9. October 2019

Offering #vanlife, founding startup

vanlife Startup

#vanlife #camper #motorhome #roadtrip #homeiswhereyouparkit #caravan #. . .

Exactly these are the hashtags, which currently everyone would like to write under his pictures – the feed in the sand, your own camper in front of a breathtaking natural backdrop, working from everywhere with your laptop on your legs.
Exactly these are the hashtags, we used before we started a startup called “Sperling” whose website you are currently visiting.

  • Doing a paper round after school in the age of 16.
  • Working at the local handicraft business during the holidays
  • Selling small sewing products, I made with grandma’s sewing machine after studying some Youtube-videos

These were a few stages on the way to the long-term goal of getting an own camper.
At some point next to university, the time had come: It could become mire concrete and I quickly fell in love with “Arno”, a motor-home that was around 25 years old at that time – The adventure called “Vanlife” began.


The first bags

Rarely with the laptop on my lap, but (thanks to its solar system) rather with the sewing machine on the folding table I could suddenly stop everywhere and start sewing. I got the idea of ​​an upcycling concept with making custom bags out of old sailing gear from kitesurfers’ kites, which incidentally was my hobby. Presented on an impromptu shoe rack, I was able to show them for example on the German North Sea beaches directly at their natural habitat and thus earn my money.

Vanlife Deutschland

Actually, I had reached him, my dream of vanlife

I was able to travel to all the beaches I liked, followed my hobby, worked and studied for the university from everywhere . It got even better when I met Katharina, because now we could explore the world together with Arno 🙂

Somehow, however, it often happens differently than you think: By various coincidences we discovered cork and came up with the idea of ​​a sustainable bag brand (more on that later in another article). For weeks we spun around and quickly felt the desire to do something with which we can really make a difference. Away from the niche of my previous upcycling bags, we wanted to design products that appeal to a wider audience. We wanted to show that sustainability does not have to be a compromise, but has the chance to be a real alternative!

The rough outlines of our ideas became clearer and clearer. We needed a production facility, we needed platforms where we could tell people about our vision, and we needed unpleasant things, such as a trademark lawyer or accounting software. In short …

… we needed money

Well, we were actually only two students and the prejudices are correct: As a student, you have no money. We considered all possibilities, told friends and relatives of our idea. But despite all determination, we also knew that we did not want to be addicted by someone who does not 100% share our ideal of the sustainable bag and backpack company. Long story short: For the financing of our startup, we had to sell something. We actually had no wealth and so the view fell on Arno, what I excluded directly. I would never sell Arno. I’ve worked for him for so long, we’ve experienced so much with him. No way.

Outdoor Nähmaschine mit Wohnmobil

Oh well. Now that you’re on the Sperling website, you can imagine that over the course of a few days, this “never” became a “rather not” and finally a “mhh okay”.

I advertised Arno in an online portal with the words, “If you want to see a 2m tall man cry, buy him”. I got many requests, even lots of really strange ones: For example a man who wanted to move in with his twelve cats, what was absolutely impossible to allow for me. In the end it happened the way it had to . After a few days, Arno was picked up by an elderly couple who now want to spend their pension under the hashtag #vanlife. They assured me that we are the first to be contacted if they want to sell it and so we hope it will take a while, since we just have no time for #vanlife 😉

About one year later…

… we know that it was the right decision. We realised that “Sperling” is our dream and we would have been angry if we did not try. Sometimes you just have to be brave and allow for change.

Our thoughts are shaped by nature and the feeling of freedom. It is exactly this feeling that we take with us and with the characteristic feather that adorns all the Sperling products, we symbolize that we are guided by the influences of nature, ease and freedom in our startup. What we have started with Arno as a journey on the streets of Europe, we now continue as a journey to grow a sustainable startup. The whole life is a journey and so our new hashtags are…

#startuplife #smallbusiness #sustainable #vegan #backpack #fashion #design …

Camper Strand

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