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Inspirational Female Founder Spotlight: Mimi Gee

Mimi Gee, 41 is the founder of Find Your Resort and lives in Cumbria with her two children (7 and 9) and her husband. She also works as a senior executive  for a large multinational corporate, and started Find Your Resort in her spare time after finishing her MSc in Manufacturing Leadership 2022.  

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

I grew up in the North of England, in a small town called Barrow in Furness, and after graduating from Newcastle University I moved back home and starting working in procurement for a large multinational which I still do full time and absolutely love.

I love travelling and in 2022 I studied for my travel agents license via InteleTravel as I am also holiday obsessed.

How did the idea come to you for the company?

When I had completed my mandatory training I let my close family and friends know that I could book holidays for them and as soon as I started researching, I realised that searching for resorts was not going to be as easy as I had envisioned.

I knew that there were only limited filters available to consumers on booking sites, but I expected that travel agents would have access to a more advanced set of filters. But they didn’t! So when I was asked to find a resort with separate sleeping area for the kids, a splash park, walking distance to the beach and local shops, and full board or all inclusive, I had no idea where to start!

So the idea came to create a website where an agent could select a number of facilities their client has asked for in a resort, and quickly get a shortlist of resorts that matched. They can then use their own booking systems and suppliers to find the best deal for their client.

How did you achieve awareness?

I started an Instagram account and have slowly grown to just over 5,000 followers who are mostly travel agents based in the UK although I do have followers and members from the US too. I was also interviewed by Travel Weekly last year which really helped my profile in the industry.

How have you been able to gain funding and grow?

So far I have self funded the business, with an initial investment to get the website built. I used a local developer, and worked with him to create a custom site that would allow users to progressively add resort facilities to their search and quickly narrow down based on what their client has asked for.

I have just decided to take on some freelance admin support to add more and have been wanting to do this for a while, but I needed to be sure I fully understood what users wanted and had plenty of feedback before investing in some help.

What are the key successes?

Having had zero knowledge about setting up an online business prior I now have 138 agents as part of the website membership which allows them to utilize the 30 filters which is a huge achievement I am super proud of achieving in such a short time.

From a self development perspective a key success has been learning all about online businesses, online marketing, computer coding (I have left this to my web developer but I now have a better understanding of the possibilities!), branding, sales, and trade marketing. I have learn so much this part year and if I am honest with myself I do think I’m unable to genuinely sit still which on one hand keeps me driven and focused, but on the other hand can be exhausting. I find small pockets of success when I take time to relax, whether that’s going on holiday with my family or just taking a quiet bath and having an early night. Not all successes need to be big and loud.

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these

The biggest challengehas been time for me. I have a full time executive role, 2 primary school aged children and alongside Find Your Resort I also coach at my daughters gymnastics club too. So there are a lot of early mornings, late nights, but I honestly don’t know any other way to be.

What are your plans now/for the future?

I want to keep developing my skills in online business and grow Find Your Resort to be the ‘go to’ website for independent agents.

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?

Be brave. It was super daunting stepping out and putting myself out there when starting out but you just have to just put one foot in front of the other and keep pushing forward.

Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?

Be patient! Success takes time for the vast majority of entrepreneurs

Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?

My 2 best friends Carlene and Zoe. One is successful investment banker in the City and the other is a GP and TV doctor, and they are my biggest hype girls.

Rochelle Humes is someone whom I look up to a lot. She is a busy wife and mum, runs multiple successful businesses, but seems to keep herself and kids grounded. And also loves her holidays!

Lisa Johnston is a business strategist who in hugely successful and who’s course helped me crystalize the idea for Find Your Resort and launch it.

And a bit cliché but also Beyoncé, who is just he ultimate boss babe.

What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?

‘Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day’ is the quote I have on the wall in my home office and this is a reminder than success takes time.

What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?