Eunré's Woman of the Month: CrushGlobal's Kristin Braswell
Eunré had the pleasure of speaking with CrushGlobal’s Kristin Braswell. Truly, it was all our pleasure.
On CrushGlobal’s website, you will see that Kristin wants to change the world through travel. Sounds like a lofty mission statement for a travel agent you might be thinking.,
And that is where you are wrong! She is, in fact, changing the world.
First, Kristin would not describe herself as a travel agent, not in the traditional sense at least. She does not team up with large hotel chains and airlines to offer her clients discounts.
What she does is far more authentic and artful.
After traveling the world for years as a travel journalist, Kristin realized how lucky she was. As a journalist, she was able to stay in small local hotels, eat at authentic restaurants and see places and events. Most people just do not know how to find these spots.
During her travels, she met wonderful people and entrepreneurs. She formed relationships with them. She stayed in touch with them, and now, she can make authentic recommendations to her clients.
She will curate a personalized itinerary for you or you can join her on one of the many tours she has meticulously designed. (Havana was the first tour she orchestrated and still to this day the most popular! On this trip, travelers will eat with authentic chefs and dance with wonderful salsa instructors, all of whom Kristin has personally met before! ).
For Kristin, like many, COVID-19 threw her a curveball. How can she continue to show us the world when we are not allowed to travel? The great American Road Trip!
Part of American culture for years, the road trip, Kristin realized, was a great way to keep people traveling. Road Trip itineraries were born out of necessity; COVID had shut other travel down. But CrushGlobal’s curated road trip itineraries will live on because they are unique, authentic and safe. These road trips are designed to support businesses owned by people of color, women and the LGBTQ+ community.
This is where we talk about CrushGlobal changing the world. Travel has been and continues to be exclusive. The travel industry markets to white people and works with large and typically white-owned businesses. This is a fact.
CrushGlobal, a black-owned company, saw this hole in the market and realized it did not have to be that way. There are plenty of people of color interested in traveling and there are plenty of high quality and wonderful businesses owned by people of color all around the world.
Kristin points out that being a black woman has prepared her for this job because she has always had to consider the safety/comfort level in her travel. She has always had to do research to make sure where she was traveling was not only safe for her, but that she would also have an enjoyable and comfortable time.
Now, Kristin will curate an itinerary and travel alongside any person interested in her packages; she and her company are very inclusive.
That is the point. To make sure that those who travel, those who may have reservations about traveling to unknown places, feel safe.
Kristin’s itineraries, whether international or within the United States, are filled with places that are safe for people of color and people from the LGBTQ+ community. Currently, she is also ensuring her itineraries only include places following safe COVID protocols.
Her road trip itineraries will not include any place that does not have a mask mandate or that does not have outdoor dining. She works with local tourism boards to ensure these safety precautions.
Are you interested, but unsure you want to travel in times of COVID? They have considered you as well.
In addition to road trips within the United States, CrushGlobal has also introduced online events.
When in Tuscany a few years ago, Kristin met a black sommelier with whom she spent a memorable evening eating and drinking all things local and delicious. Like the travel industry, the wine industry tends to market to white people. Yet, Kristin knows there is a larger market of people who like wine and are willing to spend on wine. She and this woman knew they would do business with each other in the future. They just expected it to be face to face.
But COVID presented them with another opportunity-online wine tasting! And it was better than they imagined.
Those that signed up received all the wines and informational materials delivered to their house. The plan was Lydia, the sommelier, would lead them through an informative, intimate and fun afternoon of wine tasting.
And that is what happened, but so did something else. The participants showed up online not only with their wine but also with beautiful charcuterie boards and a foodie show and tell broke out!
It was so amazing they have another scheduled for December 12, 2020.
So, yes CrushGlobal is changing the world through travel. They are supporting local economies, opening travel up to historically marginalized communities and showing industry folks that their marketing does not, should not, be so exclusive.
If you’re like us here at Eunré and want to know more, check them out!
Custom itineraries begin at $299 and vary depending on the number of days and experiences that are tailored to the clients' interests. The plan is to make these price points conducive to travelers' budgets, so they don't feel limited in their experiences while providing immense value.
There are also offer ready-to-use road trips that range from $29-$59 and include eight guides with routes that stretch from Northern to Southern California, the Northeast and the South - City to Sea Southern Guide, City to Wine Country + Food Guide, Escape the City Guide, Great Baecation + Friend Guide, Northern California Outdoor Escape, Southern California Great Outdoor Escape, Southern Food and History Guide, and Southern California Coastal Wine Lover's Road Trip.