Planning a vacation can be tedious, time consuming and overwhelming. I know first hand, as it took me months on end to figure out where I was going to Honeymoon last year. It would have been nice to have someone do the heavy lifting, presenting me with the best options based on my preferences for a Honeymoon. If I only knew this next #girlboss and her travel company last year, she would have saved me a lot of time, stress and planning!
Mindy Whitt is a Charleston, SC business owner and the founder of Honey Bucket & Ours a Global Market. Her travel company, Honey Bucket, does everything from matching you to your next dream vacation to booking it. OURS is Honey Bucket’s online market, bringing the world home to you. They offer unique decor, travel essentials, gifts, scents, fabrics, and art collected from artisans around the globe. If you’re itching to travel and don’t want to do the heavy lifting, check Mindy’s business out!
Tell me more about YOU, the dedicated and hardworking Girl Boss behind the business.
The first plane ride I ever took was when I was 8 years old, flying with my brother, on our own to Colorado to hang with my Dad.
Growing up in Maryland road trips were our thing, usually to the beach. But when I saw the snow capped Rocky Mountains from the sky I was in awe. Never could I have imagined just how BIG mountains could be. And then to witness the difference in landscape, food, and lifestyle, I was hooked! It was the first time I could actually understand just how incredible and diverse this world might be.
In highschool I joined the travel club and headed to Australia where I fell even more in love with our beautiful world. After highschool I traveled down south to attend Auburn University in Alabama. Experiencing what college football was truly all about! Then headed to Colorado to get a Masters in Geology & Environmental Studies. Started giving tours to elementary students at my favorite place, Garden of the Gods, and loved every second of it. After graduation I started working at an Engineering firm in Charleston, SC. Made my way back to the east coast : ) but still didn’t quite feel like I had found my passion.
Since highschool I’ve traveled to 27 different countries, all founded on my own, both alone and with friends. Traveling continued to be my passion. Along with running marathons and trying any sport that includes a board. Pushing myself to try new things, getting lost, & meeting as many new people as possible, this truly makes me feel alive. So after spending two weeks in Bali alone after my 30th birthday, I came up with Honey Bucket. A company to help others see the world. I went back to working at a restaurant so I could make money but spend as much time as I could to focus on my goal. Creating one of kind experiences for those wanting to enjoy the world around them.
Tell us more about your business and how you became a Girl Boss.
I believe the best education in life is travel. Stepping out of your comfort zone & trying something new, you can not grow as a person by doing the same thing every day. And for me traveling does that, it inspires the food I eat to the decor in my home. And the best way for me to share my passion for travel was to create a way to help others travel too! I create custom travel itineraries focusing on honeymoon & bucket list adventures, all within the budget of those traveling. Helping to give each client new ideas and ways to see the world they normally wouldn’t have access to. I absolutely love what I do, nothing feels better than seeing the smiling faces of those traveling!
I noticed that every time I traveled I was always asked, how, why, and are you a spy? For some reason when you choose to travel like I do people seem to think you must be a spy. I kept thinking, this is not hard, why do people make it seem that way, it’s like any goal, you make a plan and you execute it. But it’s not that simple for some and not everyone would have the time to do so.
I realized there are tons of wedding planners out there, but what about honeymoon planners? This is your first adventure as newlyweds, it should be everything you dreamed of. I found a company in Charleston who does just that, met with the owner, expressed my interest and he was so delightful, explained how his family had been doing this for years and how they made it work for them.
I followed his suggestions, took online courses, and read every book I could find. Joined a Host Agency, which is what most travel agents do essentially to get their wings. Worked with the local SBA to create my business plan, saved, created my websites, and social media accounts. Talked about my goals nonstop. And then launched online, and the scariest part to me was having a launch party. Invited everyone I knew, invested in myself to celebrate my hard work. Which at first I thought was maybe a little weird, but after talking to other brands realized, heck no, this is awesome! Lets celebrate this thing & get the ball rolling, and I did. IT WAS FANTASTIC!
Here we are a year and 9 months later, still learning, creating, changing and loving every second of it, even the really hard days.
Right now there have been some really hard days like any small business owner. The pandemic has not been a friend to the travel industry. COVID has caused a huge void in travel, causing most of us to put plans on hold. All my clients have had to cancel or postpone vacations, honeymoons, weddings, etc. So I have had to shift things a lot. Thankful for the patience of my clients, the hard work of my vendors and support of fellow travel agents who have all had to find new ways to support their business in this mad crazy time.
What does it mean to you to be a #GIRLBOSS?
Dang – a Girl Boss, I think of the women in my family. My Grandmother who dressed to the tee, still wearing her favorite pink lip color and is the most blunt woman I have ever met. She has never concealed herself to appease anyone. My Mom who has been successful in every career she has tried. Remembering dressing up in her pant suits as a young girl just waiting for the day I would be able to strut into a room with all that confindiece she seemed to carry. My cousins Jennica & Cortney who both fearlessly created a life that inspires me daily.
They found men who support their dreams, challenge and push them to grow. Became mothers to learn from. And both did this while following their aspirations, creating career goals, and achieving them.
A girl boss isn’t just one definition of success, it’s several. It isn’t just hard work and dedication, it’s a combination of all things that bring your life joy. It is the perfect combination for YOU.
