Two Winter Seasonaires who met in Val d'Isère d'Isère, shared a passion for the industry and saw an opportunity.
Megan Fernandez and Sasha Cheglakov met in Val d'Isère during the winter season of 2019/20. The winter that Covid-19 closed down Ski Resorts and brought the rest of the world to a halt.
Megan was on her seventh winter season, working as the Artistic Director & Resident DJ of the world famous nightclub, Dick's Tea Bar. Sasha frequented the Resort on the weekends while he was studying for his Masters at University in Switzerland. They were introduced through mutual friends one night at Aprés Ski as despite both of them going to Val d'Isère for years, Megan & Sasha had never met before that winter.
They discovered they had a mutual passion for Snowboarding: Sasha is a qualified BASI Snowboarding instructor and Megan previously worked as a Mountain Guide in Austria, then a Ski School Assistant in Italy. Megan & Sasha would meet up for classic 'Seasonnaire'* days on the mountain spent with friends; making Snowboarding video edits, trying to improve their skills and exploring all corners of the Piste Map.
When the Winter Season was abruptly cut short, they were forced to head back to the UK for lockdown. Stuck in an apartment in London, they couldn't stop thinking about the mountains and came up with the idea for The Rise Guide. With many Winter Seasons in various resorts between them, they decided that they wanted to create a platform to help others access the world they care about so much and know so well. With over 20 years of experience between them, they had also seen first hand the issues that Tourists, Workers & Locals face and came up with a solution. They spent the following summer with a Business Incubator in Switzerland, developing the concept, researching and working on a prototype.
The Mission of the Rise Guide is to share knowledge & create incredible experiences, more easily than ever before. Whether that's helping someone who has never set foot on snow get closer to sliding down a piste for the first time, bringing new energy to a well-seasoned community or spreading the word about something inspiring, positive or just really f*cking cool; The Rise Guide can serve everyone. Megan & Sasha believe that booking a service or finding information shouldn't be time consuming or complex.
* Seasonnaire is a person who spend a Winter (or Summer) season in a Resort, either working or taking a sabbatical
Until the platform is ready to launch, we don't want to give too much away. If you're interested in finding out more, investing or joining the project as a partner, contact us here.
VAL D'ISERE SPECIALISTS
The Rise Guide founders: Megan & Sasha
Megan is equally passionate about life on and off the mountain.
Having worked seven winter season in roles ranging from Chalet Host to Resort Rep, from Ski Shop Assistant to Apres Ski DJ, from Bar Staff to Assistant Instructor, she has experienced many facets of the Ski Industry. Megan has worked Winter Seasons in France, Austria and Italy.
Her creativity and entrepreneurial experience are responsible for the seed idea of The Rise Guide.
"When it comes to winter seasons, they say that you stop after 1, 3, 5 or you're in it for life. I knew the first time that I stood at the top of a mountain with a snowboard strapped to my feet that it was 'life' for me.
I wasn't lucky enough to go on Ski Holidays when I was growing up and have assisted many first time Skiers, so I understand how that getting to know how the industry works isn't easy and have imagined a way for that to be solved. Now we've just got to make that idea a reality for everyone tp access and enjoy!"
Sasha is truly happiest with a Snowboard under his feet. Having trained as a Snowboarding instructor, he has technical knowledge and obsession with winter sports motivating him to power the project.
Sasha has been spending winters in Ski Resorts from a very young age and is most at home in the mountains. His Degrees in business and passion for the industry will take The Rise Guide to new heights.
"I have had a huge passion for winter sports my whole life and have spent a great deal of time out in the Alps, gaining a lot of knowledge & experience.
Through The Rise Guide, I want to provide you with the same experiences that have made me fall in love with Winter Sports."
To democratise the Ski Industry so that access to information and services is not only for the privileged, as well as to make it possible to businesses of all sizes to connect with clients equally.
To make Winter Sports Holidays more accessible to newcomers by creating an intuitive, easy to use & supportive booking platform. The supports the longevity & success of the Industry in addition to sharing incredible experiences more widely.
To save customers time and money by having everything in one place and easy to filter. No more hours spent scouring search results only to find out that a service isn't quite what you were looking for. No more compromises on quality based on convenience.
To modernise the commerce of the Ski Industry, making bookings as seamless as possible to improve the experience for both the service provider & customer.
To make the experience of a Ski Holiday more enjoyable and less stressful so that everyone can enjoy their time in the mountains as much as we do.