It's 4xForth Friday and today we're highlighting Forth Chicago alum, Maria Boustead, Founder of Po Campo. Maria first hatched the idea for Po Campo's functional and versatile bags when she failed to find a stylish and practical bag to attach to her bike, commute to work, and carry around the office. Po Campo encourages and celebrates active lifestyles by designing bike, yoga, and travel bags with high function and aesthetic appeal.
Today Maria chats about her future travel plans, favorite Chicago bites, places she frequents in the city, and where she likes to bring out of town guests.
Pictured left to right: Julie Schumacher (Forth Founder); Maria Boustead (Po Campo); Natalie Pavela (Forth Intern). Julie and Natalie are sporting Po Campo's reflective pins + Maria is holding her loop pannier bag.
Places I'll go someday: When I turned 21, I promised myself that I'd travel abroad every year until I was really just too old to do so. I'm always daydreaming of places to go and Kayak is one of my favorite sites for inspiration. Here are the destinations top on my list:
1. Madeira is a small, autonomous island of Portugal in the Northern Atlantic near the Canary Islands. There is a family legend that says my Portuguese ancestors set sail for America in the early 1700's, were shipwrecked on Madeira's shores and then later got kicked-off because they kept trying to convert people to Protestantism and the locals didn't care for it. They eventually settled in central Illinois, near Peoria. Anyway, I've wanted to visit since hearing that tale. 2. Bogotá, Colombia. A good friend of mine travels to Bogotá frequently for work and tells me that I would love it there. Whenever someone who knows me well suggests a place that I would like, I just go. 3. Greece. Have you seen those photos of the Greek Islands? 4. Vietnam. Or Thailand. Or Cambodia. I haven't been to this region yet but it's on my shortlist. I'm captivated by the imagery I see in movies and I'm eager to try the street food and travel around. I also love the way that Thai language is written and want to look at it all day.
Best Bites: I'm going to choose my favorite pizza restaurants, since that's my favorite food.
1. Pizza Rustica is probably where I dine out most often. It has such a comfortable neighborhood feel and the staff is really welcoming. Their specials are good but I usually just stick with the pizza, which I'd describe as "Northern Italian" style. A half sheet is plenty for two people, add a salad and a bottle of wine and you're good to go, all for less than $60. 2. Pequod's is my favorite for deep dish style. It's also open late. You can go see a movie at Webster Place and then head over to Pequod's to talk about the movie over some pizza and beer. A small pizza is fine for two people, and you really must get deep dish to experience their famous charred crust. 3. Eataly is my pick for the Napolitan style pizza. Coalfire is up there too, but eating at Eataly gives you the chance to visit Eataly, which is like an adventure in and of itself. 4. Leona's has a seriously good thin crust pizza. I was surprised too. This is how you have to get it: with tofu, spinach and roasted garlic. It is seriously the best combo ever and I've never seen those toppings available anywhere else! Who knew?
Places I frequent:
Things I do when out of towners visit:
Thank you for sharing, Maria!
Your whimsical outlook on our beautiful city is incredibly refreshing, not to mention inspiring! If you're ever looking for a partner to bike the lakefront with, go on an architectural tour, or chow down on some pizza -- you have a whole community of women who would happily partake. Myself included! It was such a treat to feature you on this week's 4xForth series and we're delighted to have you as part of our rad community of women!
"Chasing dreams, savoring the moment, getting more people on bikes." - Maria Boustead