By Caroline Brooks
If you could experience anything, anywhere in the world, what would it be?
A private tour of the Louvre, or perhaps spending the holidays in London (only to be surprised with your own Christmas tree in the luxury hotel) might sound like dreams to some. But for Amaze Travel, it’s the company mission: turning dreams into reality.
Broad College of Business alumna Julie Welch (BA Accounting ’01) and her husband Jim decided that, after years of successful corporate careers, their life calling together was to connect people with life-changing experiences. With a shared passion for travel, the Welches had a vision: to take what they knew about business to begin an entrepreneurial journey together, changing lives through travel.
In a recent Detroit Free Press profile, Julie explained, “I would call it a relationship business. We focus on getting to know our clients, their personalities, their styles and what’s going to appeal to them. And on the other side of the coin, we focus on our relationship with our industry connections and getting to know their products, services, and location,” she said.
What differentiates Amaze Travel is the one-on-one, creative details. “No two trips are the same,” she said. “We like to throw in extra touches that make for special moments that you wouldn’t be able to make a reservation for.”
The Welches profit not from their clients, but from their vendors, which include everything from Viking River Cruises to the Peninsula Club. Since launching operations in 2014, Amaze Travel has grown to more than 300 clients and about $1 million in annual sales. While the travel bug might have bitten the couple, their business acumen has certainly been tested.
“My time at MSU, and especially at Broad, prepared me to start and operate my own business. The overarching lesson that I apply on a daily basis in my work is to continually push for what’s next, to strive for more. Being open to new perspectives, actively seeking to learn, and challenging my thinking every day keeps me motivated and without a doubt has contributed to my success,” she said.
The Welches have transformed their own dream into a reality, and will enjoying doing the same for others.
Read the Welches’ full profile on the Detroit Free Press website (“How a Northville couple quit their jobs to start a travel service”), or about their global adventures on the website for Amaze Travel.