What’s the background story of your career?
I first turned into conscious consumerism after learning about The Story of Stuff in college. I was studying theatre and anthropology, and dedicated all my artistic work to social change and people empowerment. But the business aspect of it really all started in grad school, when I was managing part of a website for the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics in NYC. I started to gather some web skills there. I then took a 360 degree turn - I moved to San Diego to manage an ethical swimwear brand (and its brick and mortar boutique) called FERN. We made our swimwear locally, planted a tree for each kini made, and sold other curated items that were also USA-made so to support like-minded brands. I built the website for the brand and people simply loved it! It kind of all spiraled up after that. I booked my first freelance client within a year in San Diego, a dance + yoga studio, and worked with them developing their digital marketing and revamping their web presence. At this time I was working full time for FERN and part time for the yoga studio, it really was a lot.
How did you get to be working remotely?
Although I was doing things that I loved, there was something missing. Freedom was missing. Then, I started dating my boyfriend Roberto. We began to go on outdoor adventures together, and I realised I simply had to make more time to do that. I started contributing to a site that I have now become the right hand woman for, Stranded On Land. The movement we are creating at Stranded is all about inspiring people to responsibly #getoutsidethegrind through curated experiences, stories, and travel guides. We work with multiple partners who align with our values and we support their brands and businesses.
Fast-forward, Roberto and I moved in together to an apartment for a few months just to realize we were throwing our money away paying rent. We decided to buy a pick up truck, get out of our lease and move into our tent at a commune, while slowly converting the truck into our home. The plan was to be able to travel as much as possible, enjoying the one life we have and our young years to the fullest. Around this time I stopped working for the swimwear brand and on that same week picked up my first official web design client. I was a one-woman business now.
Soon after, we got enough money to buy a soft-topper for our truck and installed the bed. We lived in SD for about 2 more months before we found an opportunity to work together temporarily at a farm in Santa Rosa, CA. That's when we really took off and became nomads. Very organically I started finding my next clients, mostly from word-of-mouth or because they were acquaintances who knew about what I was doing and how reliable I am to work with.
What are you currently focused on?
My business is centered on web design and business consulting for conscious entrepreneurs.
This year will be a big push for my business as I am finally able to work on my own website (been too busy working on others'), I've been developing content for my personal blog (to-be-launched), and growing the Stranded on Land community through a new collaborative initiative we are launching this year called Girls Gone Roadie.
What do you love about the work that you do?
I get to meet like-minded people ALL THE TIME. The hustlers and dream chasers who do not give up at anything and who have a purpose beyond themselves for their life's work. Being a conscious entrepreneur is not yet the norm in our society often leading to feelings of isolation; so finding more of my people is empowering and keeps my hopes up.
Why have you chosen to work remotely? What are the good and the bad about doing so?
The good is everything! Pushing the comfort zone regularly, seeing unbelievable places, making friends you wouldn't meet otherwise, and making very aware choices. The only bad thing for me is missing the friends I've said goodbye to and finding time to continue to be friends and nurture those relationships while away.
Do you travel whilst working or do you have a home base?
I'm a full-time traveler at this time. My favorite place to work is in the middle of nowhere, an off-road in the desert or forest where I can still get phone service and just work online with my hotspot.
What’s your normal daily routine whilst working remotely?
Wake up, go for a hike, run, or do some yoga, find a cafe to work at (if I'm in a city) or set up my "camping office", work for a few hours, then find a good spot to watch the sunset and go to bed after the sun goes down. A few nighttime campfires make it into the lifestyle here and there, just not that many because we spend a lot of time in the desert where the risk is too high and fires are often prohibited anyway.
What does fulfilling work mean to you?
To be fulfilled, you as well as your surroundings need to be in-tune. If my job only benefits myself, then there is nothing to it. There's so much work needed to make the world a better place, that if I need to pick up a client or a temporary job "just to pay the bills" I make sure I accommodate time to volunteer, give some cash to my friends' projects, or that I give some money to an organization or cause that I truly believe in.
Do you have values that you live by and how do these come into effect in your 'work' life?
Absolutely. I like to create the least possible waste of anything. That is garbage, information, time, you name it. I also believe that empathy is a strong power. If we all consider the needs of others, if we all step inside each other's shoes, we can act in a way that will benefit the most and not do any unnecessary harm.
If you could go back in time what would you say now to your younger self, back when you just started?
Talking to my younger self, who was afraid of quitting and not having stability for too long, I would say: keep learning, keep growing, until you find your courage.
what one thing would you say to someone just starting out or looking for remote work?
It's worth a try! Very challenging and definitely not for everyone, but just in case it might be for you, you owe it to yourself to make it happen even if for a few months only.
Gabaccia is a conscious creative nomad with a passion for ethical business practices and consumerism, as well as for preserving mother earth. Her business is centered on web design and business consulting for conscious entrepreneurs. - guiding them through the complexities of starting/running a business while also encouraging them to be socially engaged in their business practice. Her life mission is to inspire people to engage with the great outdoors responsibly. Find her on instagram @gabaccia
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