Blind Honeymoon - A unique, luxury experience.
“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware”.

Reinforcing this quote displayed on their website, Blind Honeymoon is an innovative venture that provides tailor-made honeymoon packages with an indubitable element of surprise. Chiara Mascaruchi from Blind Honeymoon was only too glad to answer some of the questions we had for her.

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1. How did you come up with the concept of your business Blind HoneyMoon?
We have been traveling around the planet over the past 13 years, collecting amazing experiences about local culture, exclusive accommodations, authentic activities and our friends have always been eager to hear how these unforgettable experiences just happened to us. Then, our best friends got engaged and we had this crazy idea. As a wedding gift, we wanted to organize the most amazing trip of their lives without letting them know the final destination. We gave them 10 Envelopes to discover, stage after stage, a unique traveling adventure that ended up being the most amazing memory. This is when the Blind HoneyMoon idea was born.

2. IUM’s The Mark Challenge is a Business Plan Competition targeting clients in the luxury or premium service industry. What do you think are absolutely essential components to creating a successful business plan?
In the travel industry we are experiencing an excess of offerings with a “Mass Market” approach aiming to reduce costs and providing frequent special deals where almost everyone can end up in a standard luxury hotel. We strongly believe that the Luxury/Premium Service industry needs to reinvent itself leveraging on 3 main components:
A distinctive WOW-factor: In the time where everyone can take an exotic trip on a last minute deal, there is a strong need to catch the interest of the luxury target that wants to stand out, living something unexpected, that they can be proud of and happy to share with friends on social networks. In our case this is the ‘Blind Factor’. They tell everyone they have no idea where they are about to go- thus, generating a lot of interest and awareness.
Create an exclusive Masterpiece: Exclusivity is more and more linked not only to high standards and quality, but to get something that no-one else can get, an experience that goes beyond tailor-made and hand-made concepts; entering into the world of “artistic Masterpieces”. For us, every honeymoon is truly designed around the couple’s passions and interests and every trip has something unique and different from the others. This compromises on the quantity of clients we can follow, but it works out perfectly for the premium target as this ensures the maximum quality and exclusivity of their experience.
Building Trust and Personal Endorsement: The premium target does not want to be approached by mass communication and would not be receptive to the message, the best way to get them is through Word of Mouth and Personal Endorsement, where people feel they have truly found something extremely rare and exclusive, and then build a strong personal relationship with the customer based on Trust, which is critical in this Format of surprise Honeymoons.

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3. Founding a business involves a great deal of hard-work and dedication. What are valuable lessons you’ve learned from your experience?
An original idea is only the first of a long list of ingredient for a successful dinner party! There at least another 6 components we agree that you need to add to your recipe and these are:
Professional Empathy: you really need to understand and feel what your clients are seeking and expecting. Leveraging expectations is essential for a successful Honeymoon experience.
Respectfulness: even under pressure or when you have tight deadlines we aim to work with grace collaborating with our counterparts, embracing challenges and finding solutions.
Dedication: we aim for "outstanding" in every trip we organize. We put in the extra hours to get things right, giving attention to detail and devotion to excellence. Passion shows in how hard you work and you can see the results coming.
Determination: we enthusiastically embrace challenges, we know that our job, as an entrepreneur, is to offer our clients solutions and that is the type of experience they would like to live so we continually seeking better itinerary, authentic accommodations and unconventional activities.
Accountability: we take personal responsibility for our actions and choices we have made. We give full support in solving issues when things don’t go as planned and we sustain our clients to make sure they go back home with a memorable trip full of amazing stories to tell to their friends and family.
Sense of Humour: we take our work seriously, but we also like to maintain a sense of humour about this whole entrepreneur adventure. It helps to have a balance between the apprehension of running a Start Up and that feeling of excitement of going a little further of what you thought it was possible.

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4. Has social media played an important role in Blind HoneyMoon’s success? Is a strong online presence key in any industry?
TSocial Media surely plays an important role in any business’s success. We have both an FB and an IG page where we share our honeymooners’ traveling adventures usually with their pictures and comments. In today’s world, Social Media is your business card, as soon as people hear about you, they’ll google your name and look for your social media footprint. However, for new recruitments, we have experienced that Word of Mouth is an incredible powerful, natural and personalized tool. We are now on the 4th generation of word of mouth and we keep receiving requests from our past honeymooners’ friends and family. We feel connected to all these lovely couples and in some ways we feel we know them all already!

5. What advice would you provide to young entrepreneurs on how they can be successful in their field?
Once again this is a mixture of elements that, by the way, are in constant evolution. Tenacity, Passion, Vision, Work Ethics are only some of the characteristics for a successful entrepreneur, however, I saw once a cover of an entrepreneur magazine that stated THINK IT. LOVE IT. DO IT. And this fully embraces our spirit!

For more information about Blind Honeymoon, visit http://blindhoneymoon.com/