Happy Launch Day March 26, 2015 07:00
I apologize in advance for the length of this post. As I launch the Wander website today, it felt important to reflect on how Wander got to this point.
So many people wake up each morning and wish they could spend the day doing something they love, instead of heading out to their "real" job. Until recently, I was one of those people. Now I'm embarking on the incredible adventure that is small business ownership. Wish me luck!
The idea for Wander came from a post I read on sfgirlbybay (love that blog!) in the Fall of 2014. The post profiled a mobile boutique in San Francisco. I had never heard of a mobile boutique but was quickly convinced it was awesome! Mobile boutiques have the ability to go where the customers are, pop-up at amazing events, and constantly try different things.
At the time I was admittedly restless at my "real" job, and had been thinking about what came next. I had always dreamed of opening a brick & mortar shop, but didn't have the cash (rent and store build-outs are $$$). I also wasn't completely convinced that the traditional brick & mortar business model was for me. I've spent the last three years working at a company that sells wholesale to independent retailers nationwide, and have seen close up, the challenges these retailers face, just to keep the doors open.
So I forwarded the blog post to my husband with a simple message that said "This is my next career move." At first I don't think he took it seriously, but after a few emails back and forth he was on board. As a side note, my husband is an accountant and somewhat serious. He also hates shopping. So once I convinced him it was a good idea for me to sell stuff out of the back of a used delivery truck, I felt like this was something that could totally work. (I also received a lot of truly amazing guidance from the ladies at the American Mobile Retail Association.)
The idea further evolved into selling only American made goods based on my experience with fabulous makers and artisans at both local markets and national trade shows. They were all so passionate about their products and I loved the stories behind the goods. I wanted the customers of Wander to be able to have that same connection with the makers and artisans.
And last but not least, I decided to add an e-commerce website that carries all of the products available on the truck. Massachusetts (where Wander is based) is a cold, snowy place. People don't want to shop outside in a blizzard, so the website will be open year-round and filled with all the same amazing, American made goods, plus the same level of personalized customer service that shoppers will find on the truck.
So take a look around the site--hopefully you'll discover a few things you love. And save the date for the first truck outing later this Spring (more details and truck photos coming soon). Once the truck takes the road new dates will be added to the calendar each week, so check back often!
Thanks for reading!