Boutique Explorer Founder Andres Zuleta Shares Insight on His Business Journey
Andres Zuleta is the founder of Boutique Explorer, an enterprise that specializes in planning unique and remarkable travel excursions in Morocco, Vietnam, Australia, Greece, and beyond. Travelers who work with Boutique Explorer get to enjoy a private, custom-planned trip chock-full of off-the-beaten-path experiences, local culinary delights, and a cultural focus — with just the right amount of opulence! Boutique Explorer’s trips are a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.
ABOUT INSIDER recently had the opportunity to catch up with Andres and ask him about his business journey. The savvy entrepreneur was happy to share how he grows as a business owner, his least favorite part about being an entrepreneur, and more!
HELLO, WELCOME TO ABOUT INSIDER! WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAILY BASIS TO GROW AS AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Along with working in my business, I strive to devote as much of each day as possible to working on the business from a more strategic perspective. This is not always easy, especially when things feel really busy. But I do my best to spend time each morning working on non-urgent, higher-level tasks and projects. This challenges me to grow as an entrepreneur, and helps the business, too.
DESCRIBE TO ME THE MOST EXCITING MINUTE OF YOUR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY.
One of the most exciting minutes of my entrepreneurial journey was closing my first sale, while on my way to a business conference in Asia. I was in Hong Kong at the moment, spending a couple of days in the city en route to the conference. I remember being in my Airbnb, in this endlessly exciting city, and checking my email before heading out to eat some of the city’s amazing food. Our first clients had paid their deposit. It was a huge moment of validation for the business, and made this brief trip to Hong Kong that much more memorable.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE NAME FOR YOUR COMPANY?
It was the end result of a long process of brainstorming for what felt like forever. After several weeks of throwing ideas around, it was time to pull the trigger and get on with it! We got very lucky with the name of our first business, Boutique Japan, and I love the connotations of the word ‘boutique’ for many reasons. When starting Boutique Explorer, we decided to start with Boutique for brand consistency and, after shooting down dozens of other ideas, landed on Explorer.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE PART ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
Perhaps the hardest thing is the fact that my brain rarely ever turns off completely. I do have what I’d consider a healthy work-life balance, and when I take vacations I usually unplug (it’s best when I leave my computer at home, since I avoid working from my phone). But during the week, it can be hard to stop thinking about work. This is true both when things are good and when things are more hectic and I can’t stop thinking of to-do lists. So once in a while, I think it must be nice to have one of those jobs where you can just leave work at work. But that would mean not having my current life, which I love, so I have no complaints!
WHAT CREATIVE THINGS DO YOU DO TO DEVELOP A LIKEABLE COMPANY CULTURE?
We have wonderful, in-person team retreats. We’ve always been a fully remote company, and from the start it was important to me to invest time and money into giving us the chance to spend memorable quality time with one another. We’ve held team retreats in places as varied as Japan, Mexico City, Joshua Tree National Park, and Austin, Texas. Each meetup is different, but we place a huge priority on giving people a chance to spend time together informally. We’re a small, tight-knit company and these regular meetups are an integral part of our company culture.
For more information about Boutique Explorer, visit boutiqueexplorer.com.