Travel consultant Martine Fournier took advantage of the pandemic to reinvent herself and launch a new project that has long been close to her heart: her online travel accessories store , martinastravelshop.com/fr .
Selling various accessories, such as beach bags, she has started to market new products displaying her logo and eventually aims to start her own collection of accessories. A project which has just started, but which risks going far, when one becomes aware of the determination and the ambition which animate the business woman. We spoke with the one who still works as a travel consultant for Mywayflyway.com , to find out more about her project.
Q. Can you tell us about your online store project and how it started?
A. During a personal development course, I developed the projects I wanted to achieve and it joined my work as a travel consultant that I have been practicing since 1998, which allows me to offer my clients a ” little extra ”.
Q. What motivated you to start an online travel accessories store?
A. During my first two-week trip, I had to pay an additional $ 100 for excess weight in my luggage. I love organization and am a fan of travel gadgets, so I had the idea of starting my own store with products that I find practical for my own trips.
Q. Did you take advantage of the pandemic to educate yourself and take entrepreneurship courses that encouraged you to get started?
A. Yes. This personal development course (entrepreneurship with https://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/ ) inspired me to learn about myself and taught me how to think well to attract the right people, develop my imagination and find strategies for doing productive actions.
Q. What products do you sell and who are they aimed at?
A. The main products are: beach bags, memory foam travel pillows, storage cubes, passport cases and beverage thermos with digital temperature. All of my products may be of interest to people who travel, whether camping, all-inclusive or on a tour.
Q. Eventually, you want to launch your own collection?
A. Yes, smart mugs and a beach bag will be available soon with my logo and we are working on other products as well.
Q. What are the advantages of buying from you?
A. Delivery is free; the service is personalized, because I am always on the lookout for news in the field of travel. I send thank you postcards urging people who like the purchased products to comment on my store’s Facebook page or on Google.
Q. Tell us about your plan to extend logo products to travel agencies.
A. I plan to eventually add an “AGENTS” tab to my store, to offer product lines to agents, for example pencils, luggage labels and passport cases. Agents could purchase these products with their logo in bulk and deliver them to their customers. This way, customers would find themselves carrying their agent around with them on their journeys through the products. It’s a great way to advertise them and a different take on the famous business card.
Q. Eventually, you also aim to allow hotels and small “resorts” to sell your products with their own logo?
A. It’s a project that I’m fond of for phase 3. The idea is to create a “COMPANY” tab which could provide these small hotels with a financial surplus, by offering them, for example, to put their logo on a shopping bag. beach exclusive to their hotel chain. They can either sell it in their store, give it to a client who buys a luxury suite or give it to travel counselors who go on “fam trips”.
Q. Since you are still a travel agent, how has the pandemic affected your day-to-day work?
A. Even though the pandemic slowed down travel activities, I took the opportunity to start my shop and make sales to customers in other countries who continued to travel and had fewer restrictions. At the same time, being a caregiver for my parents, this slowdown allowed me to be more present for them.
Q. How do you see the future of the profession; do you think travel agents are here to stay?
A. I see the future positively, because all the webinars and “fam tours” that are offered to us allow us to be in contact with the novelties, to enrich our knowledge and to help each other with our respective experiences. This will allow us to better serve our customers.
Q. Are you optimistic that travel will resume soon?
R. Watch out! I believe that 2022 and 2023 will be record years in the travel industry!