Our Entrepreneurial Journey

April 2020

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Our entrepreneurial journey started unexpectedly on a sunny Saturday morning in 2017 in Bondi Beach while shopping for, of all things, a new handbag.

More specifically a versatile, high quality, leather handbag that could fit a wallet, phone, makeup, change of shoes and cost less than $300. No problem, we thought - we’ll go into a couple of shops, find the perfect bag and then stop for a coffee and catch up. Two hours later we were 3 coffees down, handbag-less and co-founders of a new handbag brand called 2026 (named after the Bondi postcode, not the year in the future, in case you were puzzled).

We were determined to design a sustainable alternative to fast fashion products - a handbag for every occasion that lasts a lifetime at an accessible price. We may not be changing the World, but we’re proud to be reducing the harmful effects of fast fashion one handbag at a time.

Fast forward to April 2020 and our entrepreneurial journey has moved into fifth gear. 

With most of our handbag stock sold, we are now working full time on a new business, tackling the giant issue of climate change.

Pardon? How did that happen? 

The simple answer is Antler, an early-stage VC firm that builds and invests in groundbreaking technology companies, which we heard about in 2018. 

Having loved the challenge of building 2026 together we wanted to try our hand at being entrepreneurs full time and Antler offered the perfect conditions for taking the leap: a cohort of 80 exceptional aspiring entrepreneurs to build a team from, a huge global network of mentors and coaches, shared office space, a small stipend to pay the bills and most importantly, access to funding. So we quit our jobs at the end of last year, recharged over Christmas and started the program in January.

Wow, what a journey! It’s safe to say that the last 3 months have been the most exhilarating, rewarding and challenging of our professional careers (worthy of a separate blog). 

And we are now proud to announce our new company called Trace, which received pre-seed investment from Antler earlier this month. Thank you to Antler, our coaches, the incredible cohort who shared it with us on the rollercoaster and inspired us every day. And last but not least, our family and friends who encouraged us to take the leap, supported us throughout, listened to all our terrible ideas and became Trace’s first members.

Trace is on a mission to help everyone live a carbon neutral life by rewarding carbon positive choices and making it easy to offset your remaining carbon footprint. We’re all about simplicity, transparency and impact. We choose the most effective projects that remove carbon pollution from the atmosphere and enable members to visualise and share their individual and collective impact. From just $3.5 per week you can offset your carbon footprint and support communities globally through carbon positive projects. 

Our vision is a World where everyone, individuals and organisations, leave a positive trace. A World where we do what we can to reduce our emissions and offset the rest.

It’s early days for Trace so we would love to hear from you to help us shape our future and build a movement. What type of projects do you care about? How can we bring your impact to life? What do you want to know more about?

Please get in touch: hello@our-trace.com.

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