Having the sickest school year is pretty cool, knowing so many awesome humans and being able to call so many of them friends is a privilege and I am loving finding out more about our exponentially talented class of ‘06. As we speak Bethany Williams is about to embark on a new project with the UN in India, Bethany’s incredible rise to high fashion icon seemingly showing no signs of slowing down.
Keeping with the International theme, this week I met up with travel agent entrepreneur and high school joker Edd Cox; bringing a little bit of local celebrity and old school strength to our school year (that’s an inside joke; Edd’s Dad used to be a bodybuilder if you didn’t know).
Edd Cox: Co-founder & Company Director at Island Travel
Profile: “Shrinking violet” is certainly not a term that could be used to describe Island Travel co-founder and Company Director Edd Cox. Throughout school Edd seemed to have an answer for everything and regardless of teacher’s protestations Edd always seemed to charm his way out of trouble; Perhaps it was that cheeky streak that helped his incredible rise to poster boy for Thomas Cook as their top UK sales agent before making the bold move in to the world of Independent travel.
Committed to making off island travel affordable whilst offering exceptional and personable customer service, Island Travel has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2013 and with Edd smashing out regular 12 hour days you can be rest assured that he is in no mood for slowing down.
“So Edd, I think it’s fair to say that you weren’t a traditional “high achiever” throughout school yet you have achieved so much since leaving school at 16, in your own words, how have the last 10 years played out for you and what is your secret?”
“I think my heart was always in the travel industry, in the 4 weeks I lasted at 6th Form my focus was purely on Geography but with none of my close friends sticking around I was drawn to their world of making money and forging my own path. At 16 I quit school, moved into my own place and started working at a restaurant. By 18 I was managing the place but grew tired of the anti-social hours and at that point my dream job came up at Thomas Cook.”
“I really developed my work ethos and flare for selling during those years at ‘Cooks’ and as you mentioned made the top seller from over 3500 staff in 2012. In 2013 my colleague at ‘Cooks’, Rikki and I made the decision to strike out on our own and as they say; the rest is history.”
“It’s an incredibly bold move to pack up such a secure job where you were clearly killing it, to branch out and set up your own company, aged just 23, inspiring even. Where did that confidence come from to make it your own way?”
“It all started with a text! Rikki text me across the room one day; “Wanna start our own travel agency?” We did the maths, decided it was a good idea and 4 months later Island Travel was born. We had grown frustrated with the limitations of working within such a fixed environment and loved the idea that we could really create amazing holidays for the people of the Island.”
“We are an old school style travel agent and love the face to face aspect of what we do. Our gold standard is that we will never sell a holiday that we wouldn’t go on ourselves, honesty is key and we take great pride in our reputation, if a customer came back to me after their holiday having had a bad experience, I would be heartbroken!”
“Amazing, so you have started hitting some dizzy heights, I read recently that Island Travel hit over £5 million turnover in year 4 of operating, but what’s next for Edd Cox and Island Travel?”
“Our growth has been steady over the last few years with 3 shops in 4 years and now a total of 4 staff in the shop, just taking on staff itself has been awesome and it really feels like our own little Island Travel family now, we finish at 4pm every Friday and try to keep a social atmosphere around the team. We will be expanding our family very soon and we are going through a little website redesign with a lot of exciting times ahead!”
It sounds like its more exciting and busy times ahead for Edd and Rikki at Island Travel. Rather than keeping up with his Instagram, Edd prefers to create amazing holiday experiences, so if you want to check out their latest deals get on over to their Facebook page where an epic new deal is posted every single day!