We had the good fortune of connecting with Alejandra Mattey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Alejandra, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Well, the truth is, I consider that it has not been such a difficult process for me in this case because I had been thinking about embarking on my own path for some time, however, I spent 3 years working for companies within my professional field. Which I consider, that taught me much of what I know today.
4 years ago I got pregnant from my second daugther, at that time I was working as a manager in a cinema, however, despite the good income I obtained there, the country’s economic situation was already beginning to fracture, and my situation was quite sensitive about my pregnancy and for this reason I did not continue working there.
After giving birth, I waited 8 months to feel comfortable enough to leave my daughter in a daycare and at that moment I got a course that would give me the knowledge of Air Traffic; I said to myself: “well this can be a start for me, workin on something that I like”, and so I started. This was a 2-day course where they taught me the basics, and after that I got a job with the same company that gave me the course, and for me it was like acquiring the necessary knowledge that would help me to become the professional that consider myself to be today.
Working for this company I did everything: I was a tourist guide, I was in Air Traffic, package sales, ticket sales, social media community manager, operations manager, I did everything and this taught me a lot during the 2 years I worked there; After that I started with another company, in which the pandemic situation caught me, it was quite difficult. During the pandemic, for a moment I doubted the path I had taken in my professional branch and at that moment I thought that I should take a different path from what I already knew, I thought of disassociating myself from a company that governs me, and tells me when to work, how to work, what to do, what not to do, even when its parameters were wrong, however I continued working for this other company when the trips resume in December 2020.
I kept working for a couple more months with this company, and approximately in March 2021 I decided to disengage completely and start my own path as a Freelancer, I considered that I had enough contacts to be able to support myself, with ups and downs, months in which I did sell, months in which I don´t. However, workin on my own made me feel more liberated and it taught me that I could make my way.
The most difficult decision I had to make was for June-July of last year, In order to be able to do the work that I like, which is to offer my services as a tourist guide on Margarita Island, I knew there would be opportunities in which flights would arrive at 7-8 at night and I had to receive these clients at that time to be able to offer them the excursions so that they get to know the Island, due to this I decided to accept the support of my father who is in Caracas. Who would support me with the care of my daughters, to be able to attend the meetings that I would not take my daughters to, this would be temporary since it would be the small steps that I had to take to get on track as a company, however, it did not last long. After 4 months I looked for my daughters, I couldn’t be away from them for so long, just as they couldn’t be away from me.
Today my daughters are with me, I continue to work, I have alliances in cities of my country, mainly Caracas and Maracaibo, and obviously on Margarita Island, I have the support of the Howard Johnson Tinajeros Suites Hotel, which is where I have my office. Currently, I am in the process of becoming a legally and formal Travel Agency. The clients that I currently have they know where to find me, they know how I do my work and they do not care if I am a Freelancer or if I am a company, it is something that they are clear from the first moment they contact me because I fulfill the duty to inform them I am not a company, I am just a person looking to get to the point of having their own company.
I know that when this happens, the people who already work with me externally are waiting to expand and continue to grow with me professionally.
These people have already seen what my work is like, they know what I do, how I do it, the love I have for my work, and the affection I give to my clients, because they are not just my clients, they are the people for whom I work, the people through which eyes I live my dreams.
All my life I have been very, very fascinated about travels, and while I was working in the cinema I realized that I love the attention to the public, despite suffering from panic to public speaking; Having combined these two passions has taught me a lot today, and it is that if you can do what you love and earn money for it 😀
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
What sets you apart from others?
I could say that my personality is the point of difference. The way I talk with every client like if it was a family or a friend about to travel or to realize the dream of a travel, to know his own country, to meet a beloved one, to give him support at the moment of migration, when they feel nervous. Be happy for their happiness, and to be worried about their worries, for me is basically to put inside the shoes of each traveler, because I think it could be my family or even it could be me and this would be the way I would like to be treated. To be the support they need in those moments I could say it is very gratificant.
I’m not just a travel agency selling airplane tickets, I am a person helping others.
What you are most proud of or excited about?
I guess that the smalls but huges steps I have done so far on this 4 years of learning. Because I still learning, there still have a lot in life to learn. I think that what makes me feel the mostly proud is the person I have become professionally, and I could say I feel proud of myself and of the great steps that I dared to take, to make my dreams come true
How did you get to where you are today professionally?
