Vicky is stepmother to three great kids. She lives with her husband Stu in Bend, Oregon and loves taking advantage of the amazing outdoor recreation the area offers. Vicky grew up in Germany, with an English mother and has lived in 5 countries…so of course she has a travel agency!
Q: Why did you become an Entrepreneur?
A: I had a corporate career for fifteen years and although for most of it I was unfulfilled, it wasn’t until thirteen years in that I began thinking of starting my own business. Entrepreneurship scared me. There is no team to rely on, no-one to tell me what to do, and no ancillary services to make my life easier. But, over time, the idea of being my own boss and being the sole decision maker became more and more appealing.
Q: Tell us about your business.
A: Destination: Uncharted is a travel agency “for fearless explorers”. My clients hire me to plan personalized trips, execute the booking, and make sure everything goes smoothly while traveling. As a travel advisor, I know you can book travel over the internet and have a great time, but I know that I can make it better and open up experiences you probably don’t even know exist.
Some of my favorite trips to plan are European vacations and safaris. I believe that everyone should travel because it is so enriching (not to mention fun). I make sure to consider my clients’ travel style, but also give them experiences they may not have chosen for themselves. One of the most important things they take away from their trips is the unforgettable memories of their experiences with their friends and family.
Q: What is your personal mission, or your big why?
A: At Destination: Uncharted, our mission is to design vacations for travelers, not tourists, by crafting unique, personalized and amazing one-of-a-kind experiences that produce unforgettable memories.
I want my clients to be travelers, not tourists, who immerse themselves in the destination and culture they’re visiting, rather than just skimming over the top. I go the extra mile to pay attention to the little details, both in preparing the trip and while they are traveling, so they can unplug and have a good time.
Q: How do you integrate work and home?
A: Not very well. I work out of my house, so there are no real boundaries. It’s hard to switch off from work mode, and I often find myself working on the weekend. And while I don’t have small kids that need my attention, I’m the one who makes dinner and takes care of many household chores, but by the time I’m done for the day, the thought of having to make dinner is exhausting. I know I put a lot of that pressure on myself, since I think it’s incredibly important to have healthy, home-cooked meals, I just sometimes wish I could lower my standards a little :-).
Q: What has been your biggest lesson to date as a business owner?
A: Not every client is the ideal client, and it’s ok to say no. When I was just starting out, I said yes to everyone, and often ended up working for next to nothing. I still struggle with telling people my planning fees, but am now much more likely to say no to someone I know just isn’t a good fit for me.
Q: Do you have any wisdom to share with your fellow mompreneurs?
A: I think as far as entrepreneurship is concerned, it’s hard work, but so rewarding. There are certainly ways to ease into it, but sometimes you have to cut the cord to really commit to your new life.