A Creative Startup Story
Today is a special day, as it is officially the launch day of our brand new website for MOYO. Several months in the making, we are pleased to say that our virtual doors are now open and we welcome you to this little corner of the Internet that we have carved out. It marks the start of an unknown yet exciting chapter for us and we look forward to it unfolding, with you alongside with us.
Now that we have your attention for a few moments, it would only be right for us to introduce ourselves and to share our story behind MOYO. Back in 2012, we (Mark and Molly) left our small, sleepy home town in Oxfordshire, England to set off into an unknown adventure. We were in our mid-twenties, had no responsibilities and had spent the past few post-University years working to save enough money to travel. We had no return ticket booked, no end date in mind. With just each other and our small backpacks, weighing a modest 7kg each, we left the UK with a lot of excitement mixed in with a healthy dose of nerves, too.
Needless to say, we had little to be fearful about as boarding that plane turned out to be that start of a truly transformative journey for us. One that significantly shifted our ideas of what we wanted from life. We spent 6 months travelling overland in South East Asia, absorbing every second of this wildly different continent. With our appetite for travel growing but our funds running low, we eventually settled in Australia where we spent six months working in the creative metropolis that is Melbourne. Once we’ve saved up enough cash from our soul destroying jobs in admin and hospitality, we ploughed our money into a barely roadworthy station wagon with nearly 400,000km on the clock.
“In the middle of nowhere with not a building, person or even a kangaroo in sight, we realised then that it was truly possible to travel and work at the same time”
In the following months we travelled 18,000km in our trusty home on wheels and enjoyed an addictive sense of freedom that you can only truly experience when living on the road. We felt alive and convinced that anything was possible. During that time, we also invested in a computer and camera with the aim to show friends and family back home the incredible things we were seeing and experiencing. We created a blog (as you do) and from that we surprised ourselves by managing to pick up online work along the way. Of course it was a challenge. We had a primitive set up and trying to pick up wifi in the Australian outback is impossible as it sounds. With no reliable source of power, we’d plug our Mac into the cigarette lighter, Mark would drive whilst I in the passenger seat would complete design work for clients fighting against the rapidly depleting battery of our only computer.
As laughable (and frustrating) as it was sometimes, it was also a lightbulb moment. In the middle of nowhere with not a building, person or even a kangaroo in sight, we realised then that it was truly possible to travel and work at the same time (although preferably not quite so literally!). Eventually like all good things, our great adventure came to an end. After proving to ourselves that we could work remotely, our desire to create something that could sustain this new way of life we had discovered grew. With a new sense of purpose and confidence, we returned to the UK determined to forge our own path. We knew very little about business or even how to create a website, but within several months of learning as much as we could, we set up our first online business and haven’t looked back since.
That was many years ago, and since then we have launched, built and sold businesses during that time. Like many entrepreneurs, with giddy excitement and adrenaline-fuelled nights of no sleep as sparks fly, we had always been chasing the next big idea. Whilst we had loved and invested our blood, sweat and (many) tears into the businesses that we had created, we had never quite managed to find ‘the one’. The business that would fuel our creativity, that we felt was truly ‘us’ had never crossed our paths or rather we had not yet found our way to it.
When the time came to eventually pass on our beloved first business, an e-commerce site that was our baby, we knew that our next step would be to create something with true purpose. Reflecting on the parts of our previous businesses that we genuinely enjoyed such as the design, content creation and photography, the seed for MOYO was planted. Like many great ideas, its inception came from a daytime drinking fuelled brainstorm session, but hey whatever the circumstances are when the lightning strikes, so be it!
Now, if you’re still with us let’s shed some light on where the name MOYO came from. MOYO actually means ‘life, heart, spirit’ in Swahili. The truth is we had originally penned the name for a sustainable water bottle business that we had explored a while back. That idea never quite got off the ground but we knew that the name, with all of its beautiful sentiments, was too good to pass up. Secretly we were sure that one day it would find its true home. And so it is. With this new venture with all of its unknowns, one thing is for certain, we will absolutely be pouring life, heart and spirit into MOYO and it is with great pleasure to have you alongside with us. So we’d like to raise our virtual glasses with new friends and toast to MOYO, the start of something uncharted and beautiful!