Bébé Voyage was co-founded by 2 moms who have spent countless hours pouring their energy into the business and the community. Between getting a startup off the ground and managing a family, we know what it feels like to be stretched! Along this journey we have met so many amazing mompreneurs. The “mompreneur” community truly feels like a sisterhood. We have been so grateful to the community, this series is about profiling our powerful “mompreneur” sisters out there, making a difference in your communities! This week we talk to Emilie Bridon, Co-founder of Trove, and discuss where she and her partner drew their inspirations when forming this joint venture.
Congrats on launching TROVE! What inspired you to create this business? What is your badass Mompreneur story.
My best friend and I have been toying around with the idea of starting a business together for years. We were focused on ways to solve the giant headache that is travel planning when the pandemic hit. With travel suspended, and our cabin fever kicking in, we came up with the idea to bring international destinations to people’s doorsteps by pairing virtual experiences with locally sourced foods and goods. We started to reach out to chefs and artisans we had met through our travels, and heard how much they were suffering. Some were concerned that they may have to close their doors for good. This was a big wake-up call for us, and what began as a fun way to help people scratch their travel itch, turned in to a full-blown mission to help lift up small businesses around the world. This is how TROVE was born.
Where do you live and do you recommend your city as a family travel destination?
I live in Seattle, WA with my husband, 6-year-old son, Oliver, and 9-month-old daughter, Sophie. I would absolutely recommend Seattle as a family travel destination. Three things come to mind when I think of Seattle — the outdoors, the food, and the culture. With the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other, Seattle is an amazing destination for hiking, biking, kayaking, paddle boarding, skiing and pretty much any other outdoor activity you can think of. I am endlessly amazed by the sheer beauty of this place which in and of itself makes it worth the trip. The food scene is off the charts as well. Of course, there is the fresh seafood, and the must-see Pike Place Market, but there is also a huge variety of world-class restaurants as well as incredible food from all parts of the world for adventurous families as well.
What’s your insider tip for families coming to your hometown? What are your favorite family-friendly hidden gems?
The Pacific Northwest really is a special place. Some of my personal favs are:
- Ferry to Bainbridge island – Kids love this 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle, and it’s an easy day trip! Once there, check out the Kids’ Discovery Museum which has some amazing hands-on exhibits and play spaces. We also always make a pit stop at Mora Iced Creamery for a delicious treat.
- My son loves being outside, and so he enjoys bike riding on the Sammamish River Trail which is a beautiful trail following a river that is just over 10 miles. The trail is wide enough for the kids to go on and not bother other cyclists zipping by.
- Woodinville Wine District – This is such a fun town just 30-mins outside of the city. There are over 130 wineries now in Woodinville that have tasting rooms and so many of these are kid-friendly with great outdoor spaces. One of our favorites is Matthews Winery because in the summer, you can bring the whole family for a picnic, grab a bottle of wine, and just hang out with friends.
- Bailey Family Farm in Snohomish – Our favorite thing to do in the summer is head to Bailey Family Farm. My son loves running up and down the rows picking green beans, flowers, apples, literally whatever they have in season he is all about picking it. We then love heading to lunch in downtown Snohomish, you can’t go wrong with the cute lunch spots, and our favorite bakery is there too – Grain Artisan Bakery. They have some of the BEST gluten free baked goods I’ve ever had.
- Bike around Alki Beach – Hang out on Alki Beach and rent a wheel fun bike. This is the beach featured in Sleepless in Seattle, and it is a great way to explore and take in the Seattle skyline. This is perfect for children as you can all hop on a Double Surrey and bike along the bike path and grab some fish and chips at Spud’s.
- Snapdoodle toys & games – We LOVE this store. This is a locally owned toy store that has some of the best toys I have ever seen. The staff is super friendly and able to provide recommendations for kids of all ages.
- Museum of Flight – I absolutely love this place. It is simply the best for my son to run around and explore their incredible collection of air and spacecraft.
- The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) is a nonprofit museum in Seattle dedicated to contemporary popular culture. We took our son to see their incredible Minecraft exhibition – and he LOVED it!
Is family travel part of your life?
