A U R A A M B I T I O N : EPICQUEST
As we juggle several careers, nurture our relationships and find our way through each hour, day and week, we realize more and more why Aura Avenue’s purpose is to share with the rest of the world so that we may help motivate, guide and inspire others through this joyful yet busy lifestyle of an entrepreneur. As of recent, we decided to give opportunity to add to our #AuraTribe with a guest editors to keep this movement alive and to grow in the right direction. We were overwhelmed by the amount of women who came forward wanting to contribute to our mission and Bridget Pattee was one we couldn’t resist.
Entrepreneur, adventure junkie and above all wife and mother, Bridget gives a new perspective to our girl gang with an undying passion for travel, female empowerment and raising two amazing kids. We’ve decided to showcase her (and her husband’s) business EpicQuest as a perfect way to introduce her to the Aura family!
AURA: Give us some background on who you are, what your brand is and when/why you made the decision to become an entrepreneur.
My husband and I started EpicQuest almost 10years ago. Our desire to search for unique destinations that provided epic experiences drove us to start the company. We seek out like-minded people around the world who want to make travel more than just a stamp in a passport. We want EpicQuest adventures to be so great that the client asks “where next?” at the end of the trip.
AURA: Where does the EpicQuest name origin from?
When we’d have an amazing day we would describe it as “epic.” It was the only word that seemed to explain the feeling. So when we thought of what name could encompass our vision of bucket-list trips that are so great that the word epic could describe it we decided EpicQuest summed up the company. We are in search of unique destinations that we can customize memorable adventures for people that leave them wanting to seek out more days like the ones they just experienced.
AURA: Tell us how you find inspiration for your creativity and if your surroundings play a part in that.
Nature is the best source of creativity and inspiration. It clears our minds and refreshes us. We need to play outside everyday in some fashion. And through the activity outside we end up brainstorming other destinations we want to explore.
AURA: When it comes to emerging brands, audiences only tend to see the glamorous side of doing business. Which is great, but in reality, it’s only about 2 percent of what the work actually looks like. Tell us about a normal day operating as EpicQuest.
There are few days that are similar. Typically, I spend most of my time writing up proposals for groups or new clients considering a trip and also what seems to be endlessly editing spreadsheets. There is a lot of paperwork behind the scenes and running down numbers. At the end of the day, it’s all about making the client happy but also balancing the numbers.
AURA: How has social media affected EpicQuest and where do you see its importance taking a role in the development of your brand through the next years of business?
Social media is critical to any business today. Luckily, we offer trips that are instagram-worthy in their own right. Sometimes our posts can depict a moment in time that shows the beauty of the location or the unique situations we find ourselves in. But they can also cause someone to decide to contact us to find out how they can go there, too. We use Instagram or Facebook to make sure we show the experience so people can envision themselves on a trip. EpicQuest plans to grow with the world of social media and continue to employ it as a tool to draw in new adventurers.
AURA: Who is your favorite social influencer? Why?
It’s hard to say who my favorite social influencer is because it can vary by the day. I find myself drawn to those that have a positive message either in the photo or in the wording they choose. Some that do this well (obviously auraavenue!) are matadornetwork with their amazing destination photos; jacksonholetraveler makes me proud to live in Jackson Hole by highlighting the unique things in the town; boranaconservancy reminds me of the beauty and magic of Kenya; Lynsey Dyer shows women can be beautiful, adventurous and athletic; while Reggie Crist is a good example of how to be an outstanding athlete and parent who loves the outdoors.
AURA: Outside of online influence, what hurdles have you overcome and what do you foresee in the future that may challenge your brand?
The main challenge we face, like all businesses, is the health of the economy. Our trips are not cheap but they are worth every penny. But when the budgets get tight it’s hard to splurge on bucket-list kind of trips. Our challenges are getting groups and families to spend hard-earned money in a tough economy and willing to take that bucket-list trip.
AURA: How do you stay organized within your business as well as your personal daily routine?
Balance is hard for everyone. I try to plan out my week ahead because I am on the road a lot. The more I can get ahead the better so when life throws curveballs, as it often does, I am able to take it on. There are always things that can mess up a perfect plan but being able to roll with it is key.
AURA: What are your favorite phone apps?
We are all much more dependent on our phones than ever before. Some of my favorite apps I tend to use are Instagram and Spotify. I find Dark Sky to be one of the best weather apps. And since I travel a lot I use Currency Converter. Having teenagers I must admit I use Snapchat and Whatsapp a lot with them.
AURA: What is your most meaningful memory since you and your husband started EpicQuest?
There are so many meaningful memories that come to mind and they all include my family. It’s been more fun to create and grow this business because I get to travel the world with my husband and kids. The few days we spent as a family in the Rutundu Cabin on Mount Kenya was magical because it’s one of the most beautiful locations without any need for typical luxuries or even electricity. It is not on many people’s radar as a destination but I would love to take everyone I know there one day.
AURA: In your opinion, what are key traits every entrepreneur should aspire to have personally and professionally?
Key traits for any entrepreneur would include a positive attitude, passion, and a sense of humor. In all the craziness of building something you need to say positive but also find a way to laugh when things go so wrong. Your passion will keep you moving forward but they way to strong I believe is to find the humor in the ridiculousness of some situations you find yourself in. That will keep you sane but it’s hard to get down when you are smiling.
AURA: What advice do you have for others aspiring to start their own business?
If you want to start a business then do your research, run numbers as best as you can, and see if you can ask a lot of people in that field for some tips. Knowing those things in advance will help you understand what you are facing. And if you still feel you can make it happen then go for it and work hard.
AURA: What is your favorite quote?
There are a few quotes I have near where I work and I like them each for different reasons.
“Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too young to accomplish something. A baby shark is still a fucking shark.”
- this one my kids have in their rooms, too – serves as a reminder not to let youth isn’t a negative.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
- as a kid from Chicago, we think of Jordan as a winner. But seeing him recognize that it takes so many failures to become a winner is something we should all remember.
“Life must be lived as Play.” Plato
- too often we forget that we have one life to live and we should find joy in it.
All of these quotes inspire me to not let other people’s views impact my goals, to remember that failure is a part of success, and to make sure I live life playfully.
We can’t wait to read more from Bridget here on Aura Avenue. Make sure to check out EpicQuest and keep an eye out for upcoming articles from Bridget soon!
All images from EpicQuest website and Bridget Pattee’s personal archives!