After finally getting good internet after almost a week, I am reconnected with the cyberworld, which means I have had opportunity to view my massive list of work emails and read our blog to see all the posts Hanna has posted. I am here in the middle of Spain sipping on vino loving every single email I am reading from Axel & Ash. From the emails of setting up freight accounts and marketing to all the awesome stores that our book is getting into which I have visited and spent hours in for years. I can’t tell you how high I am on life right now. I only knew Hanna for 5 months before we decided to collaborate together and we made the decision to go into business together. Over the years I have always heard people saying that you shouldn’t go into business with family or friends. Personally, I think that is the shittiest advice one can give to another. Because I think it doesn’t depend on whom it is (family member or friend), it is whether if it feels right or not and if it does feel right then go with it and don’t ever look back for one second or question it. From my experience, I have an amazing business partner and great friend. We are constantly laughing at one another even if we get serious with each other, get angry at one another or argue over decicions – but we’re always still smiling and having an awesome time the entire time. Looking back right now I see that if I didn’t follow my heart then I wouldn’t be smiling and watching people take this book that we’ve created together all over the world. Life is crazy, it can be scary but we can’t be afraid to take those chances and risks because we never know where life will lead us! Much love for my amiga and partner in crime – Hanna Axelsson Sahlen.
I promised a friend to take some shots of his beautiful bus ‘The Olive’ for a while now. Today, I finally had some time and what’s better then waking up early a Saturday morning for a shoot followed by a long beach run and refreshing winter swim!
Isn’t she gorgeous? Today, I decided that one day Axel & Ash will have our own old VW mobile office.
Hola everyone, I am still alive and still walking. It’s now day 21 and I only have 202km left. The last ten days have being magical, mystical, mysterious, beautiful and adventurous. In 21 days I have tried 21 different showers, slept in 21 different beds and visited at least 50 different bathrooms (outdoor included), seen over 100 different villages with 7 major cities, tried all the different crossoints/pastries possible, being full from bread way too many times, drank all types of vino and climbed and trekked the most beautiful regions of North Spain. I have also seen more churches in 21 days then I have in 26 years. Spain do truly have the most unique churches in the world. Also, I have walked by many medieval towns that are all made from stone and still have the castle standing.
In Leon, I came across my favourite architecture (Gaudi’s) building and visited one of the most famous Cathedrals in Spain. Walking into the Gothic Cathedral I was taken back by all the colours and thousands of stained glass which had paintings from the 12th century. Then came Astorga, my favourite town/city so far. After walking in the farm fields, we came across this huge cross on the top of the mountain which overlooked this gorgeous city. Astorga is famous for it also having a spectacular castle created by Gaudi AND it’s the chocolate capital of Spain – with it’s own chocolate museum! After Astorga it just got even more beautiful because we climbed the highest mountain of the Camino which was over 1,500 meters. When we got over 1,100 meters we stayed in the cute village of Foncebadon. Here with my lovely Finnish and very funny amiga I have met Maria, we purchased a bottle of wine, olives and sat looking at one of the most incredible views I have seen on the Camino. I got to write in our book some more and loved every single bit! I am truly in love with our book and hope you all have as much fun as I am! After the bottle of wine and sharing some beers with some great friends Ive met I slept like a baby and the next morning got even better when we went to the very top of the mountain and watched the sunrise which turned the snow cap mountains this purple lavender colour.
Ahhh there is so much more to tell. I wish I could blog everyday, because the most random, funny, hilarious stuff is always happening. However, I can tell you that life is absolutely amazing and it’s nice to be living a life of a pilgrim which is just living on the basics, no luxuries just you and your two feet taking me across the country. It’s crazy to think about it like that, but it’s true. I feel as free as a bird and my body after walking over 580km feels absolutely amazing. No blisters, no pain! It’s incredible how your body adapts to the environment and to the physical endurance. This trek is truly beautiful, everyday something happens out of the ordinary. However, all the people and their incredible stories are definitely the favourite part.
We are excited and proud to say that Swept away by Wanderlust is to be stored in one of Bondi’s trademark cafe’s – Gertrude & Alice.
Gertrude & Alice is located on the buzzing Hall Street in Bondi Beach. Walking by on the footpath you are met by their wooden tables and bench seats that is full of coffee drinkers and book lovers. Then, once you step in the store and pass the counter that is full of freshly baked brownies and treats the Cafe/bookstore is jam-packed with beautiful new and secondhand books, ancient school desks, communal tables, a lounge and cosy corners to eat, read, talk or linger. No wonder it has become the second home to the Bondi crowd of artists, writers, photographers, musos and actors. The lively atmosphere at G &A is bursting with laid-back chats, sophisticated conversations and creative energy all whilst drinking aromatic coffee and fresh, healthy and delicious meals.
We can’t wait to get back to Bondi now to see our book here and drink their fantastic homemade spiced chai tea!
This massive package of books finally got delivered to our warehouse today and Lori our fabulous assistant was there to help us receive them and work her biceps while unpacking them all. She then went straight onto shipping 120 to me in Perth- so soon these books will be spreading around the world! Very exciting.
This weekends plans to catch up on some work went pearshaped with too much fun stuff going on all weekend. It started with friday night after work drinks followed by saturday morning run, shopping (I did find a new store so did some work!), long saturday brunch and beach fun in Freo, movie night, sunday morning at the gym, Subi fresh food markets, hangout at Anne-Maries, dinner party at mine that I was too late for myself and my very first episode of Game of Thrones with the girls that I fell asleep to exhausted.
So here I am working hard to cross of the never ending todo list. But I’m loving it. Snacking on some homemade pesto and fresh greens from the weekend markets and drinking lots of my favorite herbal teas from Kakulas in Freo in our gorgeous new teacups! Favourite chore of the day was to write handwritten letters to our fabulous overseas Indiegogo contributors that supported our launchparty before even getting the book on the market. What is better than receiving a handwritten letter, a real one with stamps on it.
Now it’s time to go for a run and clear the head!
Today I went out “Shop Researching” for 10 hours. First with the man and when he collapsed my partner in shopping crime took over ! That ended up with less researching and more shopping 🙂 And I have some great news to tell!
I approached ONE store with the book during the whole day (the rest was research to source stores.) And now we got ONE more store stocking our book. So exciting. I can’t reveal any details until we’ve got our shipment and all deals are sealed but the scenario was bizarrely easy like this
Me at counter: “Hi…. We just launched this travel journal and would love to stock it in your store”.
Amazing Man at counter: “Mhm…” looking through book “…how much is it?”
Me: “$34.99, wholesale 60%”
Amazing Man at counter” “I’ll take 6 straight away”
Me (shocked & superexcited): “That was easy!!”
Man – SMILES
It was the easiest sale I made in my life. And it is a book I’m coming into a store to sell – without any notice. I think it is bizarre but amazing that the world still works like this. People told us that we need to go through distributors, trade shows, sales men – losing all the personal touch. People were wrong, and I am so happy for that. Go personal relations!