Absolutely! I’ve always traveled with my family since I was a little girl. My parents actually used to put my younger brother and I on a plane by ourselves…to France! We were picked up on the other side by my grandparents and spent many summers there. We’ve adopted that with our little ones as well, and always travel with our son. His first trip was to France for his baptism at 3-months old, so we were fortunate to be able to pass on the travel bug to him very early.
What is the most memorable trip you took with your kids?
We fell in love with Bora Bora, Tahiti. I found a last-minute deal over New Year’s a few years ago, and so off we went to one of our dream vacation spots. It did not disappoint. We got an over the water bungalow and Oliver was delighted when he discovered that we were able to feed the fish below through the slide-open coffee table in our room. The most memorable part of that trip is that we really didn’t have many activities scheduled – we kayaked, snorkeled, built sandcastles and just really took in the absolute stunning beauty of the island.
What’s your best advice for traveling parents?
Just GO! I know getting there might be painful, and the plane ride isn’t always the easiest, but it is 100% worth it. I would also add not to overbook your day. We try to only plan one activity per day when traveling with the kids. We find that one main activity, with lots of breaks and time to relax makes the trip so much more enjoyable. We also love exploring new restaurants and activities. In Florence, Italy, I found an amazing stationary store that has been in business since 1976, called Il Papiro. They offered a private class in marble paper making. We had so much fun and learned all about the art of marbling and book binding. My son had the best time, and we had such a unique souvenir to take home with us.
What is your favorite family travel product or service?
I literally CANNOT live without my eBags Packing Cubes. Everyone in my family has a color and they can only bring what can fit in those bags. It makes it so much easier packing and unpacking at each location. I also recommend adding a Bounce sheet to keep the suitcases smelling good and pack a few laundry pods in case you need to do laundry. With kids, you never know!
What item do you always pack in your carry-on?
SNACKS! I am always afraid of running out and this is the best way to have healthy snacks within arm’s reach. I tend to over pack dried snacks, apple sauce packets, sandwiches, etc. When Oliver was small, I would use an art tray with little compartments and fill each one with a little bit of everything. He loved being able to choose his snacks and it kept him busy for hours on the flights. I also cannot leave the house without headphones for each person in my family.
How do you tackle the work/life balance (e.g., day care, babysitting, schools, etc.)?
Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve figured this out yet. With a new baby, new business, and ever-curious six-year-old, sleep is last on the priority list. Coffee is always brewing in our house, and I’m most productive when everyone is asleep in our house from 10pm till about 2am. One thing I have learned is that I cannot take everything on, and when I need help, I ask. I’m very grateful for my parents who are always willing to take the kiddos when I need a break, and my husband who is in the trenches with me, and of course Erika, my business partner who is always stepping up and taking on what I can’t because of home-life and kiddos. I am so thankful for all the support from friends while I work hard on Trove!
What are the advantages of being a Mompreneur while raising children vs. working for an outside entity? Disadvantages?
The best part of being a Mompreneur is being able to set your own hours and establish some boundaries to when you are working versus when you are spending time with your family. I love how creative I can be and knowing everything I pour into my business is for me and my partner. Working from home with Trove, I get to see every milestone with my daughter (she’s just about to start crawling) – I feel very lucky to have this time with her which I didn’t get to experience with my son. I would say the biggest disadvantage is probably trying to get to everything and having mom-brain (aka forgetting your own name). I’ve realized I can’t do it all so asking for help can be hard, but I’ve had to lean into my friends and family for support.
What’s your shameless plug for Trove?
We are currently promoting a special Valentine’s Date Night In-a-Box called You Had Me at Truffle. This is one of my favorite Trove boxes because it is meant to be a romantic evening at home with your significant other. You’ll learn how to make your own heart-shaped truffle ravioli with our online cooking class hosted by our Florence-based Chef, Patrizia Steccato. The TROVE Valentine’s Day box also comes stocked with amazing goodies including the Spritz Cocktail Book and a perfect pair of cocktailing glasses so that you can try your hand at making one of Italy’s finest Apertivo! Our cooking classes and activities are kid friendly so even our valentine’s box could be turned into a family affair. The TROVE Valentine’s Day box is on sale now and will begin shipping throughout the United States the last week of January. Order yours today at hello-trove.com or subscribe and “travel” to a new city with us each season.
You may also like these Mompreneur stories from the Bébé Voyage blog: