SCORE

World travel has long held an exotic allure for women that can be traced from Desdemona’s rapt obsession with Othello’s travel soliloquy to the enormous popularity of Frances Mayes “Under the Tuscan Sun.” The lure of an open road and global adventure has a universal appeal, but it has, until recently, not been marketed exclusively to the perspectives and desires of women. SCORE client Karen Loftus has built her business model for Women’s Adventure Travel around changing that.

The road that Karen has traveled to her current role as a startup entrepreneur has been an exciting and multifaceted one. Karen has been an international comedian, entertaining at comedy clubs and military bases around the world. She served as a journalist writing articles on travel, luxury lifestyle, and adventure for media outlets that included Vogue, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Huffington Post, NY Daily News, and more. Her journalistic forays led to playwriting that resulted in the award of a Tennessee Williams Fellowship

Karen reached out to SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon for the guidance of a mentor as she prepared for the launch of her latest venture.  Women’s Adventure Travel is a boutique travel company that specializes in small, well-curated, and customized trips for women.

“I am very excited to be launching my company, and to be leading these female-driven trips. This is a full-circle moment, one long in the making, a marriage of my many interests and experiences with itineraries based on many of my favorite places, people, and passions.”
    - Karen Loftus, founder of Women’s Adventure Travel

SCORE mentor Beverley Doody began working with Karen earlier this year to offer marketing support for the launch of Karen’s new business. One of the most vital components of startup development is a sound marketing strategy. It is more than just a brand logo; it helps identify a brand identity and provide a clear vision for the brand’s success. Women’s Adventure Travels defines their mission as one that celebrates women and inspires them to empower themselves and those around them through travel.   

“Having a SCORE mentor gave me the sounding board and support that I needed during my launch mode. As a solo entrepreneur, it can sometimes be lonely as you charge forth on your own with your vision. Having that sounding board and support throughout, as well as access to great advice, was instrumental in the recent month's success.”
    - Karen Loftus, founder of Women’s Adventure Travels

During the summer season of start-up planning, Karen had the good fortune to be able to work with three talented young interns from Millersville University. 

“Karen provided an excellent traineeship experience for three interns who were on the Millersville University – SCORE Lancaster - Lebanon Partnership for Progress Program. The program engages undergraduate trainees in a self-discovery program to identify their strengths and values. Karen created a traineeship to build a social media presence for the business including video presentations and designing market outreach campaigns to build a targeted list of future clients. She also made significant efforts to ensure the students got additional work experience and helpful tools for their future career journeys.”
    - Beverley Doody, SCORE Lancaster-Lebanon volunteer mentor

Karen looks forward to working with her SCORE mentor as Women’s Adventure Travels continues to grow. Beverley admires Karen’s entrepreneurial spirit and her vision for celebrating and empowering women.  She looks forward to being that sounding board well into the future.

“I think having a SCORE mentor is a great gift for small businesses and new entrepreneurs. I have so enjoyed this journey with my SCORE mentor. Having the sounding board to say, ‘Am I crazy? Does this make sense?’ has been great. It has been a safe place to check in on several levels. I highly recommend having a SCORE mentor to anyone starting a business or perhaps heading in a different direction with the one that you have.” 
        - Karen Loftus, founder of Women’s Adventure Travels