From the outside, it would be natural to think Bluffworks was the brainchild of a guy’s adventure. We’re known as a travel brand that makes products for men. And, once you pile on the stories of my own travel and the things I like to do, the image becomes solidified.
Here’s the thing: going way back to the one big experience that set the course for me to start Bluffworks… it turns out, it wasn’t my idea. It wasn’t even the idea of another guy. It came from a woman: my wife.
When Rachel and I met, I had traveled widely but never lived overseas. “It’s completely different,” she told me, emphasizing how much deeper a cultural experience can be through residence in a foreign land. (She had already lived abroad before and taught at an international school in Europe.)
I was skeptical… all the way up until we actually moved to Hanoi, Vietnam, sight unseen. Rachel worked at the United Nations International School, and I wrote software for $4 an hour. She was right – everything about the experience showed me just how different it is to actually live in another country.
You’ve heard me say it before: it was a great adventure. We lived in an alley less than 4 feet wide, spoke Vietnamese, and ate things that I never expected would become part of my regular diet.
After we moved to New York and I eventually stopped enjoying my work as a software engineer, I began dreaming of work that aligned with what I love to do – travel and pursue my own ideas. That’s what led to Bluffworks, a company where I could make products that solved problems, and a way to connect with other people who were passionate about travel.
Now, as we approach the launch of our women’s line, I thought it was worth mentioning that it wasn’t my grand adventure – my own Hero's Journey of taking on an epic quest – from which Bluffworks was eventually born. It was Rachel’s.
She’s daring and ambitious. She is fluent in French, and adept at many wonderful things (that I’m not). What I’m trying to say is: she’s made her life big and helped me make mine a lot bigger.
And just as I wanted a better pair of pants (and then a blazer, and a shirt, and a vest…) that was easy to take care of and had useful pockets yet still looked good, Rachel has also lamented the lack of clothing that truly was designed for her various needs.
The more I’ve noticed and learned about women’s clothes, the more I agree: women deserve better.
As I write this, I am wearing one of our wear test dresses to make sure it meets the same standards as every other Bluffworks garment. Soon, after years of wrestling with subpar apparel, women can join the Bluffworks guys in enjoying some of life’s more simple pleasures: dresses with pockets, a machine washable blazer, and clothes that don’t wrinkle or stink.
Female adventurers unite. And hopefully, allow our clothes to support your hero’s journey.
PS. You know women travel overseas more than men, right? So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.