I was always a social person growing up in South Florida, but as an introvert, I would often enjoy alone time. While being alone didn’t benefit me much at home, as I got older, my remedy became taking off in a car and hitting the road in any direction for a few hundred miles to explore.
What I found was that immediately, I became recharged; feelings of confusion about what I wanted to be was replaced with more self-esteem, I felt better, and smiled more.
So, I became an adventurer and traveler, driving across many of the southern states and up north as I could possibly go. A few years later, I met my wife, who has much more experience outdoor than I could hope to cacth up to. This women, lived in Italy for a few years, road tripped across Europe and Asia, is an avid snowboarder, and has traveled to over 30 countries. Wow. I had met my inspiration.
At first, we were just a couple of young travelers, starting our mental health careers in San Antonio, Texas. Erica was an illustrator, painter, and designer. I was a web designer, with a limited background in social media marketing; the fear! As we relocated and we decided we wanted to hike more and experience all the National Parks, I wanted to share my experience of what can come from going out and seeking new adventures. When I looked, many outdoor companies simply believed in planting trees. I’ve adopted this identity, however, I noticed no one was really talking about the effects outdoor activity has on a person’s mental health. With help from a fellow designer, we all wanted to create something that mattered, and in a way that was both simple and comfortable.
We set up a collective mood board, which was essentially the seed of this website to determine the name and identity. It was frustrating, and we joked, that if coming up with a name was going to be this hard, then we had no luck in business. After trial and error, we had found our identity: UCAN Outdoor. Our logo was originally created off of the border lines of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico, as they meet at the Four Corners Monument. The meaning behind this is, UCAN is a brand that wants to bring people together in nature, such as how the states meet collectively at a single point.
The real work began. I took over most of the work, first, creating a website through shopify, which proved to be a great resource. One night, I began playing with the platform, uploading content from the mood board. Lo and behold, the beautiful webpage you see today. Where as before it was product focus, I could tailor this website to our Journal (which is the complete main page). Though, the main team is still fairly small, we have many freelancers working behind the scenes to help ensure business is running smooth. Now we cover a wider range of topics and have over 10,000 subscribers.