Today we’d like to introduce you to Jalyn Roberson.
Jalyn, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I decided to start Jaunts and Gems because of my love for planning, helping others and travel. Once I started traveling more, I realized that a lot of time and work went into researching destinations and booking trips. Although it was a lot of work, I truly enjoyed the planning process of traveling and figured it would be a great service to offer people who want to travel, but don’t know where to start, or don’t have the time to plan a trip. Also, around this time, I was looking to start my own business as a side hustle so it seemed like the perfect fit for me.
I was definitely afraid to take this leap of faith, but Jaunts and Gems will be celebrating its 2nd anniversary this December and it’s amazing to look back and see how far I’ve come and how much my business has grown.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Launching this business has definitely had its ups and downs. Working in a service- based industry is highly demanding and I’m often pulled in many different directions. Also, working a full-time job, while trying to build a sustainable and profitable business on the side presents its own challenges. I consider myself to be slightly introverted and I’ve had to push well beyond my comfort zone while building this business. Self-promotion doesn’t come easily for me, but I had a ” come to Jesus” moment a few months after I started and realized that if I wanted to be able to do the things I love, I’ve gotta put myself out there!
I’ve also struggled with learning how to be a business owner. Its one thing to know travel, planning and service, but running a business is a completely different beast. I’ve definitely had to learn how to discern when to take a short term loss to gain a long-term client. And I’m still learning daily!
There were and still are days when I feel doubtful about moving forward with Jaunts and Gems, but I truly enjoy the work I do and know that the long days and nights will be worth it. I still try to give myself some sort of life/work balance and I’ve reserved Sundays for myself, friends and family. This definitely helps me to recharge and head into Monday ready to tackle the week.
I would advise any woman starting her journey to decide early that she will operate from a place of action and not let herself get paralyzed by the fear of the unknown. I would’ve opened Jaunts and Gems 4 years ago if I hadn’t been so afraid of failure. I would also tell her to embrace the inevitable “failures” that come with launching anything valuable. I’ve learned not to beat myself up when I make a mistake. Instead I treat it as a valuable learning experience and make note of the lesson I’ve learned. This has helped me tremendously in both business and life.
We’d love to hear more about Jaunts and Gems Travel.
I am the Owner and Chief Travel Consultant of Jaunts and Gems Travel. I do it all! I help individuals, couples, families, and friend groups plan trips. Through Jaunts and Gems, I research destinations, curate custom itineraries, and book travel packages for people all over the country. I’ve planned all types of trips: from honeymoons in the Caribbean, to a couples trip to Thailand for professional NFL players, and most recently a retreat in Tulum designed for young professional women to name a few. Also, I’ve recently launched my own set of curated group trips (Jaunts and Gems Getaways) designed for people who want to travel with a group, but also have the flexibility to explore on their own and create their own experiences. Our upcoming trips include a Winter Escape to Cancun, two trips to Greece (one co-ed and one women only) and a Girls trip to Jamaica. I’m working on a few other destinations that will be released in the upcoming weeks.
As a service provider, I’m most proud of the fact that I highly value client satisfaction and work really hard to ensure that my clients have the most seamless travel experience possible. As a team of 1, that can be quite difficult, but I’m constantly evaluating ways in which I can provide the highest level of service to my clients. I’m also working on adding a couple of team members before the year is over, which will tremendously with client experience.
The thing that sets Jaunts and Gems apart from other travel companies is that it is an actual agency that manages all aspects of a client’s trip. When situations arise or changes need to be made, Jaunts and Gems handles all the behind the scenes work to ensure a smooth process for the client.
We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I think with leadership in general it’s tough to push past the expectations and lead the way you truly feel is best for your company or organization. As a woman, it’s even tougher sometimes to get the same access to opportunities as men. So I’ve learned to create my own. I’ve been blessed to find some amazing women mentors in my specific travel niche that have been open to collaborate and provide spaces for other women to learn and share resources. All of the women I’ve worked with thus far have been eager to help me build, and I’ve dedicated myself to paying that forward to help build other women leaders.
- Website: www.jauntsandgems.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @jalynjunell
- Facebook: facebook.com/jauntsandgems