We’re inspired by Japanese attention to detail, design efficiency, and desire for excellence. Yama Co-Founder, Patrick, is a proud member of the Nishiyama family. As much as Nishiyama translates to West Mountain, what it stands for has become our North Star and even inspired the name of our company.
Yama is a premium custom Sprinter van upfitter. We build mobile basecamps for people who want to hit the open road and optimize their adventure from the moment it starts. We believe your means of travel should match your lifestyle and we’re here to help you explore further and for longer. We build using only the best materials, we practice sustainability at every turn, and we work with proven partners—all to make our customers’ wildest dreams real. If you, like us, know that the journey is the destination, Yama is where you should start yours.
Way back before “the great resignation” became a trending topic, we did some big re-evaluating of our own. After spending more than enough time working for other people in industries that didn’t align with our passions or provide us with purpose, we hit a wall. We knew we wanted something different and better suited to the lives we wanted to lead.
The same things that initially attracted us to each other led us to Yama. Having both grown up in Alberta, we share a love of adventure and the outdoors, so it was only a matter of time before we discovered van travel as our favourite form of travel. As people who rarely travel with a plan, the van gives us the ability to hit the road whenever it calls and let whatever path we’re on pave the way. We’re driven (pardon the pun) people who have no interest in half-measures or mediocrity, so when we started Yama, we set out to build an exceptional team and a best-in-class product, and we’ve done just that.
Growing up, we spent much time exploring the Canadian Rockies and Pat's childhood included tinkering in his grandpa's automotive shop, perfectly priming us for what would become both our journey and our destination: Yama Vans.
Every day is different at Yama Vans, which is just the way we like it. Many of our team members landed at Yama after doing some big-picture re-evaluating of their own. We attract people who just so happen to love living life outside the box, and outside in general—skiing, climbing, hiking, biking, fishing, and just getting lost. Basically, our team is passionate about making your dream van a reality at least in part because your goals likely overlap with some of their own.
From the mundane to the monumental, the Yama team approaches every aspect of their job with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Whether it’s words, actions, building materials, or sustainability practices, everything has an impact. Our team members consider every choice they make and try to make their impacts positive ones.
More isn’t more, especially when it comes to material things. Doing more with less minimizes waste and keeps our focus on what matters, leaving room for intentional decision-making.
Taken from the Japanese concepts of Shokunin and Kaizen, the Yama team pursues perfection (while realizing the impossibility of it) through continuous improvement (something that’s always possible).
Don’t take life too seriously, enjoy it. Find joy in every journey and a way to turn left turns into the right adventure.