Today I get to spotlight an absolutely outstanding brand that you need to be familiar with (I am “familiar” with them in the sense of stalking every one of their blog posts and Instagram pictures): An Inspired Collective.
Honestly, this post I had planned to put up next week. And if you know anything about me, you know I love a plan and hate changing it for any reason (yes, I am working on this, because I realize it is an insanely annoying and unrealistic trait… but, for now, it’s still a major part of me). But, I just couldn’t wait any longer to share!
Of course, I already knew An Inspired Collective was a Favorite of mine when I reached out to them for a mini-interview. However, after I got to emailing and working with the entire team, I was absolutely floored by just how wonderful they all are!
Lauren and Mike started the brand and then Steve and Kursten have joined to create the entire team. I sent out a few questions and it was decided that each person would answer them. Then I would pick one person’s answer for each question. I did not take into account how difficult that would be–everyone had such phenomenal responses for every question! But, for the sake of saving this post from being 17 pages long, I managed to do it.
For anyone who may not know, could you explain what exactly An Inspired Collective is?
Kursten: At an Inspired Collective our mission is to reach out to as many people as possible and inspire them to GO… explore, ignite, appreciate, and preserve, because if not now, when? Life is too short to wait, and we hope and pray to spread the word that they do not need an infinite amount of money….time….nor experience to get out there and adventure. Follow that feeling, the goosebumps, the sensation that lives just outside of your skin + deep in your gut – that’s your GO! We live in possibility of changing this world through education, travel, community and adventure, even if it’s just one person at a time! We want to help people find their inner passion/purpose/adventurer. We hope people join us to adventure, explore and discover all these breathtaking God-made sceneries and landscapes we have all around us.
And what inspired–yes I’m using that cheesy word play– you two to start An Inspired Collective?
Lauren: Mike and I started An Inspired Collective when we were adventuring through Crater Lake, Oregon. We started talking about how there are so many inspiring and unbelievably beautiful places from the East the West coast that no one really knows about. Everyone gets their two weeks and immediately goes to their go-to spot. We wanted to expose our communities to different places, people and ideas that we were fortunate enough to come across and had a lasting impression on us.
Mike: For me, and I won’t speak for Lauren here, so much of it comes from how I have begun to feel, and how I see others feeling in our typical urban world. I have friends that don’t know how to start a gas grill, much less how to set up a camp and live for even a few days by what nature provides. People today struggle to fill their windshield washer fluid, much less clean a spark plug on a snowmobile in a remote area. I wanted to get back that feeling of adventure and exhilaration from growing up. (I grew up in a very remote part of the country, where “the outdoors” was an everyday part of being).
*Sidenote: These two are getting married this summer– adorable– and I love seeing Lauren respond to this question as “we” and Mike starting his answer by saying he won’t speak for Lauren… I feel like that is a perfect example of the dynamic in many relationships 🙂
Where is your favorite place to explore?
Mike: Right now it’s the west. I had never been to the west really until Lauren and I met. This year we’ve gone to Jackson Hole, Seattle, Widbey Island, Portland, Crater Lake, Vancouver, Porteau Cove and Whistler. The North American west is definitely my place right now.
Your work seems to be tied so closely to spending time outdoors (which is the absolute best kind of play!), any tips for how you balance work and play?
Steve: Make it happen. Any one of us can come up with a long list of reasons why we shouldn’t, or why we couldn’t…but instead of being flaky just commit to learning a few simple tips that will make your time enjoyable. It’s easier than most folks think. Part of rejuvenation for me involves stepping away from work, regardless of how much I have on my plate. I know a lot of people feel the same way with working out– and yes, it’s that kind of endorphin rush when you scale a mountain trail, or hook up with a monster trout!
Can you share with us any plans that are in the works for 2016 (I’ve definitely been keeping a close on that *shop* tab on your site)?
Steve: We hope to add many more dimensions to our collective, but I think we are all just blessed by one another and the uniqueness of it all, so we are allowing it to grow organically. More joint vacations, more deliberate articles, more productions, and yes…eventually the store!
What made you want to join the An Inspired Collective team?
Lauren: I joined an Inspired Collective because it was something that I had been dreaming of for years and it is truly needed in our communities and across the U.S. I was always waiting for a group of people that loved nature and I could build lasting friendships and memories with. I decided one day I was sick of waiting, so I was going to create it myself. And I have been so blessed to have Steve, Kursten and Mike that all felt the same calling too. People ask us why start something where we don’t know where the end will lead us? Our answer to them, is Why Not? You never know unless you put yourself out there, get vulnerable, and try to make a difference. We are ready to find our Inspired Collective. We know there are people just like us wanting more to their lives all over the country.
I think part of the reason why I love these guys so much is that they believe in the importance of getting outdoors to explore. And they actually act on it! They lead by example and truly seem happier for it.
Really, An Inspired Collective is an unbelievably cool group of people who just love the outdoors and have good hearts. What more can you ask for? Be sure to swing by their site and check out their amazing work. The blog posts are so fun to read and always have beautiful pictures to accompany them. I just cannot say enough wonderful stuff about An Inspired Collective and I am so excited to see what they have in the works for the future.
Thanks for reading,