Sean Alexander headshot

From oilpatch layoff to successful entrepreneurial journey

Mario Toneguzzi |

In 2017, Sean Alexander and his family built a home in the new community of Harmony, a lake community just west of Calgary. For a side business, outside of his oil & gas career, Sean began importing Standup Paddleboards (SUPs) to sell to his neighbours out of his garage in late 2019, branding them KAILANI. Shortly after that, he realized not everyone wanted to paddleboard, so he expanded his product range and began manufacturing and importing brightly coloured coolers and started initially selling them to his Friday night shinny hockey team. In early 2020, he found himself laid off from his job in the oil and gas sector, and that’s when he decided to go all in on his idea of starting an outdoor lifestyle company.

Eight months later, following a 7-day road trip through the interior of BC, he had secured $130,000 in purchase orders for his colourful collection of coolers, landing him a $1M investment with an Alberta-based private equity group. On November 2, Sean appeared in episode 7 of Season 18 on Dragons’ Den and secured a $1,000,000 deal with Wes Hall, $500,000 for 15% of his company and an additional $500,000 as an Operating Line of Credit. You can view the segment at

Today, he is selling coast-to-coast in over 200 retailers, 120 Pro Shops, 50 Promotional Marketing Companies and successfully selling in his Amazon Canada Storefront. He is an Official Partner with PGA Alberta and as of Nov 28th, 2023, and just signed a 3 year Agreement as a National Partner with the CPRA, Canadian Professional Rodeo Association, which is the sanctioning body for Pro Rodeo Events in Canada with 1100+ Athlete Members.

Entrepreneurs are the backbone of Canada’s economy. To support Canada’s businesses, subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter.

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest #entrepreneur podcasts and news? Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter

Related Podcasts

Delivering music right to your door

Amanda Burgener is the co-founder of Curbside Concerts, a Calgary-based company that delivers live music right to your door,...

Read More

Building Alberta’s first craft distillery

From drinks executive to diplomat, adventure travel outfitter to creator of Canada’s largest chain of veterinary clinics, David Farran...

Read More

Creating Happy Campers

Dave Wald is a native Calgarian having only lived for a few years in Vancouver when he was a...

Read More

Join Our Newsletter

Subscribe to receive info on our latest news and episodes