A new up and coming travel accessory business, Storyteller, not only sells excellent gadgets and accessories, but they also help the less fortunate, with each purchase made. Doing precisely as what their motto states ‘travel more, do good.’
I have had the honour of getting an insight into the business and the life of the CEO of the company, Bhavesh Patel, and hopefully, give my readers inspiration as well as exposure to the company. If you wish to check out their charity work as well as their travel stories and accessories, click here. Now let’s get into the interview!
1. What inspired you to create your company ‘Storyteller’?
Although I practised as a lawyer for a number of years, I always wanted to start my own company.
To create any business, however, having an incredible passion for what the company does is important, so I combined the two things I love and was most passionate about, travel and giving back to create Storyteller.
Travelling the globe allowed me to witness some incredible sights, but also showed me the problems occurring all over the world, especially, the lack of access to quality education for children. It was during my trips to India and Peru where I saw the effects of this, as so many adults I met were utterly illiterate. It was a repeat cycle, which was also increasing the number of individuals in poverty.
I wanted to help make a change and therefore made a conscious decision that an integral part of Storyteller would be to help fund and run educational workshops for both children and adults in underprivileged countries.
To create the type of global impact I wanted Storyteller to have, however, it was essential to have a range of high quality and unique travel accessories that set Storyteller apart from other companies.
That is where our flagship product, FlagMate fits really well. A unique travel accessory which combines the longevity of a travel journal with the simplicity of a souvenir, to create the perfect personalised product for travellers to capture their memories.
2. What advice do you have for people who wish to create their own business?
1) Have a full-time job and work on starting your company in your spare time until you are ready to make the complete jump! By doing this, you will have the financial input to put in at the start and also income to fall back as most companies won’t make profits immediately.
2) Pick the right team/business partners. If you are starting a business with a team or with a business partner, make sure that you complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses, rather than just basing it on being good friends. Bringing different skills to the table in business is super important and will hold you well in the long term.
If you are starting a business as a solo entrepreneur, ‘solopreneur’, having positive people around is essential. They can help bounce ideas but also help out with marketing activities at the start which is when you could do with a first push in the right direction!
3) Use your travel experience! The most competitive companies today are global in nature, and to make your company, service or product relevant to new markets. You need to have a global mindset. You can read about world markets and study analyst reports, but there’s no substitute for indeed experiencing the world yourself.
4) Create a company which is based on something that you are genuinely passionate about, in the long term, and this will make getting out of bed much easier!
3. What is the most important thing you have learnt while travelling?
There are so so many! Travel has been one of the best teachers outside of the classroom for me. It has helped me grow my communication skills by continually being exposed to people from different cultures, religions and communities that I would never have encountered on the streets of London. It also allowed me to conquer my fear of heights as I climbed to the top of Trolltunga (Norway) and sat on the cliff edge some, 15,000ft in the air!
I have also learnt that when things don’t go to plan- never panic. If you lose your passport, don’t worry, you can go to the nearest embassy and arrange for an alternative. If you miss a bus, don’t worry there will be another one. If during the pursuit of your dreams there is a failure, don’t dwell on it, learn the lesson and move forward.
“Sometimes the thing that didn’t’ happen, often is the best thing that ever happened.” (Sorry I had to quote Dwayne Johnson somewhere ☺ )
4. What are your top 3 countries you have visited and why?
This is a tough one! I would have to say Norway for its incredible views, hikes and beautiful nature. It is one of the special places in the world where you can completely switch off and be mesmerised by the views in front of you.
Definitely Peru, for its amazing food, culture and magical places. I know people talk about Maccha Picchu a lot, but honestly, the energy and experience of just being there is out of this world, it is one thing I would recommend everybody experiences in their lifetime!
Finally, I cannot forget India. The food, culture, traditions and love the people of India share, really make this a this a special place for me. During my last visit to India, I stayed with a local family which was an experience that really stuck with me. The people in the village had very little, yet they gave so much to each other. The love and togetherness stuck with me, and it was great to see human beings, just being human.
5. What are your goals for this year?
Although Storyteller is not a charity, we want to part of a wave of new start-ups who are proving that having a balance between profit and philanthropy can generate a positive outcome for all individuals involved, and I believe that this will be an integral part of a business for years to come.
We are aiming to add six new products to our existing range, all of which will be made from eco-friendly materials, built to the highest quality for travellers around the world.
My long-term vision is not just for Storyteller to do good as a brand but to bring together passionate travellers from around the world in unity with a mission to do good in the world.
I hope you have enjoyed this interview, and if you have any questions please comment them down below, and they will get answered. If you wish to follow the adventures of the ‘Storyteller’ team, make sure to follow them on Instagram by clicking here. As always, until next time, I wish you all happy travels!