Interview with Anna Sampson – The Chalet & Villa Edit – A Women-Led Travel Business

Last updated on August 1st, 2022 at 10:21 am

In its 4th year of operation, The Chalet Edit is going from strength to strength and has been awarded ‘Luxury Travel Agency of the Year 2021/2022’ by the London Prestige Awards and has also been nominated ‘Best Travel Company Ski/Winter Sports Holiday 2021/2022’ by the British Travel Awards.

Being a small business, as well as woman-led, the founder Anna Sampson, could not be prouder of the achievements of the team and company over the last few years, which have been some of the trickiest the travel industry has ever faced.

Reflecting back on how the business began, Anna Sampson, comments “I have been in the travel industry for 18 years, but owning my own travel business has always been a dream of mine. My love for skiing began from a young age, but my aspiration to work within the ski industry was cemented after working as a chalet girl in Val d’Isere in 2004 for the renowned Scott Dunn. For the next 14 years, I continued working for some of the biggest names in the luxury ski holiday industry in London, galvanising and enhancing my knowledge and expertise in providing personalised, one-to-one, holidays for high-profile clients.

In 2018 my vision was to help create truly remarkable tailor-made luxury ski chalet holiday experiences, with my client’s needs in mind. Holidays that replenish and rejuvenate, with undisputed luxury as standard and all of those tricky extras taken care of. That was how The Chalet Edit began.”

She continues “After a few years of building my business on my own, I was ready for 2020 to be my most successful year yet, despite expecting my first baby at the end of January. Whilst I had tried to prepare myself as much as possible for the arrival of a newborn and the impact this would have on The Chalet Edit, nothing could have prepared me for trying to juggle running a business, a newborn baby and a global pandemic. At a time when I wanted to be fully immersed in motherhood, and not miss any moments with my child, I had clients’ holidays being cancelled daily, as well as clients getting stuck abroad when the closure of ski resorts was announced. Add in a constant state of uncertainty and anxiety as to what was happening around the world, and 2020 turned out to be one of my hardest years to date. But this has made the recognition from The British Travel Awards and London Prestige Awards all the more incredible. It is a recognition that I dreamed of when starting the business, and truly reflects the efforts and dedication of our small team over the last few years.”

Like many female entrepreneurs, Anna’s plans didn’t stop with The Chalet Edit. The Villa Edit was launched in 2021 following the success of ‘The Chalet Edit’. Anna found that clients were increasingly asking the team to help with summer villa bookings and the natural progression was to set up a luxury villa holiday website founded on the same customer-focused philosophy. The decision is already paying off, with The Villa Edit being nominated for ‘Best Travel Company for Villa Holidays’ for this year’s British Travel Awards.

Whilst the travel industry is incredibly diverse, the number of woman CEOs within the sector is alarmingly low, which was a huge incentive for Anna when starting her company, and hiring other passionate females within the industry.

She comments “It was surprising to see as I gained more responsibility in each of my previous jobs how the number of women working alongside me dropped. It’s certainly not an issue only the Travel industry faces, and I am proud to be encouraging other women to take on the challenge. It is outdated to be thinking that women can’t do it all, and I am so excited to see The Chalet and Villa Edit already disrupting a very traditional industry”.

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