We are so excited to start a new series on the blog, introducing you to our incredible clients that we have the joy and privilege to work with! For August, we’re starting with Wayfaren, an online shop full of travel-related products! You can shop their online store here.
Tell us about what you do, and why you started Wayfaren!
Wayfaren started November 2012 out of love for travel and a creative outlet for my husband and I at the time. After living in Italy for a year and Luke backpacking throughout Europe, we caught the travel bug and a love for other cultures and never looked back. In 2012, after returning home from a summer in Spain, hundreds of beautiful pictures just sat idly on our computer. It seemed like such a shame for these beautiful images to just waste away behind a computer screen. Some friends who had an Etsy shop encouraged us to list the photos, hey it was just $.20 to list an item, essentially risk free! And that’s how it all began.
Now we never sold one of those photos, but we quickly saw a gap in the market for a really well-designed, timeless push pin travel map. We searched high and low for a beautiful Travel Map that could be at the center of your home, but all we found were cheap and sterile looking alternatives- so we made one ourselves! With the launch of our Push Pin Maps was when a hobby quickly turned into a full-time business.
Luke always had an affinity for woodworking, so quickly our two loves collided into the beautiful niche that is now Wayfaren. Today we sell handcrafted and Travel-inspired items, thoughtfully designed for the modern traveler- Push Pin Travel Maps, custom engraved keepsake boxes, and personalized travel journals.
Where did you get the name from?
We came up with the name Wayfaren on a 10hr road trip to Colorado- very fitting right?! A nod to Travel, but not too cheesy…timeless, but not boring…strong, but not intimidating- Wayfaren was a variation that popped out of “wayfarer” and as soon as we heard it we knew!
What is it like running a business with your husband and raising children?
Goodness, HARD. Wonderful, and hard. All the time I say I don’t want to do this for one more day…and I hope we do this forever. Running a family business is equal parts chaos and joy. Entrepreneurship and self-employment…especially when you throw in a marriage and two little ones 3 and under is not for the faint of heart, yet incredible rewarding.
It has taken YEARS to really find a balance, our right roles within the business, and sanity to be quite honest. Once we moved Wayfaren out of our home and to our first commercial space- that really set our family on a trajectory for balance. Every week it can still be a struggle, but we wouldn’t change it for anything.
Tell us all about your recent trip to Italy!
Can we go back? For years, we dreamed about getting back to Europe…but the kids? And could we afford it? Could we get away from the business for that long? This past Spring we said enough, life is too short, we have to stop dreaming about this trip and just do it!
So we booked the trip and took our two kids with us to Italy, a place that is so near and dear to our hearts. We spent a month in Rome and it was just about the best month of our lives. We were able to take it slow really soak up the country, live there like we were living there… which was the whole purpose. The trip served as a launching pad for our blog and brought so much inspiration for new products. We hope to work remotely for one month every year in a new location- our bucket list and we hope to make happen! Read here how we ended up making it happen and our family of four spent that month in Italy for $1k.
How did you get connected with Christi, and why do you feel it is important for small businesses to have a reliable accountant?
I was a part of a creative community in Dallas a few years ago, the Rising Tide Society, and when polling for great accountants in the area that specialize in small business, Christi‘s name came up over and over. As soon as I met her I knew I wanted to work with her! She took the time to meet with me personally, was so friendly and was so patient in walking me through some questions I had.
The first two years of Wayfaren we did our own accounting, as we have some accountants in the family, but as we grew once our annual taxes got more complicated we knew we needed to bring someone more knowledgeable in. Christi and her team have been such a great guidance and lead as we navigate the logistics behind the business from year to year.
What’s next for Wayfaren?
A lot! We’re in process of expanding our offerings on the woodworking side of the business- custom furniture, corporate clients, and more travel inspired products. As well, we hope to develop the blog facet of our business and continuing to adventure as a family and provide people practical ideas and inspiration for travel.
What we are most excited about though is launching our woodworking classes. It was shocking to us the incredibly limited options in the DFW area, and with Luke’s background in teaching this is always something that was a part of our vision. We hope to launch these by Fall of 2019, for project based, high quality classes in the Dallas area.