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Community Highlights: Meet Stephanie Kilson-Thomas of KT Travel & More

Hi Stephanie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I travel quite a bit, but being a travel agent never crossed my mind until a high school classmate reached out to me about it. After realizing that I would actually enjoy putting together and organizing trips for others, I decided to open my travel agency in March 2018. After being in business for a little over a year, I thought it would be great for me to create a niche market for myself. I planned a trip for a great friend of mine that ended up being an “engagementcation”; her fiance proposed to her while they were in Greece. It was then that I decided to become a destination wedding and romance travel specialist. I became certified in destination weddings, honeymoons, and romance travel in May 2020; my goal is to help couples celebrate love through travel, no matter the stage of their relationship.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Being a destination wedding travel specialist has its good and bad days. The biggest struggle so far has been finding new wedding clients in the midst of a pandemic. Some people are ready and willing to travel, while others are worried that if they plan a destination wedding, they’d have to continue canceling or postponing until the world has found a way to reduce the amount of COVID-19 cases. Prior to COVID-19, I would say the road was pretty smooth; my name and agency were getting out there by word of mouth and referrals, and I had just started participating as a vendor in bridal shows which was so much fun!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
KT Travel & More LLC is a certified destination wedding, honeymoon, and romance travel agency known for helping its clients celebrate love through travel. I plan trips for people to celebrate their biggest romantic endeavors with trips like couples getaways, engagementcations, bachelor/bachelorette trips, destination weddings, honeymoons, and milestone anniversary trips. I am most proud of the relationships I have been able to build with my clients; listening to their needs, and delivering an experience they can’t find anywhere else.

My passion lies most in helping couples plan their happily ever after with destination weddings. My interaction with couples starts with a free consultation to get an understanding of their needs for their destination wedding. I communicate with wedding planners, coordinators, and resorts on behalf of the couple to help reduce the stress of wedding planning. Once their decision has been made for where they want to have their wedding, I communicate with their wedding guests to provide all information needed to get their flights and hotel rooms reserved for their stay.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Have you ever heard the phrase, “If you want to make God laugh, make plans”? Well, at the beginning of 2020, I made up my mind that I wanted to stay in corporate America for at least five more years to continue saving so that I would be able to leave to run my travel business full time. In March, when COVID-19 was announced as a global pandemic, I lost my job as a pharmaceutical sales rep. I used the time when we were all in quarantine investing my time in my business in preparation for when we would all be free to travel again, while still applying for positions in pharmaceutical sales. It has been eight months since I was laid off, and I haven’t found a new job yet. I think this is God’s way of telling me, “why put off for tomorrow what you can do today,” so here I am, a full-time business owner! I think it truly depends on if you are a glass half full or glass half empty person to determine if my business and where I am today was a stroke of good or bad luck.

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Image Credits
Tro’juan Henderson

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