Many of you already know Brand g’s co-owner, Brian Van Wey. He has spent the last decade – along with co-owner Jeff Gundvaldson – building Brand g into an industry leader with care and thoughtfulness and a willingness to let me humiliate him on a regular basis.
So, let’s begin!
- What’s your favorite part of your job?
Getting to see all these amazing places in the world is a job perk that far outweighs stock options or a hot assistant. But getting to see them would be a complete bummer if we had to do it with a bunch of entitled jerks. We feel so blessed to have such an amazing group of fun and open-minded guests, who make the experience so memorable for both us and themselves. There’s a stronger sense of community – and fabulousness – with Brand g.
- What was your most embarrassing Brand g moment?
Miss Conception, the celebrated female delusionist who entertains on a number of Brand g trips, forced me into drag (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) and made me be a backup dancer for her Tina Turner number, Proud Mary. Unlike Oprah, I hadn’t dreamed of this moment. It also didn’t help that guests told me how hot I was as a woman.
- What’s your favorite Brand g memory?
In Cambodia, we visit a private English language school along the Mekong River in Angkor Ban. The goal of the school is to provide more opportunities for local children in the tourism and trade industry by teaching them English. So I teach them swear words. Kidding! The kids are adorable, and so happy to see us, and as a dad, I want so much to help them succeed.
- What is your favorite travel destination?
Vietnam. People who haven’t visited Southeast Asia are missing out. Amazing culture, fantastic landmarks and the people are super warm and welcoming. Or maybe I just like wearing an Ao Dai (you can go comnmando under there).
- Where in the world would you like to go that is unavailable to us right now?
Beirut (Lebanon) has amazing religious ruins, but sadly, we won’t be getting to see them anytime soon.
- What is the most embarrassing job you ever had?
I was a concessions vendor at the county fair. Hawking ice cream in front of a grandstand while wearing a paper cone hat is Just. Not. Cool. So last year, I summarily quit.
- What would you be if you could be anything?
Young. And not as stupid as I was the first time around.
- What is your greatest extravagance?
Good wine. My early adult years were spent in the bar business, and I developed a taste for good hooch.
- What one thing would you want people to know about you?
I don’t enjoy reading. When I was young (18 months) I had an accident that caused the loss of vision in my left eye. I eventually regained some vision, but in tandem, my eyes don’t work well together for things that are close in. Reading with both eyes is fatiguing and gives me migraines.
Or maybe I made all this up so that other people at Brand g would have to read all the contracts. We’ll never really know for sure, will we?