Though I started my professional journey as an IT consultant, the zeal of running my own enterprise is still there. I am not sure whether I will be able to fulfil the dream ever. In my 21 years of consultancy, I had the chance of interacting with many established women. Some are budding and some are experienced entrepreneurs. I feel somewhat a sense of pride in learning about their struggle and success. The same feeling I had the moment I met Ashbel – a Successful Woman Entrepreneur.
Ashbel is the creative director of Archie Tours and Safaris Company, her dream venture.
Surprisingly, I have not met her face to face. Its only in social media. But the moment I read about her journey and her works, I was impressed. The passion, the zeal and the enthusiasm she has within her, its worthy of applauds and tremendous appreciation.
Today I like to share my interview with Ashbel – a passionate Woman Entrepreneur. You can check yourself the amount of dedication and positive attitude she has in her possession. Another big point in her is, she is a nice person by heart. Whenever I chat with her, there is so much happiness and joy in her words. It will immediately rejoice you and encourage you to go ahead in life. That’s the sort of inspiration she imbibes in every person she interacts with. Now with no further delay let me share you her experiences and wonderful journey.
Introducing Woman Entrepreneur – Ashbel Alice
Name of your blog or website, tour business and the purpose of its creation
Creative Director Archie Tours and Safaris company
Official email email@example.com
My Fashion Brand @hc4uk_
When did you start your tour business and travel blogging?
My lovely dad Alex Mwangangi started the Tour company and my mother suggested that they name it after my son Archie Valentine. You can call this a family affair. We are all involved in making decisions.
My dad was in the tourism industry for 19yrs. He resigned to start the amazing brand Archie Tours and Safaris company back in 2009. I was living and working in London at that time.
Who or What inspired you to select travel as your niche area?
I’ve always been fascinated by the tourism and hospitality sector from a very young age. I looked up to my dad and wanted to be just like him I studied Air Travel and related studies in college and one of the subjects was Tourism and world Geography. I loved these two subjects and excelled in them.
Share your professional journey as a Woman Entrepreneur
I finished college and followed my other passion – Fashion. At that time, I was 8 months heavily pregnant. I worked on an entire collection as I couldn’t sleep and so Ashbel Swahili sandals was born. These were handcrafted to perfection and I manage to get a few stockings to carry my collection.
I moved to the UK at the very young age of 23yrs old. All I wanted was to get into the fashion industry. I used to live in Reading. London was my ultimate goal. Who wouldn’t want to live in the most cosmopolitan city in the world?
I landed my very first job at Banana Republic which actually owns GAP. I started off as a temporary, later moved to Big brand United colours of Bennett on Tottenham Court Road.
For 8 years, I worked in the fashion industry. I felt I had got enough experience to run my fashion brand Harsh Creations Limited.
With that in mind, I started off as a personal shopper for my friend’s, later turned to be clients. I absolutely was thrilled about earning extra cash.
Our Tour company was very much part of me. I started officially doing marketing in London, designing our brochures, and business card. Started working on our first ever website too. I never completed it, am a very busy girl.
I would keep an eye on emails and respond to them. There was a change in my career. Started working in corporate for big companies Ernest and Young, Jones Lang LaSalle, Braemer Adjusting and Bank of Tokyo. Some were permanent Roles other I just worked as a temporary contractor.
I moved back to Kenya back in 2013. I embarked on my love for working in our family-run tour company as the creative director in March 2018 and I haven’t looked back.
Tips and Tricks for blogging or running a travel business
I would say my tips on running a successful Tours and Safaris company relies on a few things
- consistency – Always be consistent in every aspect of your life and running a tour company heavily depends on this. You have to maintain your current clients and this always makes it possible for us to get returning and new clients.
- Have packages that are pocket friendly. This attracts a lot of backpackers.
- Always give incentives. It could be anything. A branded mug, a curved sculpture, a Maasai Beaded bracelet. People appreciate it.
- Always ensure you adapt to change. COVID 19 pandemic happened and no one was ready for the havoc it caused. Flights were cancelled, countries went on lockdown and lots of people lost their lives. We are under Lockdown in Nairobi. It has really put a strain on the tourism and hospitality industry as a whole. I designed a 2 night 1-day staycation within Nairobi and I must stay it’s been a hit.
- Always have a plan B. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. Think outside the box and believe in yourself.
Your significant achievements
I have learnt that tourism is a very seasonal industry. You have to create packages for domestic travellers to keep afloat. We stopped depending on just international tourism after August 7th that fateful day. The USA issued a travel ban and other countries followed. The tourism industry is suffering badly. Domestic tourism is the way forward. There are clients who need to explore their own country and discover the hidden and unexplored beauty. I believe domestic tourism is the next big thing in all countries. The reason is, we haven’t got a clue on the world going back to normality.
As a tour company, we keep it very interesting in terms of the packages we offer. I recently introduced our staycation package which is doing well and picking momentum. We have Beach safari including kite surfing, jet skiing in Diani. It is the best beach destination in the world. We have lots of fun activities, perfect for family, couples and corporate team bonding. It’s awesome you’ve got to visit.
Well, we do a tour in the old town in Mombasa, you get to visit the Fort Jesus Museum. We take you down to Malindi, famously known as little Milan. Here you get to go on a trip on a glass boat, lunch on board on a scrumptious coconut rice and fish a must-have. Gede Ruins and the Vasco Da Gama pier. There are lots of beautiful villas and resorts which are pocket friendly. Maasai Mara 11 night safari which involves experiencing the famous wildebeest crossing. Kenya Tanzania 14 night safari is my favourite. Photographic Safaris just to mention a few.
Your future plans
I have major plans for the future. I want to get Agents in Europe and America too that would be my ultimate dream come true. Am actually working on it so watch this space I would also like to open branches all over Kenya.
Advice: Always book your tickets early in advance as they can be very costly during high season. Make sure you get a malaria and a yellow fever shot. Visas can be acquired upon arrival at the airport.
Our official email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
24hr Hotline +254701499801
With I end my conversation with Woman Entrepreneur – Ashley. I hope you enjoyed reading about her commendable experiences and journey. Do visit her social media pages and connect with her for exclusive travel experiences.