Still Stoked meets Erika of Salty Souls
Dreaming the dream is one thing, actually taking the first step to making it happen is another altogether. The three girls of Salty Souls have built an incredible platform for women, mixing the perfect blend of surf, yoga, growth, and cheekiness.
Bumping into Erika on the beach in on a surf trip to El Tunco, El Salvador a few years back, she was hard not to say hello to. Vibrant in her smile and wild with her hair, we shared a few stories and laughs along the wall where all go to watch the sunset before the girls on her camp would arrive. This girl’s a powerhouse, I thought to myself. Over the next few months, we would share the beach, share the waves and I’d watch her at work. A powerhouse indeed and her own journey is equally inspiring.
You need to be determined to walk that extra mile. DRIVEN. PERSISTENT. CONSISTENT IN YOUR EFFORT & UNSTOPPABLE IN YOUR QUEST.
Born & raised the province of Quebec, Canada. Erika Drolet grew up trying like… ALL the sports. She is a self-confessed adrenaline junkie and travelling has been a big part of her story. Over the last 10 years, she has spun around the world, exploring and living in 40+ countries. With a background in Arts & Graphic design, from schools both in Montreal & Italy, she started her first business in fashion at only 22. It was so exciting, whereas University – not so much! So she dropped out of school and dove into the entrepreneurial world with hunger. Home life and the town she was from always felt too small for all the ideas she had inside her head and an insatiable thirst for an adventure deep in her chest. So one day she sold the jewelry company (+ all belongings), and left on a one-way ticket to Indonesia….and never really came back. Along the way, all those burning passions ended up merging into her current loves: Surfing, Yoga & Empowerment. From there, Salty Souls was born.
There must be other girls that aren’t afraid to get their hair wet, we thought!
Still Stoked meets Erika Drolet of Salty Souls
What was the journey to start Salty Souls? Was there a particular problem that you noticed that you wanted to address?
We kinda all grew up being “one of the boys”. You know, we just wanted to go crazy and do all the adrenaline-filled sports the guys were up to! But, truly, what we were craving was a crew of badass chicks to do all of this with! When I connected with MC (Marie-Christine Amyot, co-founder/surf coach), she was already super into surfing and an avid traveller. ARI (Ariane Brien-Chicoine, co-owner/head cook) is creative and fearless -always ready to break bone, LOL. I felt like I had found my partners in crime. There must be other girls that aren’t afraid to get their hair wet, we thought! Together we created a game-changing experience for ambitious women that have a strong desire to live a bold & epic life but are maybe unsure of where to start.
What is the most common misconception about your job?
That we don’t work. Haha! People associate ‘beach life‘ to ‘vacation‘. However, OUR JOB is actually to manage the program & prevent all hustles so that our girls can vacation without a single worry. Honestly, the retreat season is really intense. We have new groups every 2 weeks and we gotta give our best self all the time. It’s amazing, and it isn’t ‘stressful’ like most other the jobs. But it’s energetically very demanding.
Describe a typical day in the life of Erika when you are running the camps?
Every day is different because the program changes! But most of the mornings, the girls have an early surf lesson – which is my ”me” time. So I wake up, stretch, breathe, meditate, and go surf myself! The Salty Casa is located right in front of my favorite wave of the country. If it’s too small, I train or practice yoga. I come back in time to set up & welcome the girls for breakfast! During the day they typically have some free time, theoretical surf class + photo analysis, or other activities. I make sure everything is running smoothly, plan transportation, coordinate activities, accounting, and other admin tasks. Then I teach the sunset yoga session and the different empowerment workshops! We always do family dinner all together and share the days highlights & funniest moments.
Where do you run the camps and why?
El Salvador (Central America) and Ecuador (South America). We love those countries for the warm water, the uncrowded waves, as well as the incredibly friendly locals. We are also stoked to bring our girls to discover destinations that they perhaps they wouldn’t have visited by themselves!
Who is The Salty Souls girl, and what do you think are the top 3 things she is looking for in her holiday?
