In this article, we will present an excerpt from the interview with Christian García, founder and CEO of Westplay.
What made you want to start Westplay?
It’s much history behind it. I came from Peru, from South America, and came to Canada to study for my master’s degree at Trinity Western University. I came with my wife and my little daughter, my first one, being one year old.
I remember we were living in downtown Langley here in British Columbia. One day, we were with my wife, and we were walking to know our new city, after, I guess the first week that we got to Canada, and we saw this lovely thing, a playground. I remember getting in the playground with my daughter, and I can remember her face. She was so happy, bright full to see that many kids were playing in this structure. In Peru, the playground industry is small; it’s not as popular as here in Canada. So for us, it was something very new. At that time, I knew some playgrounds, but not with the quality and sophistication of the playgrounds that we have here in North America.
So, my daughter was very impressed, and she was so happy. I remember walking on the nice rubber surfacing; it was amazing, this is fantastic for the kids. And then, when I finished school, I had an opportunity to work for a big landscape firm hitting Vancouver, and I took the job; I was still working with them when I got more involved in the landscape industry’s technicality, which immerses the playground industry.
When I started learning more about the playground industry and everything related to it and its benefits for communities, in all the happiness behind this industry, I didn’t have any doubt in saying to myself that someday I will start a company that has to be related to this. Now, I have four kids, and of course, we’re big users of playgrounds, and we understand if the kids won, because our kids tell us everything.
That’s what made us decide to invest time and effort to found Westplay instead of serving customers. I discovered a niche in the industry, and that’s what we’re doing now. We’re trying to fill out that niche in the market.
Very cool, it’s been a journey…
Yeah, it’s been a journey and very passionate. Now, my oldest daughter is nine years old and my last one is two years old, so we’re still using our playgrounds every time.
What’s your favorite thing about creating playgrounds?
What I believe is the imagination, without a doubt, the creativity that we put not only on creating them, because as you can imagine, the users of the playgrounds are children, so we need to create a structure of thinking of them, how they interact in the play structure. So we need to create an environment where the kids can have all the benefits of a playground, like swimming, balancing, sliding, climbing, all these things.
I guess that’s the beauty, because our customers sometimes have a limited area, limited budgets, little timeline, and need to work with imagination around in order to create all these things that the customer needs, thinking of course of the users and children.
Podcast (full interview)
You can listen to the full interview in the following podcast:
What do you think about this topic? Have you had any experience in a playground?