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Courtney started Fernweh in 2018. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Fernweh?
This idea was birthed over one night over Mexican food while talking to a friend who is in the coffee industry. I’ve always flirted with starting a business in the coffee industry or doing something with coffee, however, the NZ market is heavily saturated so I never saw an opportunity.
> I found celebrating even the little steps was so helpful to feel like I was going in the right direction and that this wasn’t just another job but it was my own.
When we were dreaming of this subscription service it didn’t take much convincing for me to start it. I love working with people so being in a position to work with the amazing coffee roasters and the customers was a winning situation for me. When looking at the market at the time there were only a couple roasters who offered subscriptions so being able to have a subscription that featured more than one brand was what I thought was a brilliant idea.
I’ve always loved coffee and I have a lot of friends in the industry so when I would tell them my idea they were excited and it was like a light bulb moment of why hasn’t anyone started this yet!?
This subscription service was quite different as subscriptions hadn’t hit the NZ market at the time. Now there are quite a few which are great for the current state of the world! At the time of starting this company, I was working as a Nanny full-time which was great because I had flexible hours allowing me to work on Fernweh.
It was slow growth, my expectations were very high, maybe unrealistically high as it was the first time I’ve started a business in NZ. I’m originally from America so getting used to the systems here took time. The cost to start Fernweh was quite low and I did everything I could myself along with asking mates for favors, including photographing my flatmates for Instagram posts.
I chose to call it Fernweh, as I love words, and this one, is untranslatable so I know there is no other word like it. I wanted to translate that into my business. I grew up with a heavy Scandinavian background so design and details are quite important to me and naming the business was one of the biggest hurdles. The fern also goes along with NZ as ferns are a big part of the culture here.