Tiffany Dowd of Luxe Tiffany
We caught up with our friend Tiffany of Luxe Social Media and unfortunately it wasn't at one of the fabulous destinations she was writing about however proud to share her story of a business that we all dream of.
Tell us a little about yourself, your brand/company and how it started?
I am the founder and president of Luxe Social Media, a social media marketing company for luxury hotels around the world. I’m also a global luxury hotel expert and social media influencer known as “Luxe Tiffany.” I am also a luxury travel writer and have contributed to publications such as USA Today and Signature Luxury Travel & Lifestyle magazine as well as my own website LuxeTiffany.com.
I started my business back in 2009 when hotels were only marketing their businesses through traditional PR and Marketing. As an avid user of both Facebook and Twitter, I saw a big opportunity to inspire people to travel through this new thing called “social media” so I created a business called Luxe Social Media to promote luxury hotels through social media. Leading up to this, I studied Broadcast Journalism at the University of Southern California and went on to earn my master’s degree in Business and Economics Journalism at Boston University. From there, I worked in various luxury marketing roles and worked for a family-owned hotel in the Caribbean. I became their director of sales and marketing for over a decade. During this time, I was also a regional hotel inspector for Condé Nast Johansens selecting luxury hotels for their annual luxury hotel guide in the Caribbean and North America. As Twitter and Facebook were becoming more becoming more popular, and I was actively sharing my travels and hotel inspections on my social media feeds through @LuxeTiffany. Over the years, I have built an organic following of people who trust my opinion as a global luxury hotel expert where I share the best in luxury travel, travel tips and other news. I’m not a fan of the word “influencer”, but my goal is to provide luxury travel inspiration to those who follow me. When I started Luxe Social Media, I first went to my favorite client in the Caribbean, told him about my idea to start a social media marketing company for luxury hotels and wanted to know if he’d be my first client. I am ever-grateful that he believed in my passion even though he said he had no idea what I was talking about. I steadily built a what I called my “dream list” – clients that I not only respected as people in the luxury travel industry, but businesses that were also the best luxury hotels in the world. I decided that if I was going to run my own business, I was going to be the best at what I do and only work with the best. I am proud to have stayed true to that today. My client list is exclusive and now also expands into luxury social media management for luxury brands and celebrity personalities.
What advice can you give for starting your own business or turning your passion into a career?
My first client was someone who believed in me – who saw my passion to create a business managing social media for luxury hotels. Ignore the naysayers. Follow your passion and find and work with the people who can see that you truly believe failure is not an option. I have found over the years that success breeds success, and I’ve been fortunate to work with the most exclusive luxury hotels in the world.
What drives/motivates/inspires you?
I am inspired by positivity and people who are willing to take risks to be successful. Complacency is not in my vocabulary. Adversity also inspires me. Adversity lights a fire under me and makes me even stronger than before.
What are you most proud of/ biggest accomplishment?
My biggest accomplishment is becoming my own boss. Luxe Social Media has incredibly rewarding – having the freedom and ability to travel the world and inspire others to do the same. I am also very fortunate to work with some of the most accomplished and nice people in the business. For me, it’s all about relationships. I build both strong personal relationships, and in return, we have good working relationships. My clients trust me and what I do, and I’m passionate about what they do. I also surround myself with a great team who shares my enthusiasm and passion for social media and travel. It is strange for me sometimes when people recognize me as “Luxe Tiffany” and tell me they follow me on Instagram, but it’s incredibly rewarding to know that what I’m doing inspires people. There is a fine line between inspiring and bragging – I’m all about positivity and inspiration. I want you to fall in love with what I’m showing you so much that you want to travel there too.
What was biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?
I love what I do, so it never feels like work, but I do have to find time to be off-line and have a little me doing anything non-digital.
What is the best business advice you have received?
A dear friend of mine who has also become my business consultant has helped me understand that you must define your own value – know your worth – because if you do not determine it, someone else will for you. Don’t underestimate your value.
What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?
Surround yourself with people who inspire you. Find people who challenge your thinking and who are honest with you, even if it means disagreeing. You will be better because of it. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to people and ask them to be your mentor. These types of connections are invaluable and may translate into your next job.
What is your ideal working environment?
Either working on location from a fabulous hotel somewhere around the world, or at my quiet home office with my doggie a few feet away.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to work out, spend time with my husband and family, play tennis and watch a good tv series on Netflix or Hulu. There isn’t a lot of spare time, so I like a lot of quiet time.
How do you maintain a healthy balance?
I love going to the gym just for an hour a day to maintain both my physical and mental well-being. When I travel, I always load up on Vitamin C to make sure my immune system is strong for when I’m going from place to place.
Be sure to follow her @LUXETIFFANY for all your dream travel destination needs!