Remaining an entrepreneur doesn’t suggest you often have to go it by itself.
Not that Lindsey Epperly has a trouble accomplishing things herself. Significantly from it.
The summer season just before her junior 12 months at UGA, Epperly walked into a journey company to pick up a brochure. She struck up a dialogue about her review overseas practical experience via Grady at the Cannes Film Festival that spring and walked out with a position. She used her weekends selling travel deals at bridal displays across the Southeast. That gave her the idea to start a travel-linked business and the self-confidence to pitch it at UGA’s Subsequent Best Entrepreneur contest.
Epperly AB ’11, an English key, was the only non-business significant to compete in the 2011 opposition. She concluded next but was explained to by the judges that she didn’t have to have their aid. She was already very well on her way to success.
“That gave me a lot of self-confidence to push ahead with this strategy of generating my have firm and performing it on my possess,” Epperly says.
Loved ones Business
The ink was hardly dry on Epperly’s diploma when she released Holidays by Lindsey. It’s a feather-mild name that she chuckles about now—one that she rebranded in 2014 to Epperly Journey, a luxury agency that offers arranging with a private contact.
Cut to 2018.
Epperly’s shopper foundation had grown, and her instant loved ones was rising far too.
Epperly met Jeremy Sulek when they were however UGA pupils. A finance significant, Sulek BBA ’12 walked on the Ga football staff and performed linebacker for two seasons.
Sulek and Epperly stayed in touch right after graduation, getting alongside one another for evening meal or beverages as their schedules authorized. They did not start out relationship until a person of their friends—in the most rom-com-esque way—quizzed Sulek on why he hadn’t asked her out on a authentic day. Matters progressed from there. But Sulek recognized the toll the task was using on Epperly.
“Lindsey had made this incredible business enterprise, but she was acquiring burned out,” Sulek recollects. “She was a one particular-female show and she had all these great suggestions, but there were being only 24 several hours in a day.”
When he asked her to devote the relaxation of her existence with him, that was the quick section. His concept about them performing alongside one another? Maybe not so substantially.
“I instructed her that I truly labored perfectly with units and operations and finance, all factors she didn’t like,” Sulek suggests. “I could learn underneath her and give her the freedom to abide by through on everything she wished to do.”
But Epperly was skeptical.
Just one day, although speaking about options for their wedding at Starbucks, Sulek even brought his resume. Epperly still left it on the desk.
But Sulek didn’t give up. The identical 7 days they acquired married, he give up his finance occupation and stepped in as the company’s COO with Epperly as CEO.
“We bought married and then I compelled her to employ me,” he jokes.
Epperly remembers Sulek’s position pitch slightly in a different way. “Oh, I would have employed Jeremy,” she laughs. “We made the decision that though we’re younger and we really don’t know any superior, we’ll just discover how to do this: side by facet, good, undesirable, and indifferent. It’s worked out for us.”
Setback and Successes
The enterprise ongoing its upward trajectory and even joined the Bulldog 100 listing in 2020. Then COVID strike. Vacation could have stopped, but Epperly and Sulek did not. They developed an industry assistance effort and hard work referred to as Nourish and invited as several vacation experts as they could find—including competitors. They shared enterprise programs, business contacts, and other valuable hints to continue to keep spirits up.
“We opened up all of our conferences and just encouraged some others to be a part of the discussion,” Epperly suggests. “Let’s use this as an option to be more robust on the other side.”
Persons are touring now in bigger numbers every single day and the company is keeping tempo. Over the summer, the company obtained yet another company, Jetset Entire world Travel. Now they have far more than $25 million in yearly sales with a lot more than 50 workforce. With the addition, they made the decision to rebrand all over again and hold the Jetset World Travel identify.
“Over the several years, I’ve scaled Epperly Journey from a 1-woman show to an total team,” Epperly suggests. “The rebrand is a direct reflection of how we’re heading from ‘me’ to ‘we’ in the firm. It’s no lengthier just a solopreneur journey it is all about elevating our workforce for the betterment of the earth all over us.”
Clearly, Epperly is no more time on her own, personally or professionally. Business enterprise is booming, and their family is increasing as properly with the addition of a daughter past yr.
“We are so content to be doing this once again,” Epperly suggests. “There is a degree of humanity to our work and the associations with our purchasers are particular. We have a entire new batch to work with now, and we are incredibly psyched.”