If you follow our blog you will know about our love of foraging, our adventures and recipes, tips and handy hints we pass on but you probably don’t know much about who we are and why we do what we do….Fore is a business hand crafted by our passion for the GREAT outdoors and the adventures we share with others are developed by our own experiences and desires, dreams and hopes for our families future and for us all to stay in touch with nature and connect to our environment. No big grand gestures, no man the hunter, no it girl, just fellow humans sharing and enjoying the simple things in life which (in our mere opinion) just happen to be the best things too...
So when the lovely folk at The Simple Things magazine asked co-founder Jade to tell her side of the story in their regular feature 'beyond the 9-5' it was the perfect fit...here’s some of what she has to say and a curtain-raiser to what you can find inside Julys issue, here goes;
A little intro; I’m Jade, wife of Dan, mummy to our 3 small humans and 1 half of Fore / Adventure. They say it all started with a kiss and I guess you can say it did this time. I met Dan in my late teens, care free and with all the time in the world to dream big, I studied hard to be an Architect, spending hours attached to my mac, fingers to the keyboard with a glimpse of the sky from my desk. Was this what it was all about? Being a grown up, living for the weekend? The itch had started and I had begun to scratch it….We got married in our late twenties and had our first daughter Molly and that's when it all started; I yearned to escape the rat race, it’s a cliche but I did fall into it.
How? We whiled away hours scouring the net searching for an opportunity that would allow us to live out the good life in the countryside we romanticised about in Dorset. Then one day we happened upon our little hut by the sea and we knew it was right, it was our dream, and our ticket to the life we wanted to lead.
Why we chose the name Fore? We chose to rebrand last year and picked the name Fore / Adventure for what it stands for; before, in front of, for, before, formerly; meaning to be proactive in seeking adventure and we felt it allowed us to be unrestricted. Through the last 5 years we have seen such big changes in the way we work and what our clients desire and being small and personal we have been able to react quickly. We needed an identity that allowed us to keep developing and didn’t tie us down to one venture, we felt using Fore would future proof the brand to allow us to expand the business should we want to at a later stage.
Pros and cons? Running your own business is exhilarating, your achievements make you physically swell with pride, but you don’t do it for the money. The little things are the best things. It’s hard work and the days are long, you do worry about competition and staying true to who you are, but we made a conscious decision to side step, to try and offer something unique and personal, we didn’t want the kind of business that sells bums on seats adventures, every time has to feel like the first time for us and for our clients.
Are you still developing the business? I like to adapt and make changes in the way we live and work to suit our lifestyle and what we stumble upon along the way, this is the bonus of being self employed. Both the failures and successes we have had have really shaped our business and allowed us to learn a whole heap about who we are, who our customers are and ultimately what we want to be and where the future of the business is going.
How do you delegate? We were always adamant that this would be a family run business and that we wouldn’t sell out, or hand over the control of it for fear it would lose our personal touch or the passion we have, but we have come to realise that we do need help, you can’t possibly do it all, it’s just choosing those helpers wisely and delegating well. We are just starting to hit what we call the ‘silly season’, we absolutely love the busyness that the warmer climes bring and seeing all of our plans made over the winter come together, now is a really exciting time but you need the downtime at the end of it to regroup. The main season from May - September is full throttle, during this time we have more helpers and other members of the fore team will deliver sessions on the beach and assist us in running the childrens holiday schemes or the events like our foraged feasts and be on hand at the festivals we attend.
Where do you see the future of the business going? Fore is driven by love for what we are doing rather than a dream scenario, having said that we do want to keep progressing and challenging ourselves and we would love to develop those lightbulbs moments and ideas if and when the time feels right. Within the next year we just want to refine what we are offering and maintain the smiles on our customers faces.
What is key for us is the sensitivity of how we operate, we don’t want a big business because small and family-run is perfect for us so that we can maintain the quality, but also because of our location in the Isle of Purbeck; we lease off the National Trust and we’re on a sensitive spot. There is only so much work we feel that we can sensitively and ethically do in this location with Fore / adventure but we are working on opportunities in the future within the next 5 years to offer more strings to the Fore bow and in other locations.
How do the seasons affect the work? Each season brings new bounty and we love to share what we find and use it to make up recipes to post on our blog and inspire people to go out and forge some adventures of their own. We found that our audience were really engaging with our ideas to reconnect our plate with our environment, and decided to offer our ‘foraged feasts’ , to celebrate the different seasons and nature’s larder and to have a jolly good knees up at the same time. We love the simple things and we want to show people that it is simple, with a bit of a nudge they can do it too.
What is it about being outdoors that you think is so important to share? We know from our own experience of being outside that it makes our hearts sing and gives us that fuzzy, inner glow type feeling. But it’s not just the feel good stuff that makes being in the great outdoors important, being at one with nature stimulates and supports learning. From small people to big people, we call all adventurers, and our clients are people who just love to learn and educate through experience, people who separate work from the weekend, people intrigued to explore the alternative, people who want to make memories, have tales to tell friends, and people who long to give their children the same carefree childhood they had. They enjoy the freedom we can give them and a sense of escapism for those precious hours or days they find themselves here. To see our customers enjoying and engaging with what we are doing is the best thumbs up you could wish for.
How have you found working with local businesses? is this is a big part of what you do? We really love to work with other businesses, but we are careful in how we do this and our ethos has always been that it has to be the right fit for both parties. It can be a really inspiring process and creative way to work. We have been fortunate enough to be given some really exciting opportunities recently and this has allowed us to develop streams of the business like the foraged feasts further than we would be able to do alone, collaboration can really strengthen what you are able to offer and in our case it is something we have definitely seen worth in and hope to do more of.