Hey, how’s it going? It’s been quite a humbling year for us, and we want to sit down to share a look back on the year. Mind joining?
We don’t have a success story like the ones you read on Elite Daily (thank goodness). We didn’t have six-figure jobs, no life changing revelations, or walked away from a bright career to live a more meaningful life. No. We’re just two recent college graduates with entry level jobs who loved every chance we got to live in the outdoors. Tinycaravan grew from an idea that we wanted to make a reality. A reality that we’re still chasing, but showing no signs of slowing down. Before we get too ahead of ourselves, we want to talk about its beginning. Here’s a recap of our first 8 months and our 2016 year.
Why did we decide to start Tinycaravan?
Jennifer: I am in love with the outdoors. It’s my favorite thing in the world. The animals, the people, the mountains, the trees, the coast — they make me so happy. I don’t want to live in a world where this doesn’t exist, and I don’t want anyone else to either.
Vivian: Tinycaravan embodies both our love for the outdoors and sustainability. It’s our way of merging those two interests together and educating the public about them. We’re all about making a positive impact in this world and this is our way of doing just that.
Why was it just us two?
J: A big part of it was being in the same stage of life at the same time. We both just graduated from college and both worked a mediocre 9-to-5 job. Like most people, we want to save the world or do something amazing with their lives. But while we don’t expect to be the next Al Gore, we both genuinely wanted to be a part of the difference. Our work ethic and working relationship naturally fell into place. It was a lucky piece of chance.
V: Though different in many ways, we have similar values and understanding of each other’s traits and personality. We’re not afraid to speak our minds, we listen to one another, and we play off each other’s strengths. But most importantly, we understand that our friendship always comes first before the business. There’s not a meetup that goes by where we don’t laugh, smile, or be silly.
What’s the importance of sustainability?
J: There’s a poem I love by Conor Oberst. It goes like this, “If the world could remain within a frame like a picture on a wall, I think we’d see the beauty then and stand staring in awe.” For me, sustainability is that frame. If we could make that frame big enough, maybe people will finally be able to see the art within it.
V: Think about it, everything we do is interconnected with the environment. We love experiencing the beauty of Mother Nature, and utilizing her resources. It is our duty as inhabitants to protect and preserve her finite resources. To better our future, it’s up to us to make the change. Let’s use our power for good.
What were the struggles we encountered?
J: There were always questions after every article was published, “Is this interesting enough? Can we really change people’s lifestyles/mindset? Will they care?” I wanted so bad for people to relate that I lost sight of why the article was important. Now we curate articles that we actually take interest in and want to learn more about. It’s made a huge difference in engagement. But you know, it’ll always be a constant struggle and we have a long way to go.
V: To be honest, I was way in over my head when we started Tinycaravan. I completely underestimated the time and effort it took to keep a blog consistently running. From the minute details (e.g. social media captions, tone, wording) to the bigger elements (e.g. blog topics, blog writing, photos), I was quite overwhelmed. But what’s great about doing something you enjoy, is that you’re always reminded about why you started it in the first place. Once we got a routine going and understood our goals, it made every struggle worthwhile.
What have we learned so far since starting Tinycaravan?
J: Time management isn’t just a skill useful in college (go figure!). But no matter how much time you have, always save a good amount for your friends and family. They will keep you grounded. Oh, and not having a contract is a pain in the butt!
V: Self-motivation and accountability. Working on Tinycaravan has challenged me to live up to those two loaded words. We all have those days when we don’t feel like working. But that’s no excuse to miss a deadline or not put your best foot forward. I always keep in mind that Tinycaravan will only succeed if both Jennifer and I are fully committed and in it together.
One thing we want people to get out of Tinycaravan?
J: My hope is to get people to engage more. I want Tinycaravan to be the conversation starter for sustainability. Sure, it is a large topic now, but I don’t think we talk about it enough in our everyday lives. How does it affect what we eat? Why is the grass not greener on my side? We can’t afford to wait until it’s too late to do something about it.
V: Through Tinycaravan, I want people to understand the importance of sustainability. I want them to question the status quo and be aware of their natural surroundings. I would love to see them change and shift into a more sustainable lifestyle. Just one change in our daily habits can leave the world a better place.
What is the most rewarding part of Tinycaravan? What keeps each of us going?
J: Vivian and I always talked about our dream job and the companies we longed to work for — it’s exciting to know we don’t have to wait around for the opportunity, we can create them ourselves. To be able to do something I love and work for something I care deeply about is so rewarding.
V: We each have a voice, and what we do with that is up to us. For me, it’s being able to share important environmental issues with the world. I want to educate people and bring light to topics that need more attention. Also, working with one of my closest friends isn’t too shabby either.
What’s in store for 2017?
J: We have quite a few projects in the works that I don’t want to spoil just yet (you’ll just have to wait and see!). I’m really excited to work with more amazing people next year.
V: LOTS! We’ll be fine tuning the nooks and crooks of Tinycaravan, along with starting new projects and collaborations (how exciting!). Keep an eye out for some goodies in the future (wink).
Our final comments?
J: Is this where we get to make our Nobel Peace Acceptance Speech? (har har). All jokes aside, thank you thank you thank you to all those who support Tinycaravan — for continuing to keep an open mind, to want to learn, and for all the love we’ve received so far. Every time we get an encouraging message, we jump for joy like little toddlers who’s had more than enough soda to drink. Ya’ll keep us afloat.
V: I am so excited for you to see what’s in store for Tinycaravan. But more importantly, I am truly truly thankful for all of our followers. Whether you’ve supported us from the very beginning or now, we appreciate every single one of you. Jennifer isn’t exaggerating when she said “we jump for joy like little toddlers” (we really do). I love you, we love you, and Mother Nature loves you. Hugs all around! Let’s live a sustainable life together.
Jennifer and Vivian
P.S Thank you to Pinkberry in Monrovia for being so kind as to let us set up an impromptu photo shoot in their shop.