You know what’s crazy?
People pay money to ride a spiraling death train that slings us up and down a track at top speeds-- twisting and turning and flipping the whole way-- all because it’s “fun”. What’s even crazier is that we aren’t satisfied with just one death train. We demand an ENTIRE park be filled with them. Apparently, we like plenty of variety when it comes to scaring ourselves senseless.
The anxiety from a roller coaster's first drop was how we felt about our last semester of college. We strapped in and slowly lurched our way towards graduation. But our roller coaster wasn’t built; we were laying down track as we plummeted to the ground. It’s safe to say we were a little unprepared.
(The original metaphor was going to compare graduation season to bungee jumping, but we figured that would be a little too on the nose.)
Classes had finished, Ben and Harrison’s graduation ceremony had come and gone, caps were thrown in the air, and the Little Apple was busy becoming a ghost town for the summer. Change was coming for thousands of new graduates, and Bungii was no exception.
Ben and Harrison both knew the vision they shared for Bungii’s future meant they had to move. Bungii needed a city that could support its growth. There was pressure, fear and no guarantees leaving home behind. If the nerves of the unknown is like a common cold, then they were wrapped in 5 blankets each, slurping down chicken noodle soup.
It wasn’t just moving that weighed heavily on their minds. Sure, leaving behind friends, the familiarity of college and the comforts of routine is always rough-- but doing it all for an underdeveloped idea was highly questionable at best.
Ben remembers sitting alone in his empty apartment with his whole life stuff into his old black Ford Ranger. With everything in boxes, Ben had a calm moment to process the weight of his decision: the failure of Bungii was as plausible as success. The security of a “real” job sounded nice in that moment.
About an hour later, they were cruising east on I-70 with a full gas tank and the GPS chirping directions to Kansas City.
It took about three days until Kansas City become home. It was probably the combination of the Royals, Joe's Barbecue, First Fridays, concerts at the Sprint Center, and more Joe's Barbecue that did it. They were welcomed and encouraged by the opportunity the Kansas City area offered.
The friendly people, exciting business, dynamite sports teams and downtown culture was contagious.The fear and uncertainty that packages itself with moving became a distant memory.
We owe so much of our success to this city. It has supported us and made us feel like we belong. It is humbling and encouraging; we could not have asked for a better place to start a business. Being able to say Bungii was born in KC will always be a point of great pride for us.