We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Kushner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Well, it really wasn’t my idea. In 2014, my co-founder Trey (who I grew up with since I was 4 years old) talked me into it. At the time, he was going to Wharton for an MBA and I was in advertising as a Creative Director. He wanted to start a company, so I helped come up with some ideas on how to execute it on the weekends. That led to joining as a co-founder and sort of diving in head first to the startup world, working on nights and weekends. We had gotten into an accelerator program called Techstars with our previous brand, and once we were accepted, I had to make the choice to quit my job or stay in advertising….and I decided that the advertising industry would always be there, so I jumped. The previous company that we started led us to BABOON TO THE MOON and meeting our third co-founder Andy. We’ve been up and running for almost 3 years now.
So, to answer your question, my thought process behind starting my own business was, “it’s now or never”.
What should our readers know about your business?
BABOON TO THE MOON has been running since July 31st 2018. My two co-founders and I created this company because of our love for travel and adventure. In our minds, the more of the world you see, the more you grow as a person. You gain a better sense of empathy, a better sense of humor and better taste. You lose fear of the unfamiliar. Homophobia, xenophobia, sexism and racism are less likely to exist in the mind of a true traveler.
Adventure seekers get lost. Their phones die. They don’t speak the language. So they explore. They talk to people they don’t know. They let their guard down. They get creative. They get out of their bubbles and they say yes. This creates perspective.
As a brand, we want to create these experiences and be a catalyst to adventure. Forced serendipity. The more you put yourself out there, the more magical, unique and authentic the moments are. It’s why our products are versatile (for spontaneity), indestructible (for…mishaps) and expressive (for conversation starters).
We’re still young as a brand and have a lot more up our sleeve. Everything we’ve overcome so far has been because of our team and everyone’s positive attitude/resilience. Lessons learned? Any and all success is due to luck 🙂
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I moved to LA about 7 months ago when everything was shut down, so anyone who’s actually from LA don’t judge too hard.
Beach — Lechuza Beach in Malibu is my favorite. Best sunsets, never crowded, and is a fun drive through the canyons from Silverlake. There’s also Table Rock Beach if you’re willing to drive a couple of hours to Laguna, but definitely worth it.
Hike — Angeles National Forest, Griffith Park
Cocktails — Bar Flores, L&E
Beers — La Caverna, The Douglas,
Dinner — Little Doms, Gjusta, Alimento, Night + Market
Brunch / Lunch — Konbi, Squirl, Cookbook
Coffee — Maru, Lamill, Civil
Tacos — El flamin Taco Truck, Guisados
Gift Shop — OK the store
Clothing — Dover Street Market, Union, American Rag
Art — LACMA or if it’s still showing, Andy Dixon’s “Masterpieces” exhibit, Getty museum (when it’s open again)
Other — The gardens at the Huntington Library, movie at the Hollywood forever cemetery, grocery shopping at Erewhon (it’s quite the…experience)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Big Shout Out to Mike Schatz, an incredible screenwriter. What up Mike!
Instagram: @baboontothemoon @michaelprestia
Photographer – Mei Tao