Geneva Long has elevated the travel experience for modern adventurers by reimagining the original aluminum travel trailer as today’s most advanced RV, the Bowlus. Geneva’s love of craftsmanship includes using the highest quality materials with fanatical attention to detail to differentiate her company in the RV industry.
What is your business and what do you do?
I am Geneva Long, Founder, and CEO of Bowlus. Bowlus embodies the ultimate performance, technology, and luxury in the perfect adventure-ready RV. With an iconic heritage of innovation as the original aluminum travel trailer, the Bowlus is the top choice for modern adventurers, land travelers, and camping enthusiasts.
What sparked your vision to launch your business?
My first connection to the Bowlus brand first occurred decades ago, when my family obtained a vintage Bowlus Road Chief after completing a 3,000-mile North American road trip. I began to conceptualize the return of the Bowlus Road Chief brand while at the Wharton School. What has been incredible is we have been able to create the luxury land travel experience in North America while building the most luxurious user-centered, sustainable design in the industry.
What has been your favorite failure and what did you learn?
When you’re in start-up mode, you often feel like you are failing every day. It can be with a small decision you’ve made that you don’t have total confidence in or simply concerned feeling you are not prioritizing what’s critical. However, one of the gifts of time in business is you can create a trusted team and, over time, build an intuitive sense of what’s important and how your decisions will play out. Although I tend to lead through the numbers, I have also learned to trust my instincts as well.
What was your most memorable day of your career and why?
Running a business often means your days are filled with unexpected events that make every day memorable. However, probably one of my favorite days was being named to Forbes 30 under 30. It was a delightful surprise and a complete honor to be recognized for the innovations we have created to lead a billion-dollar industry. It really is a testament that you should make your business what you want and lead accordingly.
How do you continue to learn so you stay ahead in your industry?
The RV industry isn’t known for leading in innovation. So I like to find inspiration in other industries. So much of what we do is about thinking about trends and then designing and engineering them for an incredible user experience in a Bowlus. We have a new model for 2021, and it is a manifestation of what we do best.
How do you manage stress from running a successful business?
I absolutely love to travel. There is nothing like getting out in the open air to appreciate nature and allow yourself to breathe. With my Bowlus, I love that I can get away and stay off-grid in a stunning vineyard or a silent walnut grove but still be plugged and enjoy air conditioning. Especially with the pandemic, the Bowlus has been a fantastic home away from home!
What is some bad advice you hear in your industry or with entrepreneurship that people should avoid?
Often new entrepreneurs think they really need to provide simple standard products to grow their business. While there is truth to that, it is perhaps more important to truly understand your target audience and focus your efforts to develop the best solution that speaks to them specifically. It can be daunting to say you are going to lead a billion-dollar industry as a start-up as I have done with Bowlus, but with an important mandate like that, you’ll find yourself genuinely motivated.
Where can readers find you on social media?
You can find me @bowlusroadchief on Instagram.