To gear up for our Summit21 Conference this year in Atlanta, 21Ninety has scored exclusive interviews with some of this year's participants.
Read 21Ninety's exclusive interview below:
Photo: Kei Davis
21Ninety: Can you give us a little of your background?
Kei Davis: My professional experience is in process improvement and engineering. I've worked in the corporate sector helping businesses streamline their standard operating practices for the past four years.
21N: What inspired you to create The Inn Crowd? What was the vision behind it?
KD: I was inspired by two things I'm passionate about: empowering women and my love for travel! So I created an avenue to merge the two. I wanted to create an environment that was conducive to women connecting, collaborating and living their best life around the world.
21N: How long have you been creating customized travel plans for millennial women of color?
KD: I've been a travel consultant for four years, and I've been hosting trips through The Inn Crowd for two years.
21N: Was this always your chosen career path?
KD: It wasn't. I was doing a lot of traveling, I loved the planning process, so I figured why not get paid to do it.
Photo: Kei Davis
21N: What was the process like in building the business and how long did it take to get it up and running?
KD: I'm still growing! This entire process has been a learning experience and faith walk. The most challenging piece has been building brand awareness. It's really easy to get lost in the noise of the internet. I would say I found my footing at the end of year one.
21N: What inspired the name choice?
KD: I wanted to create a name that spoke to my vision as well as what we're about, which is creating an inclusive community for women to connect as well as travel. Ironically, I was on a flight when I thought of it.
21N: What kind of work goes into the process of creating these kinds of trips?
KD: Research and more research! The first step is testing my audience to see if they're even interested in the destination I have in mind. I've learned my lesson when it comes to planning an entire trip that No one is interested in. Second, I research the destination and resorts by using vendor relationships I've established over time.
21N: What kinds of resources do you use?
KD: Well, I'm definitely enrolled at Google University! There's literally nothing google can't teach you! I also rely on the vendor above relationships because they are experts when it comes to their specific destinations.
Photo: Kei Davis
21N: Any favorite destination spots for clients?
KD: My all-time ideal girls trip destination is Montego Bay, Jamaica! It's inexpensive, it's a quick flight for most me, and most of my clientele and the people and food are amazing! Jamaica never disappoints.
21N: What do you think makes your business unique over others like it?
KD: Me. As my friend in my head Myleik Teele would say, I'm the Magic! I attend every single trip and I make it my duty to make sure everyone present has a good time! I literally become your travel bestie while you're on tour! There's nothing really unique about group travel. However, we create magic and unforgettable moments! We intentionally create environments that are conducive to collaborating. Partnerships have formed as a result of being on one of our trips.
21N: What do you love most about the work you do?
KD: My favorite part of what I do is helping others grow! They say experience is the best teacher and if that's true, travel is the next in line. I love creating opportunities that allow my clients to experience a new culture and learn something new! My absolute favorite aspect of my business is our philanthropic efforts through Well Traveled Black Girl. It's our scholarship fund that supports female students of color who wish to study abroad.
21N: What do you hope to gain from Summit21 this year?
KD: I'm looking forward to networking with other goal-getting women of color! One thing I know for sure is there is nothing more powerful than relationships. So, more than anything I'm looking to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships and hopefully lay the foundation for life-long friendships.
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