Business name: The Nature Bus LLC
Owner: Suzanne Moss
Month and city where founded: April 2017; Virginia Beach
What’s the big idea? The Nature Bus helps people of all ages connect with nature. We offer two different types of eco-experiences: ones that are custom-designed for groups of 15-18 people and/or upcoming experiences so people can “hop on board” now! We match people with nature guides, both locally and throughout Virginia. The Nature Bus will “plan every detail of the event” by collaborating with experts in the field (pun intended), so people can just show up and enjoy the great outdoors.
Our mission statement: To be a vehicle for transformative, shared nature experiences; to nurture peoples’ affinity for the natural world.” We infuse our trip with “nature-bathing” and nature meditation for an experience where people will feel something special.
Background: I taught elementary school for over 30 years. My daughter, Mariah, and I hosted a nature club for over 10 years. The Nature Bus allows Suzanne to be outdoors, sharing nature with children and adults, everyday.
Do you remember the moment you decided to start your business? What was that like? Back in college, I wrote a thesis on the many benefits (physical and psychological) of spending time in the natural world. Health, wellness, meditation and yoga – all outdoors – were what I focused on. The seeds of The Nature Bus were planted that many years ago. There were additional certifications to acquire (yoga teacher certificate, wilderness first aid, and a commercial driver’s license to drive a bus) but, I decided to start the business when my father, a NASA astronomer, passed away, leaving me enough money to put toward my dream.
It was a bittersweet feeling. It is now a family-run business, with the whole family involved. I could not have decided to move forward on this vision in a vacuum, I needed to know I had the love and support of family and friends. This is what helped me make that final decision to take the leap.”
What motivates you? My desire to spend every day, rain or shine, outdoors with others who enjoy nature-bathing. I want to share my passion with others and hope they might find as much happiness and inspiration that I have found in the breathtaking natural scenery we have right here in our beautiful state. I get the most wonderful and indescribable feeling when I see others enjoying an experience that I am providing. I am also motivated by a desire to make Mother Earth a little healthier. You can’t protect something until you first appreciate it.
What has been the biggest challenge so far? The very biggest challenge is that people have such busy lives, and they are not able to carve out time for themselves. I can plan the nature party, even offer it for free occasionally, and still people may not have time to come. They might not realize taking that time to rejuvenate can often give them that extra boost of energy to accomplish more when they return back to the concrete jungle!
How do you define success? I define success with my favorite word: entelechy, which is defined as a philosophy of the realization of potential. As individuals, we each have our niche, just as each organism in nature does. We need to settle into that special niche in order to reach our full potential as humans and to offer something to the world to make it a better place. Success in life is having a vision and acting upon it. Success in business is bringing that vision to fruition by connecting with others in meaningful ways, collaborating and most importantly taking time to pause and appreciate the subtle calm in the chaos of jumping through the sometimes daunting business hoops.