun and excitement to any special occasion.
Epic Experiences is an online platform where people can always find unique experiences and adventure gifts for themselves or their loved ones. Yuliya says, “We provide convenient gift shopping and gift-giving solutions for all personal and corporate needs. We offer hundreds of experiences that suit all ages, tastes and budgets.”
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between the World’s Leaders and Yuliya Cruikshank.
Describe Epic Experiences’ offerings that address the needs of your customers.
We are currently offering over 300 unique gift experiences in major cities across Canada. When I opened up Epic Experiences, I had an idea and a desire to create an online space to help people find and purchase unique experience gifts with just a click of the button. All I had was this idea and big expectations at the start, but I didn’t have the right strategy, tools, or necessary knowledge of the industry, so my high expectations faded pretty quickly. The first 3 years of business are called the “survival years” and I can relate to this. Even though our business reach was growing year after year, we still couldn’t meet our own needs because we had to invest back in the company to continue growing and building the brand. However, despite the struggles we faced at the start, our hard work has been noticed.
In 2020, Epic Experiences was recognised as the Best Experiential E-commerce Business. But we are not ready to stop here. We will continue to evolve, establish great business relationships and learn along the way. We are more established as a company now, but there is still room for improvement and reaching new goals.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in this industry through your expertise in the industry?
At Epic Experiences, we pride ourselves on what we do. Our focus is to bring positive emotions and excitement to people’s lives by creating epic memories through our wide range of experience gifts. Despite being an online store, a human connection is very important to our company. We hear stories from our customers about how someone wanted to try a certain experience that was on their bucket list, or how someone shared their newlyweds’ story about why they chose a certain experience package and what it meant to them as a couple. Our end goal is to make our users happy and make their daily lives more epic and worse to talk about.
It might look like Epic Experiences is just an online retailer, but there is more to it than just being an online store. On another hand, we work with local experience providers from coast to coast and help them to connect with customers by presenting and promoting their services on our website.
What are the challenges you and your team at Epic Experiences come across in your day-to-day operations?
Running a business is one big challenge overall, but I look at the challenges as something that makes us better and stronger as a company.
If I need to choose one challenge, I would like to highlight breaking through the Internet noise. There is so much going on on the web and social media. You always have to stay on top of things and be creative to get noticed in the online world.
What people, what books, what life factors have influenced and impacted you.
There are many people along the way whom I am grateful to have in my life and who have impacted me. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and the reason why I started Epic Experiences.
I value the relationships with friends whom I met in my university years, and we are still staying connected and supporting each other in our life journey. Also, my coaches who helped me to get on the business path where I am today.
I don’t have much free time to read books, but in day-to-day life I get influenced by having conversations with other people in my business network. Sharing life experiences and stories is always more interesting to me than reading a book.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives Epic Experiences.
Integrity is one of the core values of our business. Our company is honest and transparent with its business partners as well as our customers. We treat everyone the same way we want to be treated.
Social Responsibility – Epic Experiences supporting causes that are close to our hearts, we do volunteer or raise money for charities that we have chosen to contribute to and have a positive impact on. “Life is not about getting and having, it is about giving and being.” -Kevin Kruse.
Sustainability: We are in business not to do harm to our planet, but to make our planet a better place. Epic Experiences is considered a green company because we are not leaving negative footprints by polluting the atmosphere or landfills with what we sell. The company’s motto we live by is collecting memories, not things.
Where do you envision yourself being in the long run and what are your future goals for Epic Experiences?
Epic Experiences is a Canadian e-commerce company. Right now, we are serving people who live or come to Canada, but our clientele is not limited to only one country. Our goal is to be an international company that will offer experience gifts in other countries in the near future.
As for myself, I would still want to be heavily involved in the growth of Epic Experiences and do more philanthropic work.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs?
No matter how hard it might be to continue on your business journey, keep pushing and don’t quit. If you quit too early, you never know what potential your business may have.
If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask, asking and being curious didn’t hurt anyone yet. To achieve success in business requires time, hard work and desire continuously reach for the stars.