The Salty girl is a beginner surfer, who might have tried 1-2 times. With more or less success, and she is willing and ready to learn this incredible sport properly! We offer theoretical classes, and as well as private (1:1 ratio) courses in the water, and by the end of the 9 days, most of the girls are riding unbroken waves! The Salty girl is also looking to deepen her yoga practice, befriend other badass chicas, and get the opportunity to press pause, to find or refiner her goals, dreams and her intentions through empowerment workshops.
Why do you think women want to go to camps and be in a learning environment with only other women?
Because it feels safe, and there is nothing like hearing your girlfriends cheering for you to push you to go all-in!
What has been the biggest learning for you in your personal journey building a business?
If you want to go fast — go alone. If you want to go far — go together.
I’ve always been quite a lonely wolf. I like to do things by myself, and I’m not so good at delegating… I tend to think it just goes quicker when alone. Perhaps, it does. But building this business with a team that was 110% necessary to its success thought me that when everyone is all-in and committed, you go further in a pack. It isn’t that easy to find trustworthy partners & employees. Poor human relations is what breaks 90% of the businesses. Learning to communicate is incredibly important to stay on the same wavelength. So when I feel like running away, or quitting or escaping –when shit gets hard– I’ve learned to touch base and connect with my partners, so that we keep moving forward together, and not apart.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start a business?
#1 Start a business in something YOU ARE GOOD AT. I don’t care if it’s Lego pyramids, macrame, or travelling on a 8$ budget… But get into business in an area that you can do (mostly) by yourself, and/or an area where you can learn the majority of the required skills.
#2 You need to be determined to walk that extra mile. DRIVEN. PERSISTENT. CONSISTENT IN YOUR EFFORT & UNSTOPPABLE IN YOUR QUEST. How bad do you want to succeed? Is it an all-consuming feeling? Does it keep you up at night, that burning desire and overflow of ideas? YES ? Well, GOOD. It is that fire you’ll need!
#3 Just do it. Stop saying “one day”, or “I’d like to”. Define what’s the first action, who can help you, and what limits you. And start reaching out, researching and putting things in motion TODAY.
What’s a typical misconception that a girl would have about an all-female surf camp like Salty Souls?
A lot of the girls who come aren’t used to hanging out with other girls. So they are a little afraid that the environment is gonna be ”girlie” or “bitchy“. But guaaaall, it isn’t !!! All the girls are being drawn to the program with the same intention of letting their wild out! Every group has been legendary!
You have just launched an online business as part of Salty Souls, tell us about this?
Yes! We believe every person harvests a secret thirst to unleash their full potential. To live boldly. Not only when they go on vacation and ‘retreat’ but 365 days a year, wherever they are… The Salty Club is an online platform that offers:
SURF INSPIRED WORKOUTS Short, high-intensity, no equipment needed
GUIDED YOGA VIDEOS Complete practice – asana, pranayama, meditation
HEALTHY RECIPES + NUTRITION GUIDES Easy-to-follow, introducing super-ingredients
AUDIO INTERVIEWS + TAKE-AWAY EXERCISES Downloadable, so you can take it wherever you go
A COMMUNITY OF LIKEMINDED HUMANS.
The Salty Club is basically your at-home retreat :)
Do you have any quotes you live your life by or think of often?
Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.
What are your three can’t live without beauty, fashion or lifestyle items?
Realistically, my phone, computer & external hard drives !!!
My yoga mat. I don’t have a specific brand. But I carry this thing everywhere!!!
Surf bikinis: June Swimwear
Hair oil + spray by Sunbum
What are you positively vibing on at the moment?
CARVER skate! Feels like the best way to improve your surfing; understand the turns and weight transfer, plus it gives a great feeling of freedom. It’s really keeping me challenged right now :)
If you had $100 to spend to increase your happiness, what would you spend it on?
Soft cookies and wine, obviously!!!
Where can we find you?
Salty Souls Experiences are run in El Salvador and Equador, ranging from $2,290 – $2,490 USD at time of writing :-)