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Conversations with Victoria Mincer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Victoria Mincer.

Hi Victoria, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
I am Victoria, affectionately known as Mommy Sabi to friends and family. We are a full-time traveling homeschool family of 5 (single mom with four kids) living in a self-converted school bus. In honor of my Japanese heritage, we named our bus Wabi-Sabi after the Japanese concept meaning acceptance of imperfection or finding beauty in something less than perfect.

We bought our bus (@wabisabibus) in July 2020, sold our home in NY, moved in full time in November 2020, and have been traveling since. We have since traveled to 32 states, 28,000 miles, and 13 national parks. We have visited countless other state and county parks and made hundreds of new friends. The nomadic community is a large diverse, open-minded one that loves and supports with open arms and encourages all to succeed and chase their dreams.

Along our travels we have whale watching on the pacific, walked with bison at Yellowstone, star gazed in the desert, held an octopus, experienced geysers and tornados, stood atop canyons, walked under waterfalls, hugged redwoods, played in the rainforests, and snowboarded mountains. We get to learn and explore across the country thanks to our tiny home on wheels and our traveling business. Our small business, The Wabi-Sabi Shop not only serves as a means of income to travel but also a learning opportunity for my children.

Our shop sells curated second-hand goods, mainly clothing and home goods as well as handmade items from artisans we meet on the road. The kids get to learn firsthand how to source products, calculate profit margins, offer customer service, file taxes, and more. The business started in 2017 as a means to supplement my single-parent income. In 2020, it became our primary income as we began to travel full time.

We enjoy shopping for beautiful second-hand items across the country. We find these items to give it new life and a new home. Its important to us that we are helping to keep more items out of landfills and teaching the next generation that used is cool too.

The business recently had a rebranding and platform change and we are working on sharing and growing our business further to also carry earth-friendly sustainable products such as soaps, reusable home products, and other handmade goods.

We look forward to seeing how big we can grow our business, how our efforts can make a difference, and how far it helps us travel.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
There have been many ups and downs and learning curves along this business journey.

Establishing a good reputation is any business’s challenge but taking the concept on the road and learning to adapt to our changing locations proved challenging for us.

Finding new product sources, securing supplies, and making shipments proved to be a challenge.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
We are proud to find new homes for second-hand goods that would likely be overlooked or end up in a landfill. We find beautiful goods and wear and bridge the gap with customers and sustainable responsible fashion.

So often many of our items are vintage. Styles that have slipped away and hard-to-find pieces. People love wearing these unique items to express their sense of style and represent their responsibility to be a more conscious consumer.

We hope that adding in our new products will help our customers expand their ability to live more sustainable lifestyles in both a more health-conscious and responsible manner.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The biggest lesson I have learned on this journey is don’t get discouraged when you feel like you are failing. Don’t quit.

A bad day or month of a business is not a failure, but rather a chance to re-evaluate and redirect what you are doing. I have also learned to allow my children more creative freedom and to allow them to try new things.

Giving kids big responsibility and freedom to try an ideas or in a new creative way gives them not only knowledge and experience but also confidence. Failing is okay because it is how we learn what works and what does not.

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