[email protected] Interview
Interview with Caroline Sande
“Make sure you are doing something you are really passionate about. That passion will keep you going when challenges or hurdles come. .” – Caroline Sande
Today we feature Caroline Sande, the founder at TravelEatSlay. We hear their story in their own words, their successes, their challenges and their insights.
Let’s start by getting to know you. Can you please tell us a little bit about you and what you do?
I am a creative, content creator and founder of TravelEatSlay which is a travel apparel brand and community of travel enthusiasts. An entrepreneurial streak sprinkled with a love for travel the brand was born.
A great introduction and start to this interview. Can you please tell us, how did you start, from what age, and what made you decide to change direction and start?
With an Events Management degree, I remember my prayer being to work for a company that allowed me to travel in and fulfil my desire as a globetrotter. Let’s just say that prayer was answered. I worked as an Account Manager then prompted to a Director for a B2B Events Company. My brand was actually birthed while working here, for two years I managed to juggle a full time-job with my side hustle. However in 2018 I had to weigh out my odds, step out of my comfort zone to pursue the entrepreneur life full time.
Thank you for that insight. So can you tell us…What does your business do and where is your company based?
Created to give travellers a relatable memento to take along their travels, a must-have travel accessory that pretty much sums up any holiday while being part of a travel community. Today, the TravelEatSlay community has expanded to hosting day trips, events and local adventures uniting solo, like-minded jet setters, creators and explorers.
As well as creating engaging travel content I also work alongside amazing brands. The community consists of millennials with a disposable income and a healthy appetite in travel, food and trying out new experiences.
Though the brand is based in London, the community consists mainly of women from Europe, USA and Africa.
Though behind the scenes I run the brand alone, the brand has been growing from strength to strength. By purchasing the merchandise, customers automatically become part of what I call “the TravelEatSlay squad” as they take a piece of me along their travels.
What’s the story behind your success? What led to your aha moment? how did you get to where you are now?
When I was starting off travel was not a popular thing within the UK amongst millennials unlike in the US. With the help of social media I was able to find and draw inspiration from US based travel community groups especially those that featured and represented black travellers. Noticing this gap in the market I was determined to start something for myself in the UK. Being my own boss had always been on my mind but I wasn’t clear on the steps or vision to take me there.
You can say the aha moment for me was convincing myself to take this seriously and create a brand.
With zero e-commerce experience, I certainly hit some bumps at the beginning. From problems with printing suppliers to not tracking postal orders and them being lost and having to resend the orders. But this is all part of the learning curve. Youtube tutorials came in handy as well as connecting with travel bloggers and influencers to collaborate and promote my brand.
In terms of people who helped me, a friend of mine helped me design the logo and I remember convincing 12 colleagues including the MD to purchase my t-shirts to wear during the company sports day. By the time I left that company majority of staff had purchased at least one of my t-shirts the same goes for my family and close friends. As my role required me to travel, this gave me an opportunity to promote my brand by wearing my merchandise to the airport while heading for work in a different country.
Thank you for sharing that. What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
As a self-funded business, I am sometimes restricted to expanding some business ideas either due to a tight budget or lack of a team. However this has not hindered me from pressing forward, I just focus on what I can do with the resources at hand. I am an advocate for collaborating with other brands which can amplify your brand awareness and open you up to new customers.
Especially if you do not have huge funds to spend on marketing, collaborating with another small business or content creator/influencer brings awareness and without putting a dent on an already tight budget.
If you were to go back in time, what piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Whatever you put your mind to you can achieve. You must be resilient and not let the setbacks put you off your vision of being an entrepreneur. Do not discredit the small achievements as they amount to greatness. You were made to excel.
We’re nearly halfway through our interview so it’s a great time to ask how does your business run. What three tools make your business run better?
Etsy/My website/Mailing list
Social media (Instagram, Twitter & Facebook)
Canva & Inshot
What do you know now that you wished you had known before?
What has been your greatest or proudest achievement or moment?
Proudest moment was my first sale. It warms my heart until now every time I get a sale to think someone has invested in my small business. Another moment is seeing Sherrie Silver an African Choreographer dancer wearing one of my t-shirts on a music video.
What future life goals do you want to achieve and why?
I am currently creating a travel subscription box (The Travel Boxx) which a first of its kind including travel essential products such as tech gadgets, skincare and travel smart options. These essential items can be used while travelling or at home and it’s a great way to discover new products and product placement for start-up brands.
Getting this up and running is the next adventure of my business, it feels like I am starting all over again but with a few tricks and tips up my sleeve on how to make it a success. At present we are currently crowdfunding and handpicking the brands we want to collaborate with this initiative – so watch this space!
To finish our inspire questions…”We believe that sharing inspiring words can inspire others.” If there was one positive thing you would say to someone to inspire and empower them what would it be and why?
Make sure you are doing something you are really passionate about. That passion will keep you going when challenges or hurdles come.
“Thank you it has been great learning more about your founder story and TravelEatSlay”
To learn more about TravelEatSlay Visit www.traveleatslay.com
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