This week for Spotlight On, we caught up with Candace from Gypsian Boutique Tours, a wanderlust-inspired travel company founded right here in Brisbane. If you don’t know the Gypsian Boutique story, here is a great place to start!
Brisbane Threads: Hi Candace – thanks for taking the time to chat to Brisbane Threads! How has the start of 2016 been for you and Gypsian Boutique Tours?
Thanks for having me! In truth, 2016 has probably had the rockiest year’s start to date – a falling Australian dollar coupled with increased unrest in some of our most popular destinations has travellers a little more reluctant to commit to overseas travel this year. Turkey in particular is one of our best sellers and continued regional developments have meant we’ve had to think quickly and readjust our strategies for the coming season.
BT: Tell us about the inspiration behind Gypsian Boutique Tours and why you started the business?
Oh, that’s easy, it would have to be my Mum and Dad! They’re 50 and 60-somethings who love to travel but don’t want to rough it. They love adventure but they don’t want a 20-or-more-people-on-a-bus, follow-a-flag-around-sites experience, they want something more real, but comfortable. They want something authentic and many of their demographic are looking for the same, so that’s where Gypsian Boutique Tours comes in. Mum is one of my business partners – we’re a family business – and we saw a need for experiential, luxury travel, but not the unobtainable kind. Our niche is the unique, local experiences that our guests are looking for and the unparalleled foodie nature of our trips – because we all want to eat well when we visit somewhere new!
BT: What makes Gypsian Boutique Tours Different?
Our customer service is a big part of our Gypsian culture and we like to think we’re not just running tours, but creating a community of like-minded travellers. Our aim has always been to offer boutique adventures that feel like you’re travelling with a small group of friends rather than on an organised tour and as a result, we’re very lucky to count a number of our guests as close friends with many of them returning for second and third trips with us. Our guests know that they can trust us to deliver the experience they’re looking for, the authentic tours that we promise to deliver.
BT: What is your favourite tour that you offer?
That’s like asking which one of your children is your favourite! They all offer amazing experiences and I absolutely adore returning to places again and again to seek out new adventures! If I had to pick one place, rather than an actual tour, I must admit that Turkey has always been my home-away-from-home. From welcoming people, beautiful-yet-cozy hotels, stellar landscapes that range from lunar-like to seaside-perfection and some of the most delicious food around it is just such a winning combination of the exotic and familiar.
BT: What is your number one tip for budding entrepreneurs in Brisbane?
Don’t listen to the naysayers and the people that will question your ideas. Find your passion, do your research and give it all you’ve got. Oh, and learn to hustle!
BT: What has been your biggest challenge in starting your own business?
That would have to be my aforementioned “learning to hustle!” I’m not pushy by nature and struggle with the ‘selling’ side of a retail industry, which is where my sister, who is my other business partner, comes in. She has the gift of the gab which allows me to focus on the operations side of our business like running tours and researching new locations.