All the way in New York City, we miss the Humboldt Redwoods. Photo by Stephanie Haller.

The journey from Arcata, Calif. to New York City is about 2,500 miles long if you’re on a plane. If you’re creating a start-up company, that journey is a little different.

Since Humboldt State’s Homecoming is this weekend, we wanted to tell you a quick story about a girl, her dreams and her friends and how a bunch of Humboldt hippies ended up in New York City making safety easier in the start-up world.

Consumer Recall Safety - Humboldt Redwoods

All the way in New York City, we miss the Humboldt Redwoods. Photo by Stephanie Haller.

For Ellie Cachette, founder and CEO of ConsumerBell, her journey started at Humboldt State University where she majored in political science and graduated in 2006. Only four years later, she started ConsumerBell, helping companies track and manage product recalls and putting consumers in touch with those recalls.

Consumer Recall Safety - Ellie at Humboldt Homecoming

Ellie and a friend represent at HSU's homecoming game.

“I started the company on my spare time on nights and weekends while working in San Francisco,” says Ellie. “After almost a year of working on it and recruiting talent I moved the offices to New York.”

She admits she misses the Redwood trees, but there’s nothing quite like the buzz of Manhattan. Joining her there ‘08 journalism graduates Stephanie Haller and Ryan Mollenhauer. Stephanie works as ConsumerBell’s Chief Creative Officer and Ryan is a creative coordinator for the company.

“It doesn’t surprise me that we now have four Humboldt grads at ConsumerBell. As we say in the office all the time – you can take the girl out of Humboldt, but not Humboldt out of the girl,” says Stephanie.

That’s true for all of us. Both of Ryan’s parents went to Humboldt State, so he grew up making summer trips to the

Consumer Recall Safety - Stephanie in Spain

Stephanie always enjoys a trip to the beach.

Redwood coast, falling in love with the trees and beaches year-by-year.

“My arsenal of HSU T-shirts can attest to my Humboldt pride,” says Ryan. “I love wearing an HSU shirt and getting stopped by a random stranger who went to school or lived there. Its like an instant addition to your wolf pack.”

Humboldt State influenced all of us, our goals and the way we go about working at ConsumerBell. That might mean a working afternoon in the park or reusable grocery bags when we shop in Manhattan, but it also means the way we approach our products.

Consumer Recall Safety - Ryan in Spain

Ryan takes a photo break while traveling in Spain.

“There’s a certain personality attribute in all of us where we care about fairness and justice that shows in our products and projects,” says Ellie. “We like to do the right thing.”

Seems simple, right? Start with a good idea, put in time, get awesome Lumberjacks on board, take off! We wish it were that easy. In fact, our team might make it look that way, but the journey from Humboldt to New York wasn’t that cut-and-dry. In fact, most things worth having aren’t, and ConsumerBell is definitely worth it.

As for me? I ended up at Humboldt State wanting to change the world through writing and running. And here I am, making safety easier blog-by-blog. Count it.

I worked for Stephanie on the Lumberjack newspaper for a semester and stayed in touch with her for the next few years, keeping tabs on her projects for ConsumerBell.

Consumer Recall Safety - Derek Running

Derek ran cross country and track for Humboldt State University.

I took an internship with the company in social media after graduating and now I get to hang out with this awesome bunch of Humboldt grads and a few more additions to our “wolf pack” from all over the country, like our Business Development Director Andrea Querijero, CTO Wing Lian or Creative Coordinator MaryAlexa Divver.

Is it where I saw myself before graduating? Hell no. Am I happy I’m here? You know it.

And we hope you’re happy we’re here, too.