We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer / Christina Joseph / Philip and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jennifer / Christina, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
As soon as we started our careers as nurses, we both individually began fulfilling our passion for travel.

Christina has a long list of 1000+ things to do and places to visit in her notes app. She started this list back in 2012 when she bought her first iphone. This list is organized with various countries and different things to do in them. She’s been adding and checking off things throughout the years. Her goal is to get through the list before she dies.

Jenny would make itineraries and PowerPoint presentations for her trips with friends and word got around. Eventually people started asking her for her itineraries. When strangers began asking her for the itineraries she worked so hard on, it became more and more difficult to just give them out for free. So the idea began percolating in her head that if people want these recommendations and itineraries so bad, they may pay for them. And if she’s putting all this work into making them, she shouldn’t be giving them out for free, because time is money.

Around the same time, people were also hitting us up for recommendations on random things like restaurants, clothes, or health and nutrition tips. This is where the idea for the blog began. People were constantly coming to us for advice on life and we loved giving it out! We can’t tell you the number of times we heard the exact words: “you need to start a blog”.

As mentioned above, we were traveling separately. We’d see each others’ travels on social media and began inviting each other on trips. It never seemed to work out until 3 years ago when Jenny took two weeks off for a planned trip that fell through. So she hit up Christina and asked if she wanted to spend two weeks with her internationally. While we were both nervous about spending so much time together with a person we didn’t know very well, we decided to take the leap. By the end of the trip, we were talking about what eventually became our future business.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The reason our clients love working with us is that we’re able to cater a vacation to their exact needs and wants. We ask them very specific questions to understand exactly what they want from a trip and plan it just as carefully as we would for ourselves. Our clients see how much fun we have while traveling and most of them want similar experiences. We make sure to let them know that we’re doing this for them.

The journey was not and is not easy. Being nurses, and having no background in business, we are constantly learning lessons on how to run a small business. We didn’t want to wait until we learned it all, we love to learn as we go. The challenges are some of the best parts. “Launch fast and adjust” is a motto we lived by a year ago when we launched our business.

We overcome challenges by working together to solve them. Where one person lacks, the other may be able to pick up. Having two people with two different perspectives opens up the possibilities. Communication is always important, especially in a partnership.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, I’m a foodie so we’d definitely go on a food tour of all my favorite spots in the city. I even have an article on 15 Houston Restaurants You Need to Try (https://unrefinedvibrancy.com/15-houston-restaurants-you-need-to-try/). Some of the spots we’d hit up include: Breakfast Klub, Mala Sichuan, Aga’s, Nancy’s Hustle, and Brothers Taco House.

I also have another article on The Best Date Night Spots in Houston, TX (https://unrefinedvibrancy.com/date-night-houston-tx/) but you can do these activities with anyone, not just a date! We may hit up the Contemporary Arts Museum, or hang out on hammocks at Axelrad. I could take you on a secret bar tour of the city or we could take a walk through Discovery Green. The options are endless.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Growing up as Indian, we’re often pressured into lucrative and safe career paths. The kind of careers that guarantee a steady income. You rarely see families encouraging creative careers.

The social media filled world we live in today has shown us that normal people can make it. You don’t always need money or fame. You need drive, passion, and hard work.

The first step was believing in ourselves and vocalizing our goals out loud. The more we believed in it ourselves, the more our support systems believed in us too.

And on the days we didn’t feel the support, we looked to books and podcasts for inspiration. Some of our favorite podcasts for motivation include: The skinny confidential, Tim Ferris, and How I Built This by Guy Raz.

Website: https://unrefinedvibrancy.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/unrefinedvibrancy/

Image Credits
Haley Vaughn

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.