We had the good fortune of connecting with Dana Lewis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dana, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Honestly, I never imagined of starting a travel business, but it came completely natural. After getting on a plane for the first time in 2013, I was hooked on exploring the world. We went on several trips over the next couple of years, and so many people told me I should become a travel agent or asked me to make their own trip itineraries. One night, I guess I’d had enough of working for someone else, so I Googled becoming a travel agent, and just did it! I definitely wouldn’t recommend my methodology, but, lucky for me, it worked out! Over the years, my business has evolved, my mindset on business has matured, and Discovereighng with Dana has flourished. It has no doubt been a huge blessing in my life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I call myself a travel designer, rather than a travel agent because I am so much more than just an order taker on the other end of the phone. I pride myself on forging deeper connections and relationships with my clients. Along with grit, determination, and the willingness to evolve, I’ve gotten where I am today because of those relationships. It has not been easy through the years, and I have had to learn more than a thing or two about the travel industry and owning a small business, but I’ve learned that by pressing forward and not throwing in the towel during trying times (like the Zika outbreak or hurricane seasons and now COVID) you’ll prove just how strong you are. Discovereighng with Dana is so much more than a business to me, it is a lifestyle-a life of travel and freedom and connections with others, the world, and ourselves.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since, I’m in Waco, I’ll make this all about here! There are so many fun and exciting things to do here, so she’s sure to fall in love with my hometown area. I would take her on a hike through Cameron Park along the river trails, and then head up to Waco Paddle Company for kayaking on the Brazos River. We’d definitely have to eat at Buzzard Billy’s and Ninfa’s during her stay and maybe even catch a movie at the Waco Hippodrome, the revamped historic theater in town, complete with popcorn and “The Santa Clause,” their warm cookies & milk dessert. Shopping in town would no doubt be on the list. We would head to my favorite spots like Spice Village, January Letterpress, The Findery, and, of course, all of the Magnolia goodness that Waco is now known for. There are also lots of great museums to hit up like the Dr. Pepper Museum, Mayborn Museum, and the Texas Ranger Museum, among others. Say it’s football season, and we’ll head over to McLane Stadium for tailgating and a Baylor Bears game. There are so many great places in Waco to check out!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband has no doubt been my number one supporter. If it were not for him, I would have never made it this far. He is constantly pushing me beyond my comfort zone, and I am so grateful. My family and friends have also been amazing supporters, and are always quick to give me the encouragement that I need. My dear mentor, Will Medina, deserves a shoutout here. He has shifted my mindset both professionally and personally, and I owe a lot of my confidence in the industry to him. Last, but most certainly not least, my clients are no doubt the best! They have especially been wonderful during the crazienss that is 2020.
Other: Pinterest https://pinterest.com/danaleighlewis Etsy https://www.etsy.com/shop/discoverwithdana
Alex Wolf Photography Color Du Jour Photography