I won’t lie, the idea of creating your own business is of course scary, but not at first. At first you are excited and pumped and ready to go full force into the abyss. But there are always the naysayers, those who say they support you, but continually remind you that it will be hard and just know if you fail it’s ok. This is by FAR the WORST people to listen to, when starting your own venture, just freaking do it! Do not hold back and the people make you second guess yourself, let them go until they do otherwise. You do really learn a lot about yourself and others when doing your own thing. You are in control, there is no one pushing you but yourself, so do not let the negativity set it. Put on Kesha, or your favorite songs to get you moving. Put your ideas on paper, then out into the world. Tell everyone your plans. This will help you stay accountable, you will make mistakes, you will cry, but you are pushing yourself everyday to create the dream, Your dream, and that is a constant high five worthy type of day.
My friends have truly been my biggest motivators and support through this journey. I met 6 fantastic humans when I first moved to Charleston, Lori, Lila, Raquel, Shannon, Ryan, and Cory. They have wiped my tears, sang my praises, traveled on my adventures, texted, called, facetimed, shown up to support, love and make me feel like whatever I am doing is the best thing anyone has done before. It’s remarkable, and they are definitely not the only ones. But I am giving them a shout out because they have been able to travel the world with me the most, they also do not have kids so I know that makes things easier. And a quick shout out to those who show their love too, thank you; Mom, Jennica, Cortney, Gregory, Kristina, Christa, Lauren, Meghan, Christa C., Chase, Becky, Timothy, Jamie, Meredith, Ashley, Colleen, Zac, Bruce, Jake, Hampton, and most recently the love from Gary. Having all of your support and best wishes makes everyday a little easier. And I can not forget to say you rock – to my first three clients; Mark, Terri & Rebcca. Thank you!
What do you love most about running your own business and being a Girl Boss?
My why is easy – I want people to see the world! Traveling changed me, I became a better person from it. I’ve learned more about myself from traveling than I ever did sitting in school. And to learn who you are, helps to know who and what you want to be. This is important in life. How can we truly understand others if we have yet to understand ourselves. I know this may not be true for everyone and that is ok.
But if I can help just one person experience the world from another’s perspective, grow just a little, create a memory that lasts a lifetime, or even just make their travel dreams come true, my purpose has been fulfilled.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in being a business owner?
Challenges, let’s just laugh at that word because everyday seems like a new challenge. So lets not call it a challenge, especially with 2020 being the way it is. Let’s call it a way of life, life is no longer to get up, go to work, get home, walk the dog, eat dinner, sleep, repeat. Every new day is different, I have something new to learn, understand, complete, or create.
My very first international trip was booked for a client, their luggage was lost, that was carrying a dress, for a wedding, in Ireland. I was on the phone all night for two days, due to the time difference negotiating a way to find this bag. I finally convinced a security guard at the Boston airport to go look for this bag, she found it! So 72 hrs after they landed and 10 hrs to spare my client had their bags. The stress was unbelievable, I wanted to quit right there. But my client was so thrilled with my service and the trip in general she has not only gone on to plan more but also become a friend.
Right now I have put a halt on traveling for anyone due to the pandemic, which affects my way to bring in an income. But with the world being so unpredictable, and I personally do not want to be the reason anyone gets or spreads covid, I’ve had to alter things. I am helping to plan and rearrange already made plans for the future. And am very much looking forward to the day we all can feel safe to enjoy our beautiful world again.
So while we all wait, I decided to help bring travel back into our homes with OURS a Global Market by Honey Bucket. Fulfilling the need for adventure and helping us create a space at home that is a true reflection of how travel makes us feel, hopeful and alive. I started with custom scents from some of our clients favorite destinations, and more unique finds coming soon. So stay tuned. Both Honey Bucket & OURS a global market plan to make 2021 the best year yet!
Is there a moment during your career that stands out to you and validates your decision to become a Girl Boss?
Getting client feedback is always refreshing, it helps me change things if needed and brings a smile to my face to hear of the fun that was had.
However by far my “ah ha” moment would most certainly be a morning in Panama, at the retreat I created. There were friends new and old from all over coming together to relax, enjoy, breathe, and listen to each other. People who had never met I watched become friends. And this particular morning after mediation we journaled, and discussed what we were feeling.
I was completely at bliss, the truest sense of it. No other way to describe it, I felt so much comfort seeing these men and women create, explore, and live. Putting that down on paper and then sharing with the group made me realize how much I loved being able to create this moment for all these people. Watching them come together in support of each other, people they never met, it was unimaginable. It was my purpose.
What advice would you give to aspiring Girl Bosses?
DO THE WORK! It is so easy to have an idea, it’s not easy to make that idea a business. It takes time, BE PATIENT. It takes research, TALK TO EVERYONE. It takes determination, DO NOT QUIT. It takes positivity, YOU CAN DO THIS!
When starting your own business you are going to have to learn how to be able to sell your services, your product, YOU. You are now in sales, so do not forget that. Being organized is key, take the time either every Sunday or Monday to plan the week ahead.
For me I have to plan each hour, this gives me the structure I need to complete the tasks needed for each day. I also have goals for each day, like having Mondays for social media and Sundays are my weekly scheduling. It is very easy to procrastinate when working at home or for yourself when being a travel agent, so don’t lose focus. Having a sales goal helps with that.
I personally like having my goals visible. I plan everything from the year down to the day to help me see how each goal can be accomplished and what that success will bring. Kind of like having a marathon training schedule. Each day you scratch off gets you closer to your goal time. Making a goals schedule for your business is even more exciting!
And do not forget the business side of things. Take the time to get familiar with how to operate your business. What licenses are needed, do you want to be an LLC, do you need to charge sales tax, etc. Find someone or a group to help you get started, do not be afraid to ask questions, if you don’t ask you won’t know!
YOU CAN DO THIS! DO THE WORK! HAVE FUN! REWARD YOUR HARD WORK!