“Very few people or companies can clearly articulate WHY they do WHAT they do. By WHY I mean your purpose, cause or belief – WHY does your company exist? WHY do you get out of bed every morning? And WHY should anyone care?” Simon Sinek
I was meeting with someone the other day discussing The Wordy Traveler and they asked me many questions, mostly having to do with Why? Why did you start? Why did you chose to focus on travel? Why do you source the items the way you do even though there are cheaper alternatives? Why are you different form the other million subscriptions on the market? Why would someone purchase your box when there are cheaper ones on the market? It made me think about why we are passionate about our subscription and why we started it the way we did.
So why did we start and why do we do the things we do? The idea first came when I was looking for a subscription box for myself that combined books and travel and I couldn’t find one. I started to brainstorm and think about why I love travel, why I purchase the products I do, and what are my values as a consumer?Then I started to think about how to combine the answers I gave to those questions and create a different kind of subscription. Not one that focuses on how much you can get for the price but how much we can use our resources to create change.
Think about all the different countries and places in the world that the travel industry is their number one employer and/or a high percentage of their revenue. Think about how the Dollar or any other high value monetary system translates into less valued systems. How even just a small amount to us can mean so much to the people and places we visit. We then realized how much the people and places we have visited gave us and maybe we could give a bit back in return. I remember surfing on a beach in South America, we had hired some locals as guides to help us for the day. We treated them with respect and kindness, took a genuine interest in them and tried to learn everything we could and of course we paid them a fair wage not trying to take advantage the exchange rate. While we were all taking a break one of the gentleman kept scouring the beach until he found two perfect sharks teeth that he gave to us. He was so happy that we were able to hire him as a guide that he looked for a way to give us something back. Of all the souvenirs we have from that trip those two teeth are the most precious to me. I could type for pages telling other stories of strangers going out of their way to give us a ride, opening up their homes and cooking for us, inviting us to their family celebrations. Every time we come home from a new adventure we come home with many new friends. These new friends never ask for anything they are just happy to show someone their amazing countries and cultures. This is why we decided that we needed to create a box not about savings but about giving.
The basis of our box is the curated travel literature. Each box strives to show different viewpoints from each country, to inspire travel and to break down barriers through personal connections. We appreciate feedback from our subscribers (fellow travelers) and we are looking to always feature the very best in travel literature.
Next is our tea. We work with a tea company in Ohio who takes an active role in sourcing their items. They visit the farms they purchase from and see the workers and their environment at these farms. Each tea is sourced from farms that pay their workers a living wage that allows them to take care of their families. There are many different ways to source products but we chose to focus on companies and farms that place a premium on standards instead of cost.
The art is designed to create a mental picture and be a visual inspiration of travel goals and to remind us of the impact we are making. Once again we pay a fair price for these prints. We do not ask artists to give us free items in return for press or exposure. We chose to value their gifts and talents.
Lastly and really the most important part is that each box gives back to various charities and organizations that are researched and certified to help the women and children of the countries and places we feature. When we started we focused on text books but realized that various regions had different needs. We looked at various charities and their rankings, how much actually went to those they help versus salaries and costs, what are their reputations in the regions they serve, and what charities make the most difference with the donations that come in. This for us has been the most exciting part of The Wordy Traveler.
We know The Wordy is an investment. But we want to truly say thank you for choosing to invest in helping others and the world. You are truly making a difference one book at a time. We are proud to be on this journey with you!