christopher reichert-estes

husband – frenchie dad tofu & zinEducation
geographic information systems – political science – sustainability
cartographer – entrepreneur
adventurer – astronomer – candle maker – foodie – gardener – photographer – soap maker – vegan – wine lover

December 31, 2021All good things come to an end — as of December 31, 2021 MapHazardly will be shutting down.Don’t be sad, though. Let me share a story.A little over nine years ago I began an unexpected journey. I just graduated university and was unsure of my next steps. I was creating maps for myself to keep my skills fresh and I received a lot of encouragement to sell them. Initially, I laughed that idea off because running a business was something I never aspired to do. But eventually I took a leap beyond my comfort zone: I launched a Kickstarter campaign, raised $13k, bought a giant printer and MapHazardly was born!This has been a journey I’m so grateful for. I’ve learned many valuable lessons about running a small business. It’s tough. There are highs and lows. There are no jobs too big or small. Small business owners — especially those micro businesses like mine — wear many hats, but in the end it’s incredibly fulfilling. MapHazardly allowed me to offer great customer service, design products I’m proud of, and experience the excitement when people looked at their map for the first time, reliving their life’s adventures. These things filled me up, and felt core to who I am as a person.As it has for many folks, the Covid-19 pandemic impacted my business and prompted a lot of self reflection on what I want most. I wondered if shutting down MapHazardly would make me a failure. However, a recent discussion with my husband, Ryan, helped me realize something — the sense of adventure, passion for learning, and creating something that sparks joy in others are qualities I infused into MapHazardly. Not the other way around. For the past nine years building my business has given me an outlet for expressing the things I value most, doing so by creating new maps and exploring new places virtually.Now it’s time for a new chapter, though.To start, Ryan and I are launching our first short term vacation rental! This time last year we started dreaming about what that might look like. Could we do it? It’s seemed a huge, scary risk. A lot of work. A whole new business venture neither of us are familiar with. But from the start I felt excited. That conversation when I realized how my values showed up through MapHazardly made it easy to understand why. This next chapter is about adventure, travel, exploring new places and creating unforgettable experiences for others.So, you might be asking where are we headed? We recently purchased a home near Joshua Tree, California. Neither of us had ever been to the Mojave Desert, but had heard great stories. We didn’t see the house in person, getting everything through video tours from our incredible realtor. It was certainly a gamble, but in the end it just felt right, settling on a 400 square-foot cabin in Landers (where the locals are affectionately referred to as Landroids).Ryan visited soon after just to make sure it wasn’t the biggest mistake we’ve ever made. He loved the area and his excitement was palpable. Since then, we’ve been managing renovations remotely and I’ve immersed myself in the business of vacation rentals. Now, we are headed to Joshua Tree for the last couple months of work. I’m excited for the adventure of transforming the house from plans that have only existed on paper into a place where we can help others get away and reconnect.To close, I want you to know how truly appreciative I am for the encouragement and support I’ve received from family, friends, and even complete strangers. It has been an honor and incredibly humbling to have created tangible reminders for each of you to relive your life’s adventures. Maps will always be essential in how I bring my purpose to life.Thank you so much for sharing this journey with me. I hope you’ll join us as we take our next steps — it’s going to be fun, I can guarantee that. For more information, visit Landroid Landing, our desert escape coming to Landers, California in 2022.Christopher