EPICentre is thrilled to welcome a brand new cohort of EPIC VentureWomen. Each week, we’ll be featuring a different founder or team in a series we like to call 10-for-10.
This week, Meet Melissa Hopper of Om Ice.
In the spring of 2020, Melissa’s cousin Dallas came to her with an idea that would change their life. Dallas Pereira, a former hockey player, and current hockey coach, had been spending a lot of time playing road hockey with his neighbour Nadia Kovac and her family, including her four sons. Nadia is a certified mindfulness coach and she and Dallas began discussing the profound impact that mindfulness can have on hockey players. They came up with the idea of starting a business with the ultimate goal of combining the physical and mental aspects of hockey while making sure that players are still having fun playing the game.
Dallas and Nadia looped Melissa into their idea to understand more of the business aspect. With an educational background in Journalism and professional experience in Public Relations, Advertising, Marketing, Publishing and Office Management, Melissa was able to help Dallas and Nadia brainstorm all the ways they can combine hockey and mindfulness to become a tangible business idea and thus, Om Ice was born. The name Om Ice represents the unique combination of elements in their business model, giving players the Om Ice Advantage where they can develop both physical and mental skills on and off the ice.
“For me, it was about wanting to bring this idea to life to help improve the lives of many hockey platers and the hockey community in general,” said Melissa. “Having grown up around the game of hockey, I see the importance and need for combining the physical and mental aspects of the game”.
With a training center in South Woodslee that features state-of-the-art synthetic ice, Om Ice will provide a place for people to practice at their own pace in a relaxed and comfortable environment. They will feature a line of hockey-themed wellness products including the worlds first book of Hockey Mantras, Playoff beard oil, Hockey Mom Lip Balm, and hoodies featuring the word “breathe” on the sleeve that serves as a gentle reminder to find calm and focus. A portion of Om Ice profits will be donated to youth hockey initiatives to give more children the opportunity to get out there and play.
“For many hockey players, the fun of the game is often taken over by stress. They put pressure on themselves and they often feel pressure from coaches and parents. NHL players are now talking about how they are benefitting from practicing meditation and mindfulness, and Om Ice wants to provide this opportunity to hockey players of all ages” said the Om Ice team.
As A member of the EPIC VentureWomen program, Melissa along with the rest of the cohort will receive mentorship, access to workshops, industry connections, and tools and resources specific to each startup’s needs. “By the end of the program, we hope to open our training center (once the lockdown ends) and we will continue to develop our line of hockey-themed wellness products with a focus on items that are eco-conscious and made in Canada” said Melissa.
Follow Om Ice on social media to learn more