We had the good fortune of connecting with Lindsey Epperly and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lindsey, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Growing up, my Dad taught me that a business doesn’t have to be an entirely new concept to be successful, an entrepreneur simply has to take what’s already being done and make it better. That’s exactly the mindset I applied when starting my travel agency, Epperly Travel. Becoming an entrepreneur was part of my DNA but I had no idea what kind of business I would wind up in – until I walked into a travel agency at 19 for a brochure and walked out with a job. I learned the trade for several years and built up my own book of business as a business, so that when I was ready to make a move and create my own company, it was a proven concept and seamless transition. My desire to start Epperly Travel was fueled by the current practices I saw occurring in the travel industry. At the time, there was very little innovation, so I knew I could offer a modern approach to travel planning. In addition, the concept of travel advisors was so foreign, and the process was often so convoluted, that clients had a hard time bridging the gap of trust when it came to handing over their vacation plans. I built Epperly Travel on the concept of transparency and relationships, two tenants that we still hold dear today.
What should our readers know about your business?
Epperly Travel’s story has never been more impactful than this year. Owning a travel agency in 2020 was not for the faint of heart. The pandemic dealt a catastrophic blow to many industries, but it pointed a glaring finger at the travel industry in particular. It was gutting. My husband and I run the business together and, after handling the initial triage from COVID in March, we stepped back to gauge how we could find opportunity in the obstacles. Epperly Travel already ran lean and virtual. We were able to nimbly regain our footing and chart our course in a new direction. That direction was one of hope and optimism: our mission for 2020 was to be a beacon. We opened up our agency meetings to others who were struggling, providing them with leadership and community. We released free content from our adjacent business, EntreTravel, a travel agency training company. We created an innovative model to attract new talent. We even hired in the midst of the pandemic so that our team could become stronger on the other side. We made the decision to step on the gas pedal during the greatest crisis our industry has ever seen and I’ve never been more excited to lead Epperly Travel as travel returns.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If you’re visiting Atlanta and it’s a beautiful day out, we’re heading to the beltline! We would start with a brunch at Krog Street Market, depending on the mood since there are so many awesome restaurants to choose from, and stroll down to Ladybird to enjoy a drink outside. We’d make it over to Beetlecat in time for some early appetizers – or maybe just one of their lobster rolls, which are the best in town.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The reason I knew entrepreneurship was in my DNA is because of my Dad. I grew up listening to him solve business challenges, many of which he’d bring up at dinner. My family and I would discuss the strategies and solutions behind his day to day endeavors, which gave me the confidence to solve future business problems. I call it my Dinnertime MBA – and my Dad was the best possible teacher. This one’s for you, Dad!
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