We had the good fortune of connecting with Mina Agnos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mina, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Persistence, transparency and people are the keys to our success. Continuously putting in the hard work, taking baby steps forward and evolving both personally and as a team every day will result in big gains over time. Furthermore, building a team of smart, curious, energetic, and loyal individuals with a broad spectrum of strengths and interests who are passionate about the goals and vision of the company and are not afraid to share their ideas will always ensure forward momentum. Last but not least, we always carefully listen to feedback from partners and clients in order to grow and improve. We learn from our mistakes but also make sure we celebrate our wins.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets us apart is that we are a company filled with ex-pats that have poured their neverending passion for travel and extensive experiences of living in foreign countries into every single itinerary we create for our clients ensuring all their interests and passions are woven into this one of a kind ungoogleable travel experience. I started this company after years of working as an independent travel consultant so I used all the knowledge and the problems I was facing as an IC booking Europe to create a one-stop-shop where every need would be met and all issues anticipated so they are resolved before they even occur. Given that I was a working mom when I started the business, I know the toll the hours and work commitments take on your everyday life and since we all rise by lifting others, as a part of my “No mom left behind” commitment, I am extremely proud that we managed to open our company daycare center last year, allowing our great female team members to shine and to rise within the company. This whole journey of starting as a one-woman show to a company with more than 35 employees was not easy. One of the biggest challenges was getting my voice heard in an often male-dominated business environment. There were times when during business meetings when male business partners or employees were present, they were usually the ones being addressed, even when more junior but I have learned to believe in my voice and to assert my vision, training others to do the same, Of course, there were many other challenges along the way, recent COVID-19 pandemic being one of them, and we have used this downtime to reasses our business strategies, reconnect with our suppliers to develop even more memorable experiences, and above all to stay connected with our clients and give them a reason to keep dreaming about their future travels. Because things will get better, travel is one of the most resilient industries, and once they do, we will be ready to start creating more amazing travel experiences across the Mediterranean.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, after you capture your perfect Instamoments on Miami Beach, Little Havana and the Everglades, there are so many great places it will take more than just one interview to list them, you are talking to a travel advisor after all so it all depends on what’s your passion and what are your interests. But my go-to places, just of the top of my head are Restaurants; I love Casa Tua, both the gardens and the indoor villa space, the food is always spot on. For a great night out with fabulous food, atmosphere and drinks you cannot beat Alter and its chef Brad Kilgore The Surf Club and chef Thomas Keller never disappoint, of course, it’s always an experience to remember in an amazing atmosphere Joe’s Stone Crab is still an institution, evoking Miami as it once was with its tuxedoed waiters and of course jaw-dropping food Lilikoi Organic Living – for those looking for healthy options made with the freshest locally sourced ingredients void of any processed or genetically modified foods. Utterly delicious and healthy, that always sounds good! And since I cannot escape my Greek roots, of course, I am going to say Mandolin bistro and Milos restaurant for those “take me to Greece” aromas with a twist. What to do: Perez Art Museum (I know it’s temporarily closed) for modern and contemporary art aficionados Experience the Bayside Marketplace – it’s filled with great live music and a great vibe, and you can shop until you drop Relax and soak up the gorgeous surroundings of the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, a perfect way to spend a sunny day Fill up your camera with amazing photos at Wynwood Walls, a vast outdoor exhibition displaying works of more than 50 artists from around the world. For world-class performances, you cannot skip the Ziff Ballet Opera House Where to stay: For over the top Faena Hotel Miami Beach – how can you say no to the hotel that was designed by Baz Luhrmann, director of Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby and his wife, Oscar-winning, costume, and production designer Catherine Martin Biltmore hotel with its fabulous pool, golf course and ample of Mediterranean flare Setai for ultimate privacy, tranquility and some of the best Miami oceanic views. Plus you’re just a heartbeat away from Lincoln Road and its vibrant nightlife. And if you’re looking for something more long term to rent for an extended “workation”, shoutout to Panos Chalvantzis from Helio Realty, he can find the best rental property to suit your needs.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would have to dedicate this shoutout to Panos Chalvantzis and Petros Halvantzis because they both saw my vision and jumped on board to help me create Travelive from the ground up when it was just a website and a pipe dream. Of course, the biggest shoutout goes to our team and all the Travelivers that have worked with us over the years, you know what they say, it really takes a village…And they have all left a mark and shaped us into a company we are today.