Founded in 2001 as Onbelay Group, Onbelay Collective is a consulting group and think tank focused on catalyzing powerful ideas to build and support intelligent, relevant, robust and sustainable brands, businesses and organizations.
We assist in co-creating inspired and inspiring brand identities, working collaboratively with you and your teams to develop and cultivate the foundation necessary to support them.
Onbelay was launched from the outdoor enthusiast Mecca of Canmore, Alberta in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Founders Shabeer and Christina chose Canmore as their new home and outdoor playground after spending over 25 years combined working in management and communication roles for large corporations both in Canada and Asia. Living in the Rockies, with daily access to world-class rock climbing, brought about a realization that just as a climber relies on his or her partner for support, guidance and, ultimately, a lifeline while being belayed, so too do small and medium business owners need much the same: rock solid, secure, "I've got your back" support, direction and assistance. This inspiration, combined with the understanding that the small and medium size business market was grossly under-serviced by the consulting and coaching industry, catalyzed Onbelay into action.
Since its beginning, Onbelay has worked with a variety of clients within the food and beverage, farm-to-table, retail, fashion, garment, cosmetics, adventure tourism, hotel and other industries, assisting each in more clearly identifying and articulating their successes and opportunities, in determining their organizational vision and value, in better gauging next steps, and in co-developing, rolling out, training and guiding effective, integrated standards and operational systems.
Onbelay Collective is now based in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia.
Shabeer Ebrahim, co-founder & director
Shabeer is an award-winning retail specialist and organizational consultant with almost 30 years experience in assisting business leaders find and articulate their purpose and vision, while cultivating healthy human dynamics within their organizations. Recognizing that true long-term organizational change and operational excellence take place through authentic cultural and behavioural change, Shabeer assists businesses - through organizational consulting, one-on-one coaching and via group workshops - in identifying and finding the steps necessary for achieving their visions and goals.
Christina Smith-Ebrahim, co-founder & creative director
For 15 years, Christina has collaborated with clients in the development, adaptation and expansion of their businesses and brands to assist in making them more expressive and representative of their unique consumer audience. Bringing together key information to define each brand's culture, values and best practices, Christina galvanizes the unique intellectual capital of each to shape the big questions around further strengthening and differentiating these areas. With her passion for brand identity and design, intellectual property development and marketing communications, Christina thrives on creating elegant, intelligent strategies and solutions to help build and expand robust, sustainable businesses.
Ian Eastwood, qualitative market research analyst
Ian has over 30 yrs experience in market research covering a wide variety of consumer sectors including fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail, automotive, drinks (both alcoholic and non alcoholic), healthcare and entertainment. Formerly a director at The Consumer Connection (one of the UK's leading consumer market research companies), in 1990 Ian co-founded The Difference Engine, a successful three person qualitative research partnership. The majority of his clients have been well known 'blue chips' including Unilever, Budweiser, Universal Studios, Top Shop, BMW, L’Oréal, Pfizer and Danone.
Lois MacKenzie, consumer experience & 3D environmental designer
Lois has over 20 years of interdisciplinary experience in collaborative, creative teams across retail, branded environments, workspaces and personal spaces. These environments have enabled her to utilize her unique pairing of degrees in design and architecture. With the belief that 'everything begins with the consumer's experience', Lois engages with clients to understand their culture, brand and personality. This process has proven effective for the creation of unique spaces that tell a story through meticulous design and detail. Collaborating with builders and local crafts people, the spaces Lois produces are both beautiful and functional in design. loismackenzie.com
Cosmo Meens, chef, educator, creative contemporary healthy food & restaurant consultant
After getting his start at restaurants washing dishes at the ripe age of twelve, Cosmo has spent his adult years rising through the ranks of Victoria’s food scene while traveling the world studying food culture. Cosmo has translated his support for Vancouver Island’s farmers and producers and his passion for local, organic, raw and vegan foods and juices through launching beloved restaurants like Mo:Lé, The Hot & Cold Cafe and Cafe Bliss while mentoring at other Victoria hot spots like FreshCoast. Named executive chef at Sedona. Arizona's Raw Spirit Festival in 2008 (the largest raw food festival in the world), Cosmo was appointed team chef for the Canadian Triathlon Team, cooking for them at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In addition to his involvement in local projects, Cosmo currently teaches at Cook Culture and independently operates FoodCraft Consulting.
Comprised of a select team of diverse specialists, Onbelay Collective is a mix of top professionals, including market researchers, developers, coders and programmers, analysts, writers, fashion and interior designers, photographers, videographers and illustrators to provide additional support to our clients whenever the need arises.
In cases where projects extend beyond our in-house capabilities, we reach out to these talented individuals for work that requires specific expertise, identifying the most impactful solutions for your needs. This business model enables us to offer the very best expertise and services to clients, on a cost-effective basis.