Kristin Hoogendoorn is an Elite Mompreneur member based out of Milton, Ontario. As owner of KMH Travels and a dedicated Travel Advisor, Kristin’s business is to not only help families, individuals and couples plan vacations, but it’s also so much more than that, including planning and making memories that last a life time. Travel is one of the most important experiences we can give ourselves and our children. Travel can make us appreciate all we have, and all we are able to give, and is so easily accessible. Kristin’s job is to narrow down the choices that best fit your needs and desires, so that she can create a vacation experience perfect for YOU. We are so excited to share Kristin’s Success Story!
What is your “WHY” behind your business/being an entrepreneur?
Travel has been a part of my life since before I can remember. When I was 19 years old, I did a tour of Europe, spent a few months in England and lived in Ireland for 3 years with some additional travel in Europe. I have had years of constant travel and many years of no travel, which made me realize how incredibly important it is. I want to help others experience other cultures, see new places and have travel become an important investment in their lives. I am genuinely excited for clients when they set off on their journey and to be part of that is why I have the best job.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
My father inspired me to become an entrepreneur. I was pregnant with my first child when I had the opportunity to start my own business; he helped me every step of the way and was my council for many years as he was an entrepreneur himself and had started his business when I was born.
What’s the best part about owning your own business?
I love that being my own boss allows freedom and flexibility. I can still attend kids events, activities and be home during the school breaks. I have an amazing support team through my head office at Centre Holidays that give me the tools and encouragement I need to be successful.
What impact did other people/experiences have on you, and how did they help you get to where you are in your business today?
First and foremost my kids are the driving force behind my business. I want to be available to them, but it is incredibly important to me too that my girls have a female figure that takes risks, changes lives and hustles hard. Secondly, my community of female entrepreneurs drives me every day. Our town is full of mothers who have changed corporate jobs for the role of entrepreneurs and are a huge success. I am in awe and inspired daily by these women.
What values do you believe in and live by, and how do they shine through when it comes to your role as a business owner?
I value honesty in my business. I will never bend the truth to make the sale. I want my clients to have a memorable experience and build trust with me, so we can continue to work together. Building relationships with my clients is valuable to me and them.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your business/being an entrepreneur?
When I started this business my goal was to have 5 clients by mid year. I was aware this is a new business and it takes time. By the time my first year closed I gained 85 clients and have made over 100 vacation dreams come true. Some of these clients booked their very first vacation with me, and I was proud to be a part of that. There really is no greater achievement!
What does the future look like for you and your business?
My future business goals are to have a few destination niches. I want to hold small events with potential clients to discuss certain destinations and the importance travel can have in your life. I want to build the dream for those that are new to travel and help them knock off destinations on their bucket list. My goal is to inform others that a travel agent’s purpose isn’t to compare prices to online agencies, but to help create and support your travel dreams.
Any tips for women thinking of starting a business?
Starting a business is a leap of faith. When I first took the plunge I was newly married, pregnant and in a new home. Sometimes, I look back and wonder how I survived, but I realize that risk made me who I am today. Your potential client is out there waiting for you, so take your drive and passion you give every day to your employer and direct it into your own business. You will always have competitors; however, remember that competition makes us faster but collaboration makes us better. Together we are stronger.