I am just so, so pleased to announce this month’s Featured Entrepreneurs: Dan and Ashley Willey of Dash to Portland! George Fox University is my original connection to the Willey’s. We met there a few years back and I was always struck by Ashley’s sense of style, fun personality and go-getter spirit! She found her match in Dan:)
This couple is the epitome of power couple. They also are the epitome of a PNW couple, and that is one of the many reasons I was so happy they agreed to contribute to the blog today. They are all about adventure, the outdoors, frugal living, entrepreneurial choices, the PNW lifestyle and having a vibrant marriage!
Please welcome Dash to Portland to FFNW!
Would you tell us all a little bit about what makes you tick?
We are a married couple who have been married for 7 years now, best friends for 15 years. Our faith in God and the support of great families have helped us on our journey. We thrive on adventure and having new experiences together whether it’s exploring a new beach, or eating a new cuisine, or making friends. We have also learned that having fun and traveling costs money and time. As a result, we are proud to say we are among the few late 20-somethings that will also live and promote a debt-free lifestyle, tell you to save for retirement (Dan’s in the financial planning industry), and encourage you to be an entrepreneur.
I had a creative blog with my best friend a couple years ago and it fizzled out due to our lack of interest. I’ve always had an interest in journalism, taking pictures, and wanted to still be a part of something blog-related. In sharing this with Dan during a winter hike date, we formed the idea to work together and document our dates. He surprised me on this date with a picnic, and from that we decided we wanted to do #adventurepicnics. Adventure picnicking combines Ashley’s love for preparing food and picking up yummy snacks with Dan’s desire to hike and experience every part of the PNW. We’ve been documenting our adventure picnic dates which are a cheap way to have fun as a couple or with friends. Our goal is to take others with us to form community and encourage others to seek creative ways to be outside and have fun! Next we will be interviewing and featuring several small business owners in the PNW area.
What is it that keeps you going? What do you enjoy most about doing all of this?
Our blog is about what we enjoy doing; being outside, adventuring, food, and next featuring businesses of several people I’ve become friends with. If you start a blog I highly recommend you approach as this; if no one read it, would you still enjoy doing it? Or, if you posted a photo on your social media account and no one “liked” it, did you still enjoy the experience of taking the photo? We write our blog because we enjoy the time together, and the experience of it.
Can you share a struggle you had in the beginning stages? Any struggles currently (either creative or business-wise)?
Picking our name was easy – it’s all the technical details like putting the blog together that I didn’t know how to navigate. We are still new to the blogging world so we are looking forward from learning from others! We also work full time jobs so starting a small business on the side provides a time challenge but it’s a passion that we look to create time for.
What do you hope people will feel/think when they enter your blog and read about your adventures?
We want to create a community of people that love life and love trying new things. We want to allow others to share their experiences and their ideas. We want to introduce you to local businesses and artists. We want you to grow with us as we grow and learn. AND, we don’t want people to compare themselves to us – it’s so easy to do that in the social media culture. So we hope we inspire you rather than make you feel lame, ya know?? A lot of accounts make me feel like I’m not as cool as them, and as a result our photos are not super fancy, just iPhone pictures and real moments.
Have a mentor! We have two couples in our lives who are older, wiser, entrepreneurs, and more importantly have the lifestyle and values we want. They give us advice on how to be successful as people, in our marriage, and in business. In whatever field you’re in, seek out someone who has paved a path and become a student of their success and failures.
And, the burning question, how can we stay connected with you (virtually speaking)?
Join us by having an adventure picnic! Instagram @ dashtoportland and dashtoportland.com 🙂
Our most recent post will feature our seven year anniversary photos, re-taken in our wedding clothes at Rocky Butte in SE Portland…complete with a picnic of course:) Here’s a sneak peek…
Doesn’t it make you want to just pack up a foodie basket and get outside? I love how Dash to Portland embraces all the NW’s changing seasons and picnic in all weather! What an inexpensive, special, romantic and memorable way to spend time. Thank you so much for sharing Dan and Ashley!
Head over to Dash to Portland to see more of their adventuring….
See you there!