Sarah Pearce is the brains behind Travelshoot; connecting travellers with local photographers around the world. It all started when Sarah and her husband were in New York a few years ago
“A friend of mine who was a photographer grabbed some professional snaps of us for his portfolio and kindly shared them with us. They were hands down the best travel memento we’d ever had of a holiday,” Sarah sad.
“It was when I shared a couple of the pics on social media and was inundated with friends asking me who the photographer was and how much we paid for the shoot that I realized other travellers would value this experience too.”
The biggest obstacle in the beginning was sourcing good quality photographers.
“From day one I knew the reputation of Travelshoot would be based on the calibre, skill and service of photographers we use, so our process to recruit and test is pretty laborious, but we still use it to this day to ensure we connect customers with really amazing photographers,” Sarah said.
“The other obstacle with this is needing photographers who are not only great technically, but also have engaging personalities. Someone you’d enjoy hanging out with for a walk around Paris or Bali, friendly and passionate locals.”
Sarah is impressed that there are plenty of incentives for women to start businesses, both government and private.
“Australia is a great place to be inspired by some brilliant female business leaders in the start-up space.”
“You just need to have the tenacity to search and find. I find many female founders who reach out to me just lack the confidence and risk appetite to give it a crack. Australia is a great place to be inspired by some brilliant female business leaders in the start-up space,” Sarah said.
“Some of my favourites being Emma Isaacs and Lorraine Murphy, I read their books and blogs and get to events as much as I can. So I think listening and learning about other females’ journeys is one of the best ways to encourage other women.”
Sarah was pregnant when she decided to do her first investment round last year, even though some people politely advised her not to.
“It was actually the perfect time to find out which investors would be family friendly, and support me as a female raising a family and growing a global business.”
“Some pointed out it was perhaps not the best time! But it was people like Emma Isaacs that reminded me it was actually the perfect time to find out which investors would be family friendly, and support me as a female raising a family and growing a global business. So this is great advice I share with other women who perhaps are shy of taking the plunge because they want to start a family.”
Sarah has a lot of plans for the future of Travelshoot as she continues with their global growth.
“We now have 90 destinations on our network. The future for Travelshoot is about being the ultimate travel experience, helping families and couples capture as many precious travel and destination memories as possible,” Sarah said.
“We’ve also recently launched a wedding photography package too. We understand more and more people are opting for destination weddings or elopements, so with a global network of qualified photographers, we can help brides and grooms take the stress out of finding a trustworthy and skilled photographer.”
What’s your best advice for women in start-ups?
“Do your homework, validate your concept, and if it stacks up, don’t delay. I have met many founders who hesitated for too long and saw someone beat them to it and really regret it.”