Two things set Mark and Angela Hook on the road to explore the US – adventure and business.
A little over a year ago, the couple stepped out from their full and varied life in the tourist town of Wanaka and came stateside with a very specific agenda: Roam the vast expanses of America while building their business, Stunt Puppy – a company committed to creating human-grade gear for dogs.
“A mentor of mine told me, ‘Have fun, make money, in that order,’” says Angela.
And that’s precisely what the duo is doing. Dividing life between home in New Zealand and a life on the road in the USA, Mark and Angela travel the states with their new Airstream® Basecamp – and Reacher, a 100-pound Rhodesian Ridgeback – for work and play. Fittingly, they named their Basecamp “Rover.”
In talking about their decision to make the intercontinental commute, Angela says, “We had been living an easy life in New Zealand. We lived in a very beautiful place and were very comfortable. But then we decided to have a bit of a challenge and more adventure in life.”
They were drawn to the US by their hunger for newness and adventure, and to transition their company from a cottage endeavor to a thriving, growing business capable of competing in new markets.
The couple’s purchase of an Airstream was equally adventure-driven.
“Even before all of this kicked off, we were back in little New Zealand talking about traveling around with an Airstream, seeing America, and folding that travel into our business, stopping up at dog parks and beaches and trailheads and all kinds of things. Just being a little bit of a roadshow, if you like,” says Angela.
So, Mark and Angela began their search for the perfect Silver Bullet. They found it fairly quickly, at a trade show in Utah during a visit to the US in 2017.
Angela remembers her first impression of the Basecamp. “I looked inside, and I thought, ‘They have thought of everything.’ I thought, ‘They've even figured out that everything charges via a USB, and there is a little hatch inside so that you can wash your dog, or your bike, or yourself without being inside the Basecamp.’ It was so clever, and immediately I thought, ‘That's us, and it’s also a perfect fit for our brand.’”
They pulled the trigger one year later and haven’t looked back.
To promote Stunt Puppy, Mark and Angela travel to trade shows regularly, and their Basecamp has become an integral part of their setup.
“The Basecamp was pretty much a foregone conclusion for us. It did everything that we were looking for, and it was also small enough to fit in an exhibition space,” says Mark.
“We can drive it into the exhibit halls, and we can build the booth around the outside of the Basecamp,” adds Angela.
They’ve added some personal touches to Rover to reflect their brand, like a brightly colored logo. While at tradeshows, the couple opens the doors to their Basecamp so guests can take a look at some of their gear. But, Mark says, sometimes Rover is the real draw. “The Basecamp attracts people. They’re curious to see the inside.”
When a show is over, the couple typically takes some time to explore the region around the event venue. These are impromptu trips, and Mark and Angela love the flexibility and freedom they have to go wherever they choose in the moment.
When they’re in the States and not traveling for fun or work (or as they would say, work-play, because the two are so intertwined for them), Mark and Angela stay in a shared house with a delightful roommate (and fellow dog lover) in Park City, UT.
Mark and Angela don’t think about how long they’ll maintain their commuting work-play-travel lifestyle. They focus on each day as it comes, and keep stoking their dual passions for travel and dogs. And they couldn’t be happier.