One year ago this week I met with the manager of a travel agency, after my own travel agent told me that I should be planning Disney trips for others. I didn't know if I could really fit it into my already busy schedule, but I have loved Disney for as long as I can remember and loved helping others plan their trips. When I showed up for my interview, I had all of my first hand experiences with Disney listed and ready to show her. After about 15 minutes into the interview, I went to hand her my information, she looked at me and said, "You think this is an interview? The job opportunity is yours if you want it." I was shocked, excited, and nervous all at once.
Researching how to start your own business, coming up with a name, let alone a logo to brand myself, how was I going to do this? I'm a teacher, not a travel agent. Well, my passion for Disney kept me focused. I reached out to a dear friend who went to school for advertising and was a former copy writer for Disney. I told her my intentions and I knew that she could lead me in the right direction. She asked great questions about the characters I liked and we both started brainstorming ideas. Within about 2 hours we had a name: Spotted Bow Travel Company. Now for a logo! That was out of my field of expertise, so I let her create it. She sent me a picture of a sketch she just threw together. It was exactly what I had envisioned.
I talked to an attorney about what I needed to do. He was so helpful and told me everything to apply for. I applied for my LLC and Spotted Bow was officially a business. I had a talented graphic designer friend design my business cards and I was ready!
Telling people about my new endeavor was the easy part for me as I can talk about Disney forever, so many happy memories there. I booked my first trip within 2 weeks of starting my new endeavor. I researched hotel options, planned Fast Passes, and dining for a family of 6. I was so excited to make someone else's trip successful and to include special personal suggestions. Fast forward from January 2016 to November 2016 and I am blown away at how my business has grown. I have 6 clients all traveling to Disney World between December 1st and December 12th. Four of those trips include first time Disney visitors!
I love traveling, and sharing that passion with others has been amazing! I have been given the opportunity to expand my travel bookings beyond Disney Destinations. Again, I took another leap of faith! I am looking forward to booking all types of destinations as I take classes on river cruises, tours, cruise lines, all inclusive resorts, and the travel industry itself. Taking Walt's words, "All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." I want to help turn people's travel dreams into magical memories!
This journey would not have been possible if it wasn't for these wonderful people to help me navigate the business and travel world and to give me words of encouragement along the way: Becca Shuler, Shelley Shuler, Brad Love, Melissa Macpherson, Beth Simms, Candace Pengra, and of course, my family and friends. I can't wait to see what the future holds! Make sure to take time to travel and make memories to hold onto forever!