In 1993 it became necessary to make a career change. I had been a stay at home mother for my two children as well as helped my husband on our ranch. Now alone, and having to support myself, I had to find an occupation that would earn a living as well as be something that I would enjoy doing. It was my 22 year old daughter that came up with the idea of becoming a travel agent!
With a background working as a dental technician many years ago, I began my search for information on beginning a career in travel. I found a college in the area that offered a travel program and enrolled. Graduating at the top of the class! With this new knowledge, I was anxious and ready to sell, but hadnâ€™t traveled much before and felt that I was limited in experience to sell travel efficiently! Now came the hard part! So with the guidance of a seasoned travel agent friend that had been in the business for 15 years, I began my quest to experience and to travel the world!
Initially, while working in a store-front travel agency from 1993-2001, I found that taking cruises to see multiple destinations was the most beneficial way to see everything quickly. I tried to travel every six weeks. In 1996, I met one of Sandals Resorts top producing travel agents. It was this fellow California agent that introduced me to the beauty of Jamaica and to Sandals Resorts and the concept of all-inclusive!
In August of 2001, just one month before the tragic events that occurred in New York, I left my store-front travel agency and moved my travel business home. With many clients no longer wanting to travel, business was at a standstill. I began to focus all of my efforts on the honeymoon market. Knowing that newlyweds will still take a honeymoon, I relied on them to pull me through! In January 2002, Brenda participated in my first Bridal Show and showcased cruises & Sandals Resorts. That event worked so well, that Brenda continues to participate in a minimum of two shows per year and always follows up the show leads by hosting a Caribbean Night event.
Beginning a home-based travel agency wasnâ€™t all that difficult. First, was to make sure that all of my clients and vendor contacts knew the new location. I attend as many conventions or local travel events as possible to remain well informed. Since wedding business is such a huge part of my clientele, I am very serious about gaining knowledge about destination weddings, so attending a Sandals Weddingmoon Specialist workshop was a must. Now, I prominently display that SWS logo! I have earned many other certifications in the travel industry over the years. One great thing about honeymooners is they have family and friends. I have developed a very diverse client base, now also specializing in family and group travel.
It is still very important to gain knowledge by traveling. I pride myself on knowing what I sell. My areas of knowledge are, but not limited to, Caribbean Islands, Mexico, South Pacific, Hawaiian Islands and many parts of Europe. Over the past 24 years I have developed a client base that spans the world.