Being involved in the Asheville Folk community has been a gift from the universe for me in more than just a few ways. It has provided me with a space to work away from the confines of my little apartment, a community to share business struggles and celebrate entrepreneurship joys with, and a whole bunch of really incredible, talented, & passionate friends.
Ali is a new friend as well as the founder of a little business that I have grown the biggest crush on. Revely encourages others to be wonderfully adventurous while still having a purposeful sense of organization. The Trip Guides she personally creates are a foundation that anyone can build off of to help make their travel dreams a reality without the wasted time searching for what to do or where to go next. Plus, she leaves enough room in there to let your trip be unique to you and your experience, believing in the importance of embracing life and adventure as it comes.
All of that, packaged in a beautiful, designed, pocket-sized booklet that you can take anywhere.
I'm so grateful she took the time to share the heart and soul of Revely with me and with all of you.
I believe that the purpose and story behind each small business is what makes them so wonderful.
Q: How did you come up with your business name?
I wanted to make up a word that encapsulated how travel makes me feel. Revely is a riff on “Revelry”, “Revel”, and “Reverie” —three words that sum up the playfulness, presentness, and transcendence that travel brings into my life. I ultimately picked it because I can’t help but smile when I say it, and that was good enough for me.
Q: How/why did Revely come to be?
Revely was born on the back of a napkin in a cafe in Prague. I was living in Europe designing itineraries & leading trips for a large active travel company. I had some time off, and was planning a personal vacation to the Amalfi Coast. I didn’t have a lot of time to make plans, and I thought: “Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just hand me the game plan for an awesome trip?” Not just a list of a recommendations, but actual step-by-step daily outlines? Overview maps? Oh, and some custom walking routes maybe? And while they’re at it—a little head’s up on any stuff I’d have to book in advance? I took my professional trip development experience and spun it into exactly what I would want in my back pocket while exploring a new place.
Q; Why do you love what you do?
Trip design is my art form. Setting off to scheme the logistics of a new trip is my creative happy place. It’s a very fun process for me.
Q: What do you love most about living in Asheville?
The mountains, the breweries, and the inclusive community.
Q: Where have you traveled in your life and do you have a favorite?
I’ve spent the majority of my adult life living and working in Europe, spending a month or two in one place, then heading off to the next to research and lead a new trip. But Amsterdam and I have been in an open relationship for awhile. I’m infatuated with a lot of places—stunning Norway, the alluring Andes, laid-back Maui—but Amsterdam’s got me wrapped around its finger. My happiest place is at the front table at Café Papenieland in the Jordaan, drinking a Duvel, watching the parade of bikes go by.
Q: What piece of advice can you give to other entrepreneurs?
When I made "Let me see what I can get away with” my mantra, my job become infinitely more fun.
Q: How has being your own boss changed your life?
I’m a lot more conscious of my mood and energy. When you wear so many hats, you’ve got to consciously chose which one to put on in the morning. So, I’ve really learned to check-in with myself. Is this a creative day? Is this a problem-solving day? A brave day? A nervous day? Before starting Revely, I think I was harder on myself. Now, I realize that some days are going to be wildly productive, others are going to be painstakingly tedious, and my only job is to keep on truckin’ at whatever pace I can muster in the moment.
Q: What is the hardest part about your job?
The balancing act. I’ve got to be a stubborn defender of my vision, but a fearlessly flexible opportunity taker. I’ve got to be whimsical writer, but a stone cold content editor. I’ve got to be a pragmatic planner, but remain a renegade risk-taker. Being a solo entrepreneur is like running on a tight-rope, slightly buzzed, while “Yakety Sax” plays on loop. It’s a good time—to be sure—but scary, disorientating, and more than a little frantic.
Q: How does Revely connect with the love of adventure for you?
When I travel, I go with an open mind, flexible plans, and a heaping dose of playful curiosity. I try to run Revely in much the same way, remembering that the magic is in the mishaps.
--- Visit her website and order a trip guide for your future adventure (or 2) here---