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Daily Inspiration: Meet Brandi Jordan and Ben Zapchenk

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brandi Jordan and Ben Zapchenk.

Hi Brandi and Ben, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
We are Ben and Brandi, a scrappy early 30s couple who tries to live as authentically, passionately, and intentionally as possible. We met while serving abroad in the Peace Corps in Morocco, spent half a decade living and traveling there, and started a social enterprise in collaboration with local Moroccan artisans.

Our social enterprise, Remote Ramblers, fuses creativity, craftsmanship, and cultures to bring classic and timeless leather goods and home decor from Imazighen artisans of Morocco to the global market. Over the years Remote Ramblers has evolved to meet the needs of our customers, our community, and ourselves.

In the fall of 2022, we hope to expand our brand once again as we aim to buy land outside of Nashville to build a Moroccan-inspired glamping and event business! Fingers crossed, we will be ready to host you at our new oasis in Spring 2023.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Honestly, the biggest challenge has been the size of our social enterprise. Remote Ramblers was birthed from a Kickstarter campaign and a passion to help talented artisans gain access to broader markets.

Outside of our Moroccan collaborators, the only dedicated members of our team are the two of us and some kind family members (cheers to you Claudia & Michele). We started out having little to no formal business training; so every day since has been a continual learning process.

This can be extremely tiring when you are responsible for every aspect of your small business, but it keeps life interesting.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Our work looks different daily; sometimes we are bogged down in administrative tasks, but the best days are when we are working with artisans to design a new collection, hosting a one-on-one souk experience for a customer, or meeting with people at pop-up markets.

If you have ever wanted to go treasure hunting down the alleyways of Moroccan souks, but can’t make the trip, reach out to us. We would love to make your Moroccan dreams a reality!

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Don’t feel married to one specific strategy or business model! Running a small business gives you the unique advantage of being able to rapidly adjust your strategy so that it best aligns with your customers and community.

When we first started out our sole focus was to make and sell leather products. As time went along, there was a ton of organic interest from our customers and community around home decor. Morocco has an abundance of amazing artisanal home decor offerings, and it was a natural fit for us to expand our offerings in this direction.

Now, we offer personal shopping for individuals and interior designers. We source everything from lanterns, lighting, carpets, custom rugs, and more; you name it, and we serve as the conduit between artisans and customers.

The best part is, this direct connection literally helps everyone – our customers aren’t being price gouged by large corporations, and our artisans are being directly paid for their work – which means they are receiving fair living wages!

That’s the sort of supply chain that we feel good about participating in!

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