Running your own business is no easy feat. It takes a healthy dose of passion, discipline, and commitment. Ever wondered what a day in the life of a small business owner and founder is like? We’re here to give you a glimpse!
Today we’re sitting down with Vanessa Jeswani, Co-Founder of Nomad Lane. Vanessa and her husband Kish Vasnani love to travel and they created Nomad Lane because they wanted to create the travel bags that they personally wished they could take on their adventures.
Their latest campaign is for the Origami Tote Pack, a bag that can be transformed into a tote bag, backpack, crossbody, or carry-on. It eliminates the dreaded “black hole” problem that so many of us have with our bags: an item goes in, but it’s very hard to find it and get it back out again, particularly when you’re crunched for time. The Origami Tote Pack is a versatile bag that will keep you organized on the go.
The Origami Tote Pack is Nomad Lane’s second Indiegogo campaign. Their first campaign was for the Bento Bag and it is still in InDemand. You can still support the Bento Bag here, and you can also read about how Nomad Lane ran their first campaign by reading their case study. And if want more, you can also watch a Virtual hangout with the power couple behind the campaign:
Read on to learn about what a day in the life is like for Vanessa as she runs a crowdfunding campaign and stay tuned for an exclusive Q+A.
5:45 A.M I never used to be a morning person but that’s changed quite a bit since I gave birth to a baby boy a month ago. I do a quick check of my emails and archive everything that’s not important. I used to read a lot of email newsletters and trend articles but now I just have to be laser focused. I type out the most important things I need to get done that day on Clear, my to-do list app.
6:00 A.M My husband, Kish, is mostly on night duty while I handle the mornings. I feed and change our baby, Enzo, while trying to eat a granola bar as fast as possible.
7 A.M. I try to get our newborn down for a nap within an hour; otherwise he gets overtired and cranky. Once he’s down, I rush out to try to make the most of nap time. It feels like a game to see how many things I can check off before Enzo wakes up.
7:30 A.M. Pump, clean some baby bottles, and take a quick shower. I miss the luxury of taking long showers. I’m always scared Enzo is going to wake up as soon as I get in so I’m very mindful of the clock now!
9 A.M Respond back to urgent emails. I mostly handle our marketing and digital efforts so the majority of the time I’m reviewing social media calendars, images from a photoshoot, or creative content from partners. Sometimes when I have an idea for a GIF or fast motion video, I like to shoot and edit it myself since it’s really fun to be a part of the creative process.
10 A.M Enzo is back up again so we’re doing our feed/play/change diaper/nap routine.
11:30 A.M I need some coffee by this point and a second breakfast or early lunch.
12:30 P.M We have a Zoom call with our video production crew to finalize some creative assets. Of course, Enzo decides to wake up early so run and grab him while we finish up the call. Kish and I usually tag team on work and baby duties so that we both get some time to work and hang out with Enzo.
2:00 P.M Do a load of laundry. I don’t understand how little ones have so much to wash everyday.
2:30 PM Tackle some admin things on my phone while snuggling with Enzo. I’ve installed Google Docs and Sheets on my phone so it’s easier to quickly edit files while on the go.
5:30 P.M All three of us go for a walk around the neighborhood. We need the fresh air after a day of being cooped up! We live in an area of Miami that’s by the water so we get picturesque views but still enjoy the feel of a downtown city.
7:00 P.M Change and feed Enzo and then put him to bed.
7:30 P.M Starving! Quickly cook dinner & sit down to eat. Kish and I get to catch up on the day. Our personal and work lives are so intertwined. We’re constantly discussing ideas for Nomad Lane at all hours of the day. We love that we get to bounce between work, family, and travel.
8:30 P.M Finish items on the to-do list for the day and take care of random chores around the house like doing dishes, folding laundry, etc.
10:00 P.M I need to wind down otherwise it can be tough to fall asleep. I either read a book or watch a TV show. Reality TV is my guilty pleasure!
11:00 P.M Bedtime. We glorify entrepreneurs and startup founders for working an inordinate amount of hours. However, I’m a firm believer that rest is equally important. In order to be really successful, you need down time to think, imagine, and create.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse of what Vanessa’s day is like, get more inspiration in our exclusive Q&A with her below!
INDIEGOGO: How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself?
VANESSA: I grew up in an entrepreneurial family in the Philippines, but I wasn’t sure if it was the right path for me. I had always wanted to work for corporate brands with global impact. I spent the first seven years of my career working at advertising agencies on Fortune 100 companies. Following that, I did a short stint at a leading cosmetics company working on digital marketing strategies. I quickly realized that I yearned for a greater sense of ownership and wanted a flexible schedule.
INDIEGOGO: What makes your Indiegogo project unique?
VANESSA: Nomad Lane started from our personal love for travel. Kish and I have lived on several continents and have visited over 40 countries. Throughout our travels, we were constantly looking for multi-functional products that still looked stylish without breaking the bank. We could never find what we were looking for so we decided to craft our own products.
The Origami Tote Pack was born out of personal need. When I was working in NYC, I would have to lug around all my necessities from the office to client meetings to happy hour or a workout class. My tote bag was heavy and so uncomfortable to carry since I’d have my laptop, an extra pair of shoes, a notebook, chargers, etc. The worst part was it was a total blackhole in there. I could never find my things when I needed them. I couldn’t easily get out my phone when it was ringing or find my Metrocard as I got on the subway or grab my passport at the airport. I started making a list of all the things I wished for in a bag. The Origami Tote Pack is the culmination of 5 years of dreaming, designing, and crafting.
INDIEGOGO: What’s your biggest piece of advice for women who want to start their own business?
VANESSA: My biggest piece of advice is to seek out a like-minded community of people. When you start something new, you need all the support you can get. I also think you need to make sure to take care of your mental health. It can be easy to get caught in a spiral of working 24/7 but you need to focus on self care and personal development as well.
INDIEGOGO: What tools (gadgets, apps, books, podcasts) would you recommend to anyone starting their own business, crowdfunding campaign, or project?
VANESSA: We listened to a lot of podcasts as we were starting our business and found them incredibly helpful! Here are a few of my favorites: How I Built This, Active Ingredient, Shopify Masters, Crowdfunding Demystified, The Art of the Kickstart.
In terms of apps/tools, I love the following: Photo Editing & Video Creation: InShot, Video Crop, Lightroom, GIF Maker, Productivity: Dropbox, Clear, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Airtable.
My favorite business books are Shoe Dog by Phil Knight and Start with Why by Simon Sinek
INDIEGOGO: What’s your favorite Indiegogo campaign, or a travel campaign you’ve recently supported?
VANESSA: I’m a little biased but I’d have to say ours of course! The attention we received on our first campaign was so unexpected. I’m so proud we hit it out of the park with all the effort we put in ourselves.
Besides that, the first campaign I ever backed was for Humans of New York. After living in NYC for 10 years, HONY has a special place in my heart.