March '19 Update
For anyone who has been following TC and reading our Monthly Updates since last March…well, first of all, THANK YOU! You are undoubtedly a wonderful person and we’re so lucky to be sharing our adventures with you :).
Second, you’ll remember that March is a very exciting month here at TC because we participate in a little event called March Madness. That’s right, the Madness has struck Team TC once again and we’re all fully engrossed in the NCAA Division 1 men’s college basketball tournament taking place in America right now. Okay, I’m exaggerating when I say that we’re ALL fully engrossed. There are definitely a few of us who have been rabidly following every game but there are also folks here who lost interest in the tournament the minute their brackets busted and their dreams of a free lunch went up in smoke. However, as the person in the office who is currently in first place well, let’s just say, my focus is more than a little divided. Goooooo Virginia!
Alas, I digress! It is a lovely day in Vancouver and the office doors are wideeeee open. The daffodils have bloomed, the cherry blossoms are in fine form, and the first quarter of 2019 is behind us. I’d like to pretend that I don’t know that it’s due to rain for the rest of the week but it’s Vancouver, after all, so we’ll celebrate the sun when we see it!
March was an exciting month here at Traveller Collective. We launched products and sent two employees on Gifting Travel and also made a few changes internally to prepare for the rest of the year. Read on below for all of the details and feel free to get in touch with me with any questions or for step-by-step instructions on how to set up your office’s very own March Madness pool in 2020. You know you want to!
1. GT 002 underway!: After some last-minute personnel shuffling on our end, TC team members Stew and Graham headed off on March 25 to pick up Sara and her mother Maria (Maribel) from their homes in Nicaragua. After a few action-packed days in Madrid, Spain, where they took in churches, the theatre, and a Real Madrid soccer game, the foursome is now in Seville, Spain, where there are no shortages of beautiful streets to walk and tapas to eat!
Of course, as with GT 001 (Fatima and Ayat in Turkey), there were some unforeseen twists and turns that kept the travellers and our founder Darryl on their toes before the trip even started. For example, when we learned that travellers from Nicaragua need visas to catch connecting flights in the US, Darryl was required to do more last minute shuffling to ensure the group would make it into Spain. Rebooking the flights to go through Mexico City instead of the US was a last minute (and costly!) move but, as with most travel-related decisions, it was completely worth it. It’s crazy to think the trip is wrapping up soon but we’ve been loving following the group’s daily adventures and hope you have, too!
Which reminds me: our Instagram is always the best place to stay up to date on all things Gifting Travel. Graham and Stew have shared some awesome looking Airbnbs and some equally impressive dance moves there and I promise that we’re only a tiny bit jealous of all of the fun they’ve been having. Do you have questions about Gifting Travel? It’s one of our favourite things to talk about so shoot us a message via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on social and let’s chat!
2. Continent Rings live: After ordering a bunch of ring samples and testing various sizes, colours, and types, we are VERY excited to finally have Continent Rings live on our site. The loyal supporters that make up our Collective have been clamouring for Continent Rings for a while now and we’re thrilled to deliver at last!
Continent Rings are made of gold-plated sterling silver and are .4cm bigger than our regular Rings; they’re the perfect addition to existing collections because both the size and colour allow you to organize your Country Rings within each Continent. There are seven Continent Rings in total so why not try and collect them all?!
3. Designated Fulfillment team: As I’ve noted in Updates past, order fulfillment—the side of the business that completes customer support, stockpiles inventory, and builds orders—has always been a team activity at Traveller Collective. No matter the size of our team, we’ve all jumped in to build orders and write messages to our customers around the world. As is the case in many young, small companies, everyone on Team TC wears multiple hats and completes a wide variety of tasks. As we grow, though, it’s made more and more sense that specific team members take full ownership of fulfillment, the backbone of everything we do here at TC.
As such, some of our team have remained fully entrenched in fulfillment while some of us have taken a step back from daily order building. We believe that splitting our 11-person team this way and formally recognizing the Fulfillment team’s ownership of this aspect of the company will lead to better, tighter systems and more efficient processes…which means shorter lead times on orders, better customer service, and continued product development! While we love the idea of all hands on deck, there’s also something to be said for too many cooks. So, as we continue to restock and prepare for the rest of the year, including (gulp!) the 2019 holiday season, you can expect lovely handwritten postcards from our Fulfillment team—Matt, Erin, Rebecca, Beth, and Jas—every time you order. That said, all of us enjoy the hands-on aspect of the company so much that there are sure to be some guest appearances from yours truly and others throughout the year!
4. Film set for a day: At the end of February we had the unique experience of turning HQ into a film set and shooting a TC commercial here in the office! The commercial marks the first of a number of creative film projects we hope to complete this year, in addition to a video chronicling GT 002, of course . With Stew leading the charge and procuring a director of photography, a film crew, an actress, and all of the supplies (not to mention writing, directing, and acting in the project!), we had a super exciting day of filming in the office. I, for one, have almost no experience on sets so it was an especially cool experience to see the different roles the crew play and to watch Stew produce and direct using the skills he honed on a little show called Game of Thrones (easily my favourite fun fact about Stew!). Getting to laugh and cheer when Team TC members Veronica and Graham made guest appearances also made for a very entertaining afternoon—check out our commercial here and see if you can spot them!
And don’t forget to stay tuned for more video content from the team here at TC. We’ve got some fun things planned and we’ll be sharing it all with you, Collective!
That’s all for this month. As always, get in touch in any way that strikes ya. Have a fantastic April!