Recently we stumbled upon Carabiner Coffee on Instagram. To say the least, after a few minutes of scrolling through Erik's feed we found ourselves inspired. Erik lives each day to the fullest, and the mission behind the brand goes much deeper then what first meets the eye. The photos on Erik's feed are more then just beautiful photos. If you continue on to read the messages below, you'll find that Carabiner Coffee is much more then just.. coffee.
Where did the idea to start Carabiner Coffee Co. come from?
After years of being a climbing instructor, mountain bike guide and snowboard instructor I found myself in the mountains of CO wondering what I was going to do next. I wanted to live a life that allowed me to travel and do the things I love all while meeting people and spreading positivity through my everyday interactions. Coffee just seemed to be the best way I could accomplish all those things! After snagging a job at an independent coffee shop for about 8 months and learning everything I could about the coffee industry, I quit, bought Ol Blue and Carabiner Coffee was born!
Tell us a little bit about Ol' Blue and why you wanted to run the biz out of the bus.
I’ve always been drawn to living small and being able to move whenever and wherever I wanted, not being tied down by many possessions. I was cruising craigslist one day and there Ol Blue was, in all its glory.. just waiting for me! I knew if I wanted a never ending adventure, this was the way I was going to make that happen. I bought the van in October and then spent the next 5 months remodeling, branding and getting a trial by fire lesson in starting a business. I wanted to travel the country climbing, biking, surfing and selling coffee so the only thing left to do was to go for it. I sold most of the few things that I had and hit the road. Its two years later, here we are! It is now my full time job to travel the country, sell coffee and and spread love through the adventure.
One of the things that drew us to Carabiner Coffee was the positive messages you write on all of your Instagram posts. We love them! What inspired you to leave behind the commercial and sales side of Instagram, and instead use it as a tool for inspiration?
Making money was never the ultimate goal when I started Carabiner Coffee. Sure everyone needs to make money somehow, but we can do so much more with our lives than simply make money and measure our achievements by how much is in our bank accounts. I have always loved sharing positivity with people and encouraging them to go after their dreams. So when I saw the opportunity to use social media and make the mission of Carabiner Coffee’s media accounts to spread love, I couldn’t help myself. The world is full of daunting negativity coming from so may angles these days that all I want to do is replace that negativity with hope. It only takes a few sentences to remind us all why we’re here and that is to love each other! We’re all going to die one day and all the money in the world won’t buy you any more time to smile and share the beauty of life with those around you. If I’m going to dedicate my life to anything, it is going to be dedicated to here and now and spreading that happiness.
Tell us a little more about the phrase "Find your line" that's painted on the side of Ol' Blue?
"Find Your Line” has been a montra that has come from my love for the outdoors and all the sports I enjoy. Climbing, biking, surfing, snowboarding.. They all involve choosing some sort of line to follow. Once you commit to that line, if you believe in yourself enough you’re going to find your way through it and come out of it a more confident and inspired person. I think we all have so much more potential than we are lead to believe by the current system of the 9-5 culture. If you have a dream, take a long hard look, find your line and don’t stop until you come out the other side. That is the message I wanted to spread by painting “Find Your Line” on the side of Ol Blue. I still say it to myself when I’m faced with the challenges that come from following your passion.
What's the next big adventure on the horizon for you and Carabiner Coffee?
The goal of Carabiner Coffee and what I do has always been to put more love into the world and encourage others to do the same. I recently bought a second van and am in the process of remodeling it and outfitting it to carry out the same mission that Ol Blue and I have had for the past few years. My hope is to take both of these vans and get a team together that is dedicated to traveling the US and soon to different countries to make coffee in beautiful places and share a passion for life. I’m not exactly sure what that looks like as far as a launch date but I know whatever comes of it and wherever we go, we’ll be happy to be there!
For you, what does it mean to be a "Conscious Adventurer"?
To me being a conscious adventurer has a lot to do with the reason you find yourself on an adventure. If you are out to prove something to the world, you are cheating yourself out of a lot of beauty. The whole point of an adventure is to be on it, not to be done with it. The more conscious we are of that fact the more we start to appreciate the places we go and how we interact with them, both from a conservation standpoint but also what we take away from the experience and how it makes us better. Love only begets love and the more we fall in love with the journey and the places we go, the happier every day of our lives will be no matter where we are
To pick up some Carabiner Coffee and see what Erik and Ol Blue are up to, head on over to their online shop.
Photography by Andy Earl