This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Luke and Abby Hatteberg of the beautiful up-and-coming brand Wayfaren. We had the pleasure of meeting this husband and wife team via their membership in our Wholesale Matchmaker program, and have completely fallen in love with the beautiful aesthetics of their product line. We’re thrilled to go behind-the-scenes with them today to learn a bit more about how they tick. Welcome, Luke and Abby!
LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as entrepreneurs?
Luke + Abby: We feel pretty lucky, because it seems that entrepreneurship found us. Wayfaren started as a creative outlet spurred on by our love for travel. Slowly over the next four years, the business kept growing and expanding more than we had ever anticipated. So thankfully the “leap” wasn’t too scary, each move seemed like the next practical step in our journey. The dream of what Wayfaren could become compelled us to eventually take the dive into self-employment. Also, knowing we would have the opportunity to hopefully raise a family around the creativity, strength, and independence of the entrepreneur world was very appealing.
LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?
Luke + Abby: A niche business specializing in high quality, travel-inspired goods, meant to inspire a life of adventure.
LBC: Where can we find your products?
Luke + Abby: Currently on our website www.wayfaren.com, as well as Etsy. We are excited to recently be entering into the world of wholesale! So hopefully, you will find our products in retailers across the world soon!
LBC: How would you describe what you create?
Luke + Abby: Our products are handcrafted and travel-inspired. Our collections are thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted for the modern traveler, for reminiscing on your greatest adventures and dreaming up new ones everyday.
LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.
Luke + Abby: Most days are a wild mess of crafting products and order fulfillment, meetings, new project development, and taking care of our customers. Add a heaping dose of coffee and our baby girl spreading a bit of joyful chaos into all aspects of the business, and that sums up a good amount of our typical work days.
LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?
Luke + Abby: Do you see purpose in your pursuit? Do you have the commitment to see the business through in moments you will want to quit? Are you ok with flying by the seat of your pants…usually on a daily basis?
LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?
Luke + Abby: Gratitude. When the overwhelm comes – and it does come in strong waves often when you run your own business – we try our best to get perspective. We take a step back and look at how unbelievably rare this gift is- to have built a successful business in four years, be able to support our family with that business, have the opportunity to provide for a few employees, make our own schedule, be our own boss, help inspire people to invest in the experiences that matter…only by grace, gratitude changes everything.
LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.
Luke + Abby: 1. For us, choosing to make conservative, debt-free investments has brought a lot of freedom and confidence. Although we know it won’t always be the case, only making investments we have the cash for has been a game changer for the financial stability of our business. Although it meant we probably grew more slowly than maybe we “should” have, we have no regrets.
2. Rebranding about 2 years into our journey was invaluable. We changed our name, logo, refined our aesthetic, and made the business much more viable long term.
3.Not giving up even in the most heart-wrenching, exhausting, “I can’t do this anymore” moments.
LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?
Abby: I think our biggest obstacle was thinking that we had to do everything ourselves, in combination with thoroughly underestimating the power and joy of strategically collaborating with other artists. In the beginning we tried to DIY everything, which was both isolating, extremely cumbersome, and pretty discouraging at times. Once we began to let go of having to do everything ourselves and began allowing in other brilliant and beautiful creatives who were truly gifted at different aspects of business (i.e., graphic design, brand development, etc.) we were able to focus on the things that we truly loved doing and the things only we could do.
LBC: Is there a cause or organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?
Luke + Abby: There is! We feel very passionately about the fact that only by grace have we been gifted this business, so in grace we MUST give back to others. In 2015, we began partnering with The Her Initiative, an organization bringing clean water and health & hygiene curriculum to communities in need around the world. We have decided to give 10% of our net revenue to The Her Initiative and we are grateful to partner with such a life-saving, life-impacting mission.
LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?
Luke + Abby: Can we say “our team” three times? Really though, our team is the lifeblood of our operation, the resource we truly cannot do without. Although it’s meant that we make less money, we have always erred on the side of not hesitating to bring others into this team. They’ve brought different perspectives and talent, much needed support, and most of all, fun!
LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?
Luke + Abby: In a few years we hope to be known as the source for high quality, travel-inspired goods. We hope to have significantly developed our travel journal and prints lines through our wholesale program, launch a collection of culturally influenced housewares and furniture, and grown our partnership with The Her Initiative. Dreaming big, we’d love to have a brick and mortar storefront to sell our products and support other small businesses, and even host some local woodworking courses.
LBC: Which Lucky Break products products or services have you found most helpful?
Luke + Abby: We first discovered Lucky Break Consulting through Periscope and have forever been changed! Lela’s wisdom and business insight from the scopes alone have been invaluable…pure gold. As soon as she introduced Wholesale Matchmaker, I knew it was exactly what we needed. Having very little knowledge and experience with wholesale, this program was the perfect solution to help us bridge this beginning stage. So much stress and anxiety has been relieved with this program!
LBC: What’s one thing you would eat, if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life?
Abby: He says sushi, I say coffee.
LBC: Your musical playlist is full of…
Luke + Abby: Currently, Seryn. If you don’t know them, you should.
LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.
Luke + Abby: Playing hooky with our baby girl on spontaneous coffee dates and picnics.
LBC: If you could hire someone to do just one thing that you sort of loath doing, what would it be?
Luke + Abby: P A C K A G I N G
LBC: What’s your favorite quote and who said it?
Luke + Abby: Our business mantra- “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Mary Ritter Beard
LBC: If you were given a million dollars, but were not allowed to keep a single penny for yourself, friends or family, how would you spend it or give it away?
Luke + Abby: Anonymously gift it to local families in need- nothing better than secret giving!
Thank you, Luke and Abby, for sharing your talent with us! We absolutely love what you’re doing with Wayfaren, and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for you and your company. We’re cheering you on!
Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT luckybreakconsulting.com. Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!