A while back East Forged was part of subscription box with a difference - Outdoor Isolation, Australia's first adventure subscription box. After having a chat with the founder, Jo Rodway, we knew we had to have a chat with her and her inspos in life. Enjoy!
EF: You say that you are a normal girl that was encourage to dream big. Who or what is the reason behind dreaming big?
JR: I haven't got that one figure that I can hands down say "they are the reason for...". Or any significant moment in my life to date that allows me to say "it was this moment that changed my life". It's a compilation of moments, people, experiences, both positive and challenging, that I believe allowed me to develop, most importantly not lose, the adventurous, ambitious, wondrous traits during my childhood. My parents encouraged my sister and I to play a lot sports from a young age. Horse riding, tennis, basketball, dancing was all done at a competitive level. And from memory that was often all in one week! But the things I remember the most fondly from my childhood were the camping trips to Wilson's Promontory and the hikes we would always do in the area. The days when my sister and I would saddle up the horses in the early hours of the morning, throw the halters in a backpack with a few snacks and head off for the day. Only to have Mum come and find us because it was getting dark and she had to use the car headlights to shine the way for us as we trotted the final few kms down the road to home. The hours helping dad work on and around the property, or clearing a secret gully of fern trees with crystal clear creek beds a short walk past our back boundary. The endless hours spent in my treehouse nailing in hooks, designing pulley systems and crafting signs that usually suggest I was selling something I made for far less than market rate! On top of all this, my Dad has always thought about life a little differently to most I've come across and I have to say a lot of that has rubbed off over the years for which I am very grateful for.
EF: We were part of Outdoor Isolation launch. Here in EF HQ we love what you are offering. Can you tell us about your plans for Outdoor Isolation?
JR: Outdoor Isolation is a material representation of my life purpose. To help others and to inspire people to push beyond their perceived limits. The Adventure Box provides a platform to support up and coming Australian brands to reach a community of outdoor, active and adventurous women. I've always experienced a massive gap in the market when it comes to gift ideas for adventurous people. In a light bulb moment in June 2021, after countless business ideas and a few false starts over many years, the Adventure Box subscription concept lit a fire inside me that finally felt in complete alignment. The Adventure Box is the best way to access usable, wearable, edible and inspirational products on a monthly basis and every subscriber unlocks exclusive discount codes to go on and support businesses just like East Forged as they feature in the Adventure Box. We are also developing our own range of outdoor gear and continually looking to add convenient gift box ideas for every occasion to our online store.
EF: You have spent some time in Nepal. We have a special love for Nepal as well. Can you tell us a little about your time there?
JR: I'm speechless when I try to explain how Nepal makes me feel. It's like I have a past life connection with the Nepalese and the Himalaya. I can feel it in the Nepalese airspace as I enter on the flight over and then the heartache and pain I feel when I have to leave is soul destroying. I've been lucky to have traveled to Nepal 4 times so far. I've hiked the Annapurna Circuit, taken my 70 year old parents through Annapurna Sanctuary and hiked to Everest Base Camp twice. Once in 2018 to run the Everest Marathon where we got to sleep 2 nights at the true Base Camp in a professional expedition camp that was left waiting for us after the climbing season just days before. One of the most mesmerising moments in Nepal was spent sitting cross legged on the cold stone floor leaning against the wall as I watched over the monks as they chanted their prayers in the world's highest Monestry in Tangboche. "Om mani padme hun," health, safety and peace to all mankind.
EF: You love adventure! Tell us your favourite adventure activity?
JR:Anything that has me outside exploring something new on my own two feet (or cruising in my Ford Ranger) where I am completely self sufficient. Hiking and camping pretty much tick all the boxes for me.
EF: We have 3 tea pets over here at East Forged HQ. If you could invite one over as a guest on your tea table which of East Forged crew would you ask (Mico🐵 Stay Wondrous | Notsu🐷 Live Connected | Saka😼 Forge an independent life)?
JR: Mico! I had a toy monkey as a child and he went everywhere with me. Even on family camping trips he'd get buckled up in the back seat and would guard the tent and keep me safe at night. His name was "Monkey", go figure. And the concept of staying wondrous is what drives me. I feel it's so important to stay open to learning new things and experiencing all the little moments life treats you to. Without wonder, I don't understand why we would be here.