I created the @mayaandava username on Instagram in college after taking up photography and adopting to Siberian Huskies. I had just moved to a new city and didn't know anyone, and decided to take up a create outlet that more or less served as a diary. While people were drawn to our photos, it was apparent that people were connecting to my writing too. We created our own hashtag, #AdventureAndAwareness, which was meant to create more awareness around mental health and preserving our ecosystems outdoors. Our posts starting gaining a lot of traction and were shared by many high-profile accounts.
We quickly started getting noticed by major outdoor lifestyle, tourism, and pet brands. We were also asked to collaborate on various campaigns to help these brands gain more exposure online, increase loyalty, and drive sales.
We created our own website, mayaandava.com, where people come come and purchase an annual calendar from us that featured our photos from cross country road trips. We also encouraged people to join our email list for regular updates, tips and tricks for traveling with dogs, and for media bookings (e.g. podcasts).
20% of every calendar sold was donated and split between two nonprofits:
To Write Love on Her Arms - a mental health organization
Project Wildsong - a nonprofit that uses ambassador animals to educate the public about the importance of protecting wolves and other wildlife through conversation and awareness.