“Would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?”
That’s a question written on one of the playing cards that two young entrepreneurs created in order to start a campfire conversation.
Basecamp Card Co. was created by backpacker Maya Gay as part of a school project when she was 16. Now she’s sold about 15,000 copies of the playing cards through her website and in stores around the Okanagan.
“I couldn’t open accounts or anything because I was too young… I couldn’t open a bank about until I was 18,” she laughed.
Her older brother and business partner, Aidan Gay, 21, took care of those legalities, she said.
The cards, perfect for backpacking, hiking or camping, are both playing cards and a campfire conversation starter labelled with questions like “would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?” or “vacation in Hawaii or Alaska?”
And they’re gaining popularity. Shops like MEC sell the cards in Kelowna, and they’re also available in stores around Peachland, Vernon and Revelstoke.
The 19-year-old is grateful her cards have been a hit so far.
The unique playing cards started as a project in the Innovation Generation Challenge Maya won with her classmate a few years ago.
“It’s such an amazing opportunity because it gives kids the opportunity to think outside the box,” she said.
After that, she attended Metabridge in Kelowna, which supports Canadian technology to help founders grow their networks, where a Hootsuite representative offered her a spot in the Next Big Thing, which helps entrepreneurs build their business.
The card pack has also gone through a redesign since its initial launch about two and half years ago and features Kelowna artist and family friend, Heather Parlane.
“We tried to do all the layering (on Photoshop) to make it look watercoloured and it came in a white box with a sticker. They looked really bad,” Maya laughed.
The cards were redesigned and placed in a tin, and feature art with a lake, mountains and the outdoors, matching the perfect landscape for an outdoor conversation.
After focusing on her education at the University of Victoria, where Maya is taking classes in political science and business, her new goal is to sell 32 packs of cards a day.
Pick up a pack for at MEC in Kelowna, Funktional on Bernard Avenue or online through Basecamp’s website.