Meet Sofia Mimendi and Emily Bruns.
Co-Founders of Aclipse Campervans.
"You don't have to go anywhere to start a business. Start now, do it locally. Trust your intuition."
Aclipse provides a unique travel experience by renting campervans that are thoughtfully designed and fully equipped with all of the camping essentials for adventures big and small.
Q: What makes Cincinnati a great place to start a business?
A: Sofia: I have lived in Mexico City, Harrogate, TN. Boston, and Dallas, but Cincinnati has everything a big city has to offer, but it is easy to access. It is easy to get a super good Score Mentor, to register a new company in Ohio, to network to get what you need, but most importantly, people want to help you. Our customers, they are on our team, they want us to do well. The suppliers/vendors we work with locally are amazing and they are on our team as well. And there are so many wonderful resources like Aviatra, SoCap, and MSV that really make Cincinnati a great place to start a business.
Q: How did a grant from Main Street Ventures impact you and your business?
A: We will add a new van to our fleet, Sofia will join the team full time in 2022, we expect to hire a part-time employee next year.
Q: What does a typical day in your life look like?
A: Emily: I run every day. Sometimes I start my day with an early morning run. I come home meditate and drink coffee, coffee is very important for me. Then, I see the schedule for the day ahead. I use a productivity planner to plan the most important tasks to get done. I'm usually at Aclipse from 9-5 pm running the day-to-day operations. Greeting renters, planning our social media schedule, showing the vans to people that want to rent, working on campervans. I walk my dog and sometimes Sofia's dog in the evenings. I love to cook vegetarian meals for my husband.
Sofia: I stop at Luckman's Coffee every day, coffee is also very important to me. I work at American Leak Detection from 9-5 pm every day, managing the Cincinnati Dayton Office. After ALD, I manage the bookings for Aclipse, answer any email communication or inquiry, and try to help Emily with whatever she needs. I usually go to Aclipse from 5-7 pm to get work done there. Then I go for a run with my husband or Emily or sometimes go to the climbing gym.
Q: What’s a lesson you've learned that has shaped your work?
A: Sofia: I think this is a trick question. I learn so much every day owning a business, that sometimes I don't want to learn anymore... Some lessons are soft realizations like aha moments, but some are hard slaps in the face. Emily and I both experience many of these on a daily. There are so many things to learn when starting a business from scratch, that sometimes is tough to realize ALL the things we have actually learned. But the lesson we have both learned with Aclipse, which really has shaped our work, is to follow our intuition and gut. There are so many unknowns when starting and owning a business that trusting our intuition and gut is the most important lesson for us. Also, to never make decisions based on fear. We are brave, even whenever we are scared and nervous to make the next move, we are brave, no matter what.
Q: What’s a recent book, podcast, or news story that you found interesting?
A: It is super nerdy to admit, but we like to read the same business books and talk about them and how we can make our business grow. We use Traction by Geno Wickman a lot. . The E-Myth is also another one we try to implement as much as possible. Let my People Surf by Yvon Chouinard was the latest we read since we are trying to grow a big company but stay very true to our values.
Q: What's next for Aclipse Campervans?
A: We are going to continue to grow, expanding to other cities is the next move.