Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Erin Smith, founder of Gluten-Free Globetrotter, located in Brooklyn, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am the founder of Gluten-Free Globetrotter, a travel website dedicated to helping those with celiac disease or other medical conditions travel the world gluten-free. I create customized food itineraries for people who want to travel but have dietary restrictions. I want to help them feel empowered to explore the globe while sticking to their strict medical diet.
As someone personally living with celiac disease since the early 1980s, I have always been eating and traveling gluten-free. I know exactly how nerve-wracking gluten-free travel can be, and I do my best to make each client comfortable with traveling. I am a celiac support group leader in New York City and also started the Santa Cruz (CA) Celiac group.
I also do consult and marketing for small gluten-free food businesses, restaurants, and entertainment venues. I help my clients understand their target customers who may have food allergies and dietary restrictions. We work together to create a seamless experience for all customers, no matter what their food preferences or restrictions. I am well connected within the gluten-free community, but I am also a target customer!
Tell us about yourself
I have been living with celiac disease since 1981, so I grew up eating gluten-free long before it was a buzzword. I started my first blog, Gluten-Free Fun, in 2007 to help others with celiac disease learn that living an abundant gluten-free life is totally possible. In 2011, I launched Gluten-Free Globetrotter from a hotel in the Czech Republic. I wanted to share my lifelong experience with celiac disease and my passion for traveling with others. Shortly after I started my website, someone asked me to help them plan where to eat gluten-free food in New York City, and the rest is history!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Any time one of my itinerary clients travels for the first time after being diagnosed with celiac disease is especially meaningful. I've had families tell me they thought they could never travel again. Helping these individuals feel empowered to travel despite their food restrictions is always so rewarding. When they send me photos from their destination, I feel like I am there with them.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I am a one-woman-show doing a lot of freelance projects on the side. I am also a mother to a very busy toddler. Trying to balance it all is challenging at times, but I do the best I can. It's taken some time, but I have also learned to say "no" if I cannot take another project onto my plate.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be authentic.
- Never stop networking.
- Become an expert in your field.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1981, so I have been eating gluten-free almost my entire life. I have a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community. I am passionate about sharing my experiences and gluten-free expertise with others. I have embraced my Celiac Disease diagnosis and live my gluten-free life to the fullest. Through my websites and social media channels, I have connected with thousands of individuals across the globe.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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