Favorite Website: Hostel Dog
[singlepic=1737,350,,,right]It’s often a dream come true when you can combine your passion with your work, and that is what Garrett Schemmel has done with his website: Hostel Dog – Travel Inspired Apparel.
Garrett graduated with a degree in industrial design but has also been very interested in sketching and graphic design. And then he caught the travel bug, which set him on a path combining the two passions. Garrett shares with us how he has been able to successfully bring his two passions together to create a business he cares about.
When were you first inspired to travel?
My fascination with all things international probably started when I was a senior in high school and became great friends with the exchange students at my high school. They just seemed different. It’s hard to say what exactly it is that made them fun to hang out with, but I built great friendships there that lasted past high school.
[singlepic=1738,250,,,right]I got to be great friends with a guy from Brazil, named Eduardo. Still friends to this day, he made his way to my house through a roundabout means and ended up staying for six months. Three years into college, I made the decision to go visit him and his family in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. That’s when I got a real taste of international travel and being fully immersed in the local culture. Every minute of every day was me being surrounded by folks from “Belo” and I had to learn quickly what it meant to live in a foreign culture.
But what really kicked off my travel habit?
I went to college in Atlanta and was lucky to have a hand full of friends who had co-op positions with Delta. Luckily, my friends were adventurous and it wasn’t uncommon to hear them fly to Santiago, Chile on a long weekend to go skiing in between classes (they flew for almost free).
Travel is difficult at times not because of the cost, but also because it is hard at times to find a travel partner with the same passion and desire to spend every free moment seeing some place new. This group of friends was the foundation for my travels for the next three years. I traveled Europe, South America, Asia and Australia/New Zealand with the friends I made in college.
How did your travels inspire “Hostel Dog”?
[singlepic=1740,250,,,right]I’ve spent a great bit of the past four years as the design and marketing lead for an apparel company. I love design, apparel and travel and for some reason it took me until 2009 to realize that I should combine those passions. Building off these experiences, I launched Hostel Dog with an aim of capturing the unique experiences of the independent backpacker. As someone who loves to travel myself (41 countries and counting!), I thought there really was a void out there for allowing travelers to show that passion on a daily basis.
The hardest part about Hostel Dog is gauging the travel messages that are appropriate for the travel audience overall. Everyone can get behind concepts like “Hosteler” and “I’d Rather be Travelling”, but the niche concepts based on unique geographic experiences have been the tougher sell.
How do you use design to inspire others to travel?
Hostel Dog designs/t-shirts are an avenue to embrace travel further as a lifestyle and not just a one-time experience. Just because you went to Europe your third year of college doesn’t mean that you can’t travel again for three months. So many folks want to travel extensively but write it off as something that’s too difficult.
I want Hostel Dog shirts to be a constant, visual reminder that YES, you can get out and see the world.
We love Garrett’s designs and style and look forward to a future career break-inspired t-shirt from Hostel Dog!