We launched the beta version of TravelBlender in January after working on it for two years. We crowdsource group travel. Our customers submit requests about where they want to go and the type of people they'd like to go with. Then we put a group together and organize the trip.
I'm originally from Ohio, but I had always wanted to live in a big city. In 2010, I decided to quit my marketing job and move to Chicago. I loved walking out my door to get coffee, and seeing the beach and the skyline. I loved all the different people I met. For example, I do aerial silks, which is a circus art, and I instantly found a great group to practice with.
Chicago was so expensive. I was working on my business plan for TravelBlender, but to make ends meet, I also had lots of odd jobs from running errands to being in focus groups.
My co-founder, who is also my boyfriend, still lived in Dayton. And I realized I had a choice: I could either live Chicago and take a full-time job, or move in with him and focus on our business.
I cried the night I decided to move, and I cried again when the movers came. I still miss Chicago, but I think if I had walked away from TravelBlender then, it may never have happened. This was the best decision because it takes away the distractions and the money issues to some degree. It allows me to use my savings for my business, instead of for my living expenses.