As Venture Wipes founder Tom Fromm and his family enter their fourth year as full-time RVers, it’s safe to say they know a thing or two about staying clean and smelling fresh while on the go.
As the story goes, Tom’s wife Tammy shared her husband’s love of travel, but wisely didn’t want to live nomadically until their house sold. In an effort to escape the Pennsylvania chill that year, Tom convinced her to buy a used fifth wheel and “just winter in Florida.”
As luck would have it, their bricks and sticks home sold by the end of winter, and in 2017 the Fromm’s took their home on the road.
Their two girls, now 11 and 4, have since traveled to every state except Alaska, which they plan on visiting this summer. Tom said, “For my 4-year-old, this is the only life she knows.”
Even though their 43-foot fifth wheel is decked out with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen, many people are curious how the Fromm’s manage to live in this tiny house.
“People ask how we can live in an RV,” Tom said. “My answer is, we don’t. We live outside, we just sleep inside.”
And it’s this lifestyle of residing and adventuring outside, along with the dirt that comes with it, that brought Tom a bit closer to his next venture. Enter Venture Wipes.
Not surprisingly, throughout their rootless way of life, the Fromms have consumed their share of baby wipes. In the beginning, some were out of an actual need to care for their youngster, but countless were also used simply to wash up when water was scarce or unavailable.
Tom got the idea to create something similar to a baby wipe, only quite literally, bigger and better.
He teamed up with another full-time RVing family they met at a campground in Florida. “We were the first family they met, and we instantly clicked,” Tom said of his newfound business partner.
“Stronger than a baby wipe but weaker than Superman,” the Venture Wipe is a 12” by 12” individually and compactly wrapped, biodegradable body wipe. Not only is it big enough to substitute for a shower after adventuring, but the size and quality also lends itself to usage on dirty gear, muddy bikes, or stinky pets.
It took two years of modifying and fine-tuning, and Tom says the development phase is still ongoing today as they look for ways to improve.
“Every manufacturer just wants to make you a baby wipe and slap another name on it.”
“That is not our wipe,” Tom said, “and we would never settle for it.”
Eventually, they came up with a dialed formula — figuring out alcohol- and fragrance-free ingredients and even refining how the wipes are folded, so they’ll fit just about anywhere.
But no matter how compact and convenient they are, getting Venture Wipes into the hands of consumers proved to be a challenge at first.
“It’s easy for someone to say they don’t need it,” Tom explained. “But once you open one in front of them, and they try it, they are extremely surprised by the difference.”
That’s been the biggest reward for the Fromms. “Seeing the smiles, and knowing we have satisfied someone’s needs,” has been an invaluable part of their family business.
Living full time on the road, at trails and campgrounds, Tom believes they’re in the perfect environment to share the brand too.
They’ll commonly see a fellow RVer pull up at the campground on a hot day wiping the sweat off his face as he sets up camp. Tom will graciously share a Venture Wipe with his new neighbor. “Not only is he appreciative, but he’s also never even heard of it. Face to face marketing is the best.”
Besides Tom and his partner, Venture Wipes has a flock of fellow RVers helping out with brand exposure and sales. While Tom grows Venture Wipes, his wife Tammy works remotely as a travel agent, and their girls are road-schooled.
As the Fromms, along with every hiker, backpacker, camper, traveler, and adventurer can attest, dirt happens. “We aren’t scared to get dirty,” Tom said. “We enjoy adventure and getting dirty, but there’s no reason to stay that way.”