February '18 Update
Like any startup that’s reached toddler maturity, we spend a lot of our time here at TC HQ discussing the various directions that this plucky nearly 3-year-old company can take. As the newest member of a now four-person team, it simultaneously fascinates and terrifies me that I’m part of discussions that concern, literally, the future of the company. From our morning 15 minuters to our weekly strategy sessions to our biweekly one-on-ones with Darryl, TC’s founder, we’re all constantly thinking and asking and brainstorming: what next?
TC was started back in August 2015 with one primary purpose: to create a convenient, easy-to-carry travel memento for people who, like us, love to travel and want to address some of the major social inequalities we’ve encountered while on the road. Since inception, TC has donated 20% of its profits to fund three projects, focusing on education and clean water, in different areas of Ethiopia. No matter what direction we take as a company, our desire to give back will always remain a cornerstone of everything we do at TC.
But in order to give more, we need to continue to grow. So the question remains: what, exactly, do we do now? Although our brainstorming sessions usually involve one of us uttering some variation of the phrase “I’ve got no idea if this will work, but…”, we’ve got a few exciting ideas in the pipeline that we’re really excited to share with you, The Collective. Keep reading for a sneak peek...and, as always, feedback is warmly welcomed!
- New merchandise: Our handmade clips and country rings are still our bread and butter, but the addition of shirts and necklaces in 2017 was an awesome first foray into expanding our online selection. With the help of the team over at Creative Boulevard, Graham has been working hard to source new merch, including crewnecks, hats, totes, and pins, so that you can wear and share your love for TC from head to toe.
- New packaging: Mailing our customers their orders in functional, eye-catching packaging has been a dream of Darryl’s for a while; in his words, “I’d love our packaging to reflect the style and quality of the product inside”. He and Graham have been working with Great Little Box Company here in Vancouver to design multipurpose boxes that can hold a clip or a necklace, as well smaller boxes for rings. You know what that means: our products will be more gift-able than ever! Graham has also been busy figuring out the fastest, cheapest, and most reliable way to ship orders to customers all over the world…but that’s another, more complex story (#shippingstruggles).
- wais: You may have noticed that our social media has recently featured a new kid on the block: wais, TC’s infant sister. wais is an offshoot of an earlier initiative called TC Top 5s that asked locals to recommend their five favourite locations in cities across the globe. Nowadays, Jess is spearheading wais’ effort to highlight the food and beverage aspect of Top 5s because we recognize that locals are a (largely untapped) wealth of information about amazing places to eat and drink on their home turf. Also, when we’re not talking about the company’s future, we are always talking about food. Check out wais’ website for insiders’ insights into food and drinks in 50+ cities (and stay tuned, because new cities are added each week!).
- Gifting Travel: This project has been on Darryl’s mind since launching TC, and its premise is very simple. He explains it best: “There are so many people out there that dream of seeing the world. The reality for myself and for most people I know is that if we tighten our belts and watch our spending, we have the opportunity to make that dream come true. But for so many others, the idea of being able to save enough money for a passport, plane ticket, hotel, and everything else that goes along with travel is simply unrealistic. Almost everyone wants to travel; the difference is that only some of us are able to do it. The goal of Gifting Travel is to fulfill a person’s travel dream; to say to someone, ‘Where in the world have you always wanted to go?’ and then provide them that experience. It will be something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
- The Collective: If you are reading this article, ta da—you have entered the home of The Collective! The Collective serves as a space where we can share our thoughts, ideas, questions, and feelings (not too many, we promise) with you. We are so incredibly grateful for the generous, supportive, and loyal collective that has sprung up around TC and we want to create a place where we can all interact and connect. You may see yourself or your friends on the site’s pages, and you’ll hopefully get to meet other awesome travelling types, too.
There you have it! February may be a short month, but it’s been productive and fulfilling for our team in Vancouver. Please get in touch with us in any and all ways (are carrier seagulls a thing?), and keep checking this page for more musings about travel, our products, food, Vancouver, our projects, food again, and more.