Introduce yourself and tell us about your company Exclusive Xscapes:
I’m Carla Stevenson, owner of Exclusive Xscapes, LLC and CEO of The FLY Bellas Travel Group. When I was growing up in Baltimore, MD, I always felt drawn to life beyond my own borders; whether those were the boundaries that existed in my environment or those that existed in my own mind. In my early adulthood, I was fortunate enough to have the experience of living abroad and the experience was life changing. Learning about other cultures and their way of living was transformational for me and sparked me to want to know more. That’s when I really began to indulge my interest in travel. The experiences have been so transformational for me that I decided to help other women stretch beyond their own borders and through that desire my company was born.
What inspired you to create the FLY Bellas Travel Group?
I had already formed the Exclusive Xscapes brand and several of my clients from that business shared with me that they would love to travel and to visit the exclusive locations that were available, but didn’t like to travel alone. I get it, traveling abroad alone can be intimidating. Still, the idea of these women missing out on the experience of a lifetime for lack of travel companion wasn’t something I could ignore. From that, the idea of connecting these women from all walks of life (The women of FLY Bellas are single, married, have families, no children, professional, fashionable, have jobs, entrepreneurs, introverts, social butterflies and much more) together in friendship and in fun; the added bonus of traveling together came into focus and FLY Bellas was born. We don’t want for the first time you meet your FLY Bella sisters to be on an Xscape. We create a sisterhood so you never have to fear creating memories alone. FLY Bellas is both a Travel and a Social Group. We work as a team to plan monthly social events so that we can build and maintain our FLY Bella bond To sum it up, we are FLY women of all walks of life but share one definite thing in common, the passion of Travel.
What advice do you have for females that want to travel more but have budget restrictions?
The first thing is to commit to yourself! You’re committed to your job, your family, your church and or education. Make the commitment to do something for yourself and dream big – dream beyond your borders. Once you identify a trip that you would like to take, explore the many payment options that we have available and budget and commit to making that monthly investment toward yourself and your dreams.
What would you say are the most popular travel destinations for female entrepreneurs?
Many of the FLY Bellas are female entrepreneurs who, like myself, are dedicated to the success of their businesses despite their need to unplug. With that said, the goal here is to provide them a rich and empowering experience that allows them to Relax, Relate and Release. Whether it’s relaxing in the Hot Springs in Sedona or on the beach in Fiji; the pampering in a luxury suite and spa, that we consider a staple, or the enlightening and meaningful experience of relating to other cultures when we travel to Dubai, Cuba or South Africa for example; our destinations are designed to provide enough variety to accommodate and offer needed respite from the busy schedules of the female entrepreneur.
Are there any upcoming travel events with FLY Bellas?
We have lots of exciting trips coming up at the suggestion of our members and through our own research on the most fabulous and luxurious destinations that offer exotic locations and unique experiences to make our Xscapes truly unforgettable! 2017 will be exciting for FLY Bellas! Domestically, we will attend Jazz in the Gardens, the BET Awards and the Essence Festival among many others. But our International Xscapes are truly magical. In Late 2017 we will travel to Fiji, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Jamaica and Cabo San Lucas with a few other amazing Xscapes in the wings. We are extremely excited about the trips themselves, but the outings and experiences that we go the extra mile to include really make these trips once in a lifetime experiences.
What is next for your company and brand in 2016? We are embarking on a number of initiatives including increasing our membership base within existing chapters and establishing new ones, Launching a group for more mature women, launching our clothing and accessories selection, increasing our web presence and of course there are the TRIPS!
How can readers find you online and through social media?
Facebook and Twitter: @FlyBellas
Join FLY Bellas and join our Private page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FLYBellas/