Blog : About the team

Chasing the dream

Chasing the dream

Well well well…

I guess the time of talking is over and the time of doing is now. I am going back to Panama in a few days (three days and counting!) to seek investment for bíku. In all honesty, I am nervous as hell, I guess because I want this to work – not just for me and my partner but for the local community in Bocas del Toro, and for my family. I am excited to be going back home to do this. It feels right to be on this journey.
I remember a speech that Steve Jobs did some years ago. He said you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots looking backwards. I now understand what he meant by that. I needed to go through my life journey to get to this point, but don’t get me wrong, I believe this is just the beginning!

Last day in the ‘office’

As I write this blog I am preparing to go in for my last day of work at Ace Hotel. I can’t believe that I have been there for four years; how time flies. It has taught me a lot, of what to do and what not to do in the hospitality industry.
So, before I keep blabbing on, whatever it is that you are dreaming of,  don’t let anything or anyone stop you. BE UNSTOPPABLE…and that’s how I am feeling right now.
Let’s do this.
Remember, sign up to our mailing list to be part of the bíku family, find out more about our journey and also get the best offers on our treehouse holidays when our crowdfund goes live in spring next year. Join the journey – there’s a tropical island, a treehouse and chocolate waiting for you!
Until the next time, #liveslow!
I love you Tiyanna, Declan and Coco.


Someone who has inspired me since the very first day that I met him – since the very first conversation I had with him when he was still working at Ace Hotel (London) – is my good friend Nathan Miller…documentary filmmaker extraordinaire.

A lot of people – including me – are inspired by well-known, successful individuals who have already been through their struggle to get where they are today, those who are already ‘on the other side’. But – for me, what is even more inspiring is seeing the journey, seeing someone going through that ‘struggle’ and making sacrifices today for where they want to be tomorrow, not knowing but believing in getting to that ‘other side’. Meet Nathan Miller.

A higher education

I remember one conversation in particular that I had with Nathan about him telling his parents, teachers and friends that he – at the age of 17 – was not planning to go to university. Instead, he was going to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker. He wanted to show young people in the community that anything is possible if you believe. I’m sure you can imagine what the response was, the ‘are you sures’ and ‘how are you going to do thats’.

But Nathan, more than having a dream had the vision, and that is something I took away that day. He taught me that you are never too old to learn and you are never too young to teach.

He knew what he wanted so clearly that he could step in to it like it had already happened.

The grind

He had his drive, his determination, his commitment from such a young age. When others were partying and doing teenage things he was grinding. Wow, what a guy. I am so proud to call him my friend.

Monday marked the release of Nathan’s fourth documentary, ‘Northside’, which looks at Toronto’s rap scene. Reviews have been stunning, it has been described as a ‘must-watch’. Check out Nathan’s profile on Instagram for the link to watch on YouTube.

You inspire me, brother.

Until next time … #liveslow!

Inspired by social business

Inspired by social business

This week we’ve posted a few things on social media about projects and people that inspire us. Inspiration and being inspired keeps us pursuing our dream. It pushes us forward and it keeps us going on those really tough days when we question and doubt ourselves and wonder what the hell we’re doing!!

Face your fears

Whenever we tell people about our bíku project, their initial reaction is wow – that’s so exciting, and so cool. Of course we love this reaction because what we’re trying to achieve is exciting (to us), it is amazing and we love it. But, sometimes, doing something different is terrifying! Every day we need to push ourselves to make sure that we reach our goal. There are no personal trainers organising our routine or our daily plans, no one shouting at us when we feel like giving up. We have to do this ourselves – which at times can be really tough. Having people and projects to inspire us is even more important at these low points. They remind us that doing the impossible, is possible!

Ariel faces another fear…his fear of frogs. And with Bocas del Toro full of these amazing guys – poison dart frogs – he’s going to have to get over his fear, fast!

Who inspires us?

So – who are our main inspirations? Well, some are closer to home, including friends and family, and others are world renowned. For me, Muhammad Yunus is a huge inspiration for our biku project and on a personal level. I’m not sure how Yunus would describe himself. By education he is an economist, but I think he was one of if not the very first, true social entrepreneur. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for founding and his work with Grameen Bank, which was and remains a pioneer in providing microfinance for the poor. For all you creatives and social business…ers of the future, the Grameen Creative Lab is a great way to keep up to date with anything social business related!

Yunus has dedicated his life to helping people break out of poverty, and has always kept principles of sustainability at the core of his work. Looking at what Yunus has achieved, at what Grameen has achieved, it just seems impossible. A glance at the ‘Grameen Family’ section of the Yunus Centre website shows the magnitude of this man’s work. If you want to know more about Yunus and how Grameen began, I would strongly recommend that you read Yunus’s book, ‘Building Social Business: The New Kind of Capitalism that Serves Humanity’s Most Pressing Needs’.

From being inspired to inspiring others

We’re inspired every day – often by people who are working on personal, creative projects or in the community. They are driven by passion rather than a desire for recognition. We try to surround ourselves with people who are inspiring, people who don’t settle for the status quo – you know who you are! We can only hope that one day we can inspire others. That would be an honour.