by Nicholas Hansen June 21, 2016
In today's age of apps and information, sometimes the planning aspect of travel can feel fragmented. Read why we ditch tech in favor of a trusted paper trip sheet.
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We started with a big idea that didn't crystallize until we faced a challenge. Ours came to us on the road, in the back seat of a cab en route the airport. We were headed off on a two-and-a-half-week round-the-world trip. Yes, you read that right. We were going to circumnavigate the globe in just 17 days. And we did. But, before that happened, we had to pack for it, with only a carry-on. Why? With so much transit in front of us, we didn't want to lug around heavy luggage. Suitcase = burden. The lighter you pack, the more you discover. Having a decade's worth of travel under our belts, you would think we were packing pros. But, this trip was different.
The itinerary included a wedding in Seattle, beaches in Okinawa, urban exploration in Tokyo, temples in Kathmandu, architecture in Rome, and cafe-hopping in Brussels before heading back to Minneapolis. How were we going to fit 5+ vastly different cultures, climates, and occasions into one small pack?
We realized, in the backseat of that cab, that we were unprepared. For years, we had scoured the internet searching for "travel apparel" that stood up to the rigors of the road without making you look like a backpacker. Why was it so difficult to find functional clothing that didn't look like activewear or mountain gear?
We needed clothing to go anywhere...and not brand us as too tacky, too outdoorsy, too urban, or too anything. We needed versatility. And we needed to create it ourselves.
In 2013, we started to build the foundation for Anywhere. In January of 2016, we completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, and in August of 2016, we launched our e-retail site.
We are so proud to share our first items along with our philosophy of travelling light, discovering more.
Nick and Kelly, Co-founders
Kelly had her first experience abroad in college with her roommate, which ignited an enduring passion for travel. The thrill of speaking French and (mostly) succeeding and the constant wave of newness was intoxicating. Over the next decade, she found herself on a riverboat in the Amazon, bathing with monkeys in Japan, wandering the souks in Morocco, sharing a home-cooked Nubian meal in Aswan, surviving a freak blizzard below Mt. Fitz Roy, braving horizontal rain in the Faroe Islands, and much more.
Despite taking dozens of trips per year for business and personal exploration, Kelly has always hated packing. She would procrastinate sometimes until a few hours before takeoff; on one occasion, she found herself packing hastily-grabbed essentials into a small pack while in the cab on the way to the airport. Her “carry-on only” philosophy meant that every item needed versatility. Feeling frustrated by the lack of stylish and functional choices, she decided to create her own. She left her consumer trend-consulting job to build Anywhere, with the goal of making travel more fulfilling.
As Chief Design Officer, Kelly oversees the day-to-day operations of Anywhere and manages marketing, brand identity, and partnerships. She ensures the company vision translates into fantastic wearable products for all travelers.
Nick was first drawn to travel through stories and books growing up on a farm with his family. But, following a trip shortly before college with his parents and younger brothers to visit relatives in London, he was hooked on the real thing. It helped him to realize that, even though he loved the stories he read, he could’ve never imagined what he’d discover once he got out there.
Since then, he’s saved up enough money every year to take at least a couple of international trips. He loves the movement of travel, so he rarely spends more than a few days in one place, opting instead to switch between all sorts of transit (especially trains, ferries, and just simple hiking) as often as he can. In embracing the freedom of moving around a lot, he realized he needed lots of different styles and functions in his pack, and also hated carrying too much. Thus, he and Kelly decided to start Anywhere.
He currently makes his home in St. Paul, Minnesota, but has friends all around the world – recent and upcoming visits to friends include to the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, and Wales. He’s been to nearly five dozen countries now, but hasn’t been to India, Siberia, or sub-Saharan Africa and is hoping to visit in the near future.
Nick serves in an operational role at Anywhere – he has a background in business and business models (both academic (MBA, etc.) and professional). While he helps ideate the initial concepts based on his experiences and travel needs, he focuses his time more on the infrastructure of running the business (i.e. the boring stuff: making sure contractors and taxes are paid, financing exists, email programs run smoothly, etc.)