Natasha Lockey, influential entrepreneur

“To be recognized as one of this stellar group of women who are doing amazing things in the Kootenays—that’s pretty special.”

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Natasha Lockey was please to be recognized by Kootenay Business magazine as an Influential Woman in Business in the West Kootenay

Natasha Lockey was please to be recognized by Kootenay Business magazine as an Influential Woman in Business in the West Kootenay. — Photo courtesy Natasha Lockey

Natasha Lockey is all about adapting to change and grasping new opportunities. This New Zealand-born Rossland transplant first ventured into business about 10 years ago with Betty Go Hard, a program centred on teaching mountain biking skills to women. Now, Lockey owns and operates Kootenay Gateway, an umbrella company that encompasses Betty Go Hard, Kootenay Mountain Biking, Kootenay Mountain Shuttle, and a souvenir and art shop.

“The mountain bike shuttle expanded to being an airport shuttle and an events shuttle, and we also do the ski bus in Rossland in winter,” Lockey said. “We consolidated it all two years ago under the Kootenay Gateway banner, with an office on the main street in Rossland.”

Lockey was recognized at an annual awards luncheon on May 3, celebrating the West Kootenay's Influential Women in Business. The recognition is an initiative of Kootenay Business magazine, sponsored this year by Scotiabank, and is based on nominations from the business community.

There are downs and there are ups

After Gateway’s shuttle bus was stolen and wrecked this past winter, Lockey was torn about where she wanted to direct her energy. She said that being nominated for the Influential Women in Business list, knowing people appreciate what she does in the community, makes all the sweat and tears worthwhile.

“On top of that,” she said, “the number of people who have stopped me on the street and congratulated me has been really, really neat. In this small town you can be known for many different things, and this particular thing gives me an immense sense of satisfaction. Knowing that I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life well, because I’ve created this amazing business that gives so much back to people … to have that affirmed is super cool.

“To be recognized as one of this stellar group of women who are doing amazing things in the Kootenays—that’s pretty special.”

Natasha Lockey of Kootenay Gateway in Rossland is an avid snowboarder and mountain bike rider. — Photo courtesy Natasha Lockey

Lockey generally keeps a low profile, but she realizes that if more people know her, she can create what she wants to create.

“What I do is unique, and if I do it well, I’ll succeed,” she said. “I want other people to succeed too. If we’re all doing what we love doing, we’ll all do well and we’ll improve the world in our own little way.”

Owning her results

Lockey is a firm believer in taking responsibility.

“Know that you don’t have business problems—you have personal issues that show up in your business,” she said. “Entrepreneurship or going into business for yourself is the most intense self-development training you can ever go through. You’ve got to have more than the desire to make a whole lot of money, and you’ve got to be willing to fail.

“If you are willing to push through your limitations, to get outside your comfort zone and to take risks, you will succeed.”

Marie Milner

Marie Milner is a writer and photographer for Kootenay Business magazine and several other publications. She appreciates the inspiration that she gets during her interviews and hopes to share that inspiration with you. View all of Marie Milner’s articles

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