2016 was a year of change and adventure.
In April we launched our crowdfunding campaign. 121 people supported our project. Awesome people who believed in our idea or just believed in us. We couldn’t thank those people enough. With that baseline we went hunting for the Adventure Lab. We searched high and low. Wide and far. Eventually, we met Ron. We met with Ron a few times, and finally we shook hands on a deal. We brought the future Adventure Lab home and went to work. First we tore him apart. Seats came out, walls and parts of ceilings removed. The vinyl flooring scraped out tiny piece by tiny piece. We kept a running tally of days one of us bled during the build.
We had sketches of layouts and design concepts. They worked in theory. Sometimes they worked in real life. More often than not we were forced to adapt to the curve of a wall, a post or a hole. During the build out phase we had to push ourselves. We had to learn about plumbing, solar power and where did that hose from the engine go again? We had to make choices. What did we buy new vs recycle? What could we do on our own and what did we need help with? Do we really need a fridge?
In the end when push came to shove we decided it was better to learn, try, fail and try again than just pass the job along. That said, the Adventure Lab doesn’t become a reality without help and inspiration from some really important people. Steven Salcido helped with engine work. Jesse Ross became our welding guru. Bill Engel was a source of inspiration and support. Just knowing he was out there helped. Trina Woldt spent more hours than she should have on cushions, curtains and seat covers. Thank you to all who helped.
Our wives, Tatum and Trina, were constantly dragged aboard to give opinions and point out ways to make things better. Without their support this never happens. Without their perspectives and style the Adventure Lab isn’t such a cool place to be. Our efforts in One Wild Life are truly a reflection of the kind of community we have behind us.
One Wild Life went from a glimmer in spring to a gleam becoming reality in the fall. Our buildout took about six weeks. That first day out at Palisades Park was awesome. The Adventure Lab is a true mobile office space. Our vision that had started over coffee in that same park last October had come to fruition. We opened the doors, breathed in the Ocean air and looked out over Tourmaline. The work was just beginning!
Over the past few months we’ve been all over Southern California testing our concept. We’ve had Off-Site Meetings with local business, been open for CoWorking in Pacific Beach, Del Mar, Cardiff, and gone on adventures to Joshua Tree, traversing the Coast to Crest Trail and Palomar Mountain. We’ve been learning about the capabilities of the Adventure Lab and what our clients are looking for and how we can help them bring their working lives into the the outdoors.
We have always had a not so subtle mission to get people outside more often. Being in the Adventure Lab with the windows and doors wide open and the ocean or trail or mountain air drifting through feels like being outside. When that moment comes where you need to center all you need to do is look out, go for a hike or surf or ride. It’s all there one step away.
Recently, someone asked, “What problem is your business solving?” It’s one of those business questions that is easy to overlook. After taking some time to think about it Tim came up with an answer we think really represents what One Wild Life is about. Our working lives have forced us indoors. People have lost their connection to the natural world causing spikes in anxiety and depression. There is a sense of unhappiness caused by a lack of interaction with nature. One Wild Life is helping workers, companies and those who join us on our adventures to reestablish and nurture that connection.
By the time the holiday season rolled around we were out in the Adventure Lab offering tours and a donation-based workspace four days a week. Over the New Years we sat down and really tried to digest all we learned in 2016. We hashed out a path for 2017. It wasn’t always easy, and sometimes we didn’t agree. But in the end we have come up with a plan and process we’re proud of. In the next week, we will be announcing our grand opening, and presenting the results of our hard work determining how to pursue our business going forward. We’re excited you’ve decided to join us on this adventure, and can’t wait to spend some time outside with you.
Ryan Woldt & Tim Stempel
One Wild Life
“Caveman didn’t discover fire in a cubicle.” T.J. Koyen