There is a lot of people involved on creating the person I have become today. Professionally I have had a lot of support and I have get a lot of knowledge thanks to these people who taught me the basis of a travel agent and the most important part that I suppose is the client attention and selling, and I think that the biggest thing that have let a mark on me, and I always make mention of this because I feel very proud of had been part of so profoundly knowledge, and this have nothing to be about travel but it does have a lot to be with the public attention and to make that the people feel happy with the attention we give.
That’s when I worked for a company called Cines Unidos. It was one of the biggest and beautiful learning experiences I have ever had. I think that a lot of people don’t see it in the same way. They taught me how to deal with the public, how to speak to them, it even helped me with my public speaking panic. They taught me the love they feel for their work and for the Company, they taught me the basis of this, and I think that is the type of knowledge that I apply in my work in my day to day, for myself, for my personal brand. Basically my image is this
Everything I have learned there is what I apply in my business, in the attention to the public that I give, in working with partners, in managing personnel, in making the people who work with me despite not having a local, or have a frequent income that I could offer them, there are many people who work remotely with me, and they feel very comfortable doing it.
And I know that when the time comes to be able to give them everything that a company requires to have an employee, they will feel free to work with me, not for me.
Was it easy?
No, it was not easy at all, actually I still have some challenges.
But one of the biggest challenges I had was when I started, when I decided to be my own boss, taking the risk of setting up my own business and not having any regular income, something that gives me security, because that is what a normal work gives, the security that you will have money for your children, for your house, for everything you need to grow with your family, instead going the hard way is just that, working hard, having the strength every day to reach the goal
What are the lesson you have learned along the way?
One of the most important lessons that I have learned is that you cannot work alone, you cannot start alone, you will need someone to support you, to help you, not necessarily in business but morally, because when you start your own business, yeah, you will have some days that you will be at the top of your business, but there will also be times when you really want to give up and the one who will be with you will remind you how hard you have worked to get to that point, and those words are necessary for those who undertake a new journey and a new business, when something important for their future begins.
I’m not going to lie to you, there will be people who will take advantage of this, who will make you think that they share your same dreams. But I can’t tell you who these kinds of people will be, you’ll have to recognize it for yourself along the way, but take it easy, that’s part of starting your own business.
By the way, I’m not saying it has to be your partner, your girlfriend or your boyfriend, it can just be a friend or someone in your family, someone who encourages you to be that person you want to be.
What do I want to know about me, my brand and story
Well, about me I just want people to know that I consider myself a strong woman with two little girls that I work for every day. I just want to give them the best they deserve as children. That I want to give them a good future, in which they continue working for their dreams.
About my brand, well, I want people to recognize it right when they hear it and see it. I don’t want people to think of my brand as just another travel agency, I want them to see it as a creative travel agency, some with whom people feel comfortable traveling, whom people to give them the opportunity to make their dream trip.
I just want to see people happy making their dream trip come true, just me being the how they get there, and seeing the same through their eyes/cam
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If there is a one week trip, I guess it depends on where we travel to, but if I have to choose my own country, there are places I still want to see in Venezuela, so maybe a week is not enough. But if I had to choose, it would be like two or three days in Canaima, one or two in Los Médanos de Coro, another two or three in Los Roques, and ending with three or four days in Margarita Island, to see the family and friends
Canaima has the best views of the Venezuelan Tepuyes. The largest is Angel Falls, and it has accommodations for every type of traveler
Los Roques is known for its turquoise waters and has about 350 islands.
Los Médanos de Coro is a desert 20 meters high and 30 meters long.
The best part is that each place we would visit has its own culture and people, this way we could eat and drink very differently from each place.
So, the main idea would be to visit each different place that each city we go to has to know. Another place I would like to take them to is La Hacienda Santa Teresa located in Aragua, I think this will be one of the best places where I could go with my friends because it will be like knowing one of the oldest rums in Venezuela.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I would like to thank to God, for gaving me two angels for whom I fight every day, and without i probably never would take the risk of start my busisnes. My two daugthers
Give thanks about have worked on the Cinema, because It gave me te bases to work with personal on my mand, and gave me the valors I use on my work today.
I give thanks to my mentors in Tourism, specially to Jose Amias, who taught me everything I know about commercialize in Tourism, and to Orianni Gonzalez, who taught me everithin about Air Traffic
To Marelis Mendez, because I admire her work and how effort she gave on what she does, I feel very identified with her
To my family, because they taught me to pursue my dreams, and getting wherever I want with hard work
And, last but not least, to my partner, my boy, my confidant, my love, Samil Rivera. Who has been there for me to give me strength and has been my support whenever my mood drops. He is always there to remind me how strong and brave I am. Thanks to him my social media looks so pretty, and he is responsible for all my photoshot