We left Boulder, Colorado at the end of April 2007 and took a year off to travel the world with our 2 kids on a tight budget, and simply Live. When I say on a tight budget I really mean it. We simply gave everything we had away and just took off – Robert and I, a few thousand dollars, 2 backpacks and 2 kids. We wanted to experience Freedom Together! We were adamant about finding out how to combine both work and pleasure and to really try to live the dream of traveling while working simultaneously. We knew that this baby wrap idea of ours wouldn’t go away and had huge potential. Yet, starting a business from scratch while traveling the world was something we would need to put some effort into. We felt that we were up to it.
I had the idea and Robert made it all happen. He has never worked for anybody and has always found his way himself – a born entrepreneur. We met while I was working as an English teacher in Eastern Europe. He happened to be cycling through the town of Kosice, Slovakia en route from Slovenia to explore some neighboring countries. For a meeting of chance and at first not even speaking a common language, we were determined to figure out a way to make things work. We complement each other in a wonderful way. Although we have that same enthusiasm toward life and all that is possible, he is a bigger risk taker than I am, really knows how to organize, and how to get things done. Business comes naturally to him. We started our life together in Slovenia and then moved to Boulder, CO almost seven years ago. America is an ideal place for souls like his as there isn’t so much red tape when it comes to testing out different ventures.
We spent the summer of 2007 in Ireland and the Balkans, a month in Egypt, and most of our time in the desert of Rajasthan and the tropics of Karnataka in south India. We sold our first wrap when we were in wine country, rural Slovenia. I still clearly remember that moment. We had just gotten our website up and running that day with a help of Brad, our programmer in America. We knew we had a great product, but it was still so surreal that some mother that we didn’t even know came to our website, liked what we had to offer, and actually purchased a Boba Baby Wrap.
We left Europe when the business started to roll (a.k.a. after we sold two baby carriers :) We stayed up late nights and answered customer service emails from rooftops in Cairo, Alexandria, Varanasi, and Ahmadabad. We worked on trains, from hammocks, in adobe huts, and under mosquito nets. We wrote emails on the shores of the Adriatic, Arabian, Red and the Mediterranean seas. The vivid image of my two kids on an overcrowded Indian train, taking a 48 hour non-stop trip down south with 20+ Indian men encircling us and peering over our shoulders while we typed customer service emails will stay with me forever. Even in places with no running water, we were connected through wireless mobile internet. Wherever we were, on whichever continent, we could turn on our laptop and connect to the rest of the world.
Starting the business was a lot of work but we did it all while we were on the road. In the beginning it was just the two of us and an outsourced fulfillment house based in Michigan. Sometimes I look back and try to figure out how we ever did it all alone from the other side of the world. Oh how we have grown in the last five years. Now we have an incredible team that makes it all happen. We have a distribution manager, marketing professional, customer service on hand, a shipping/receiving crew, a PR professional, an art director, a media designer, social media team, a photographer, and our own computer programmers. I don’t have to “work”, per se, but do include myself in design and different projects as desired. I still love and enjoy getting out there and showing the new mamas in town how to tie their wraps and use baby carriers. Robert still goes to our company office every day and works, but essentially, the business runs itself. What fun we’ve had building this business and watching it grow and knowing that there are now hundred thousands of parents around the world using and loving our baby carriers . Challenge is great. It makes us really enjoy what we do.