We had the good fortune of connecting with Samantha Patil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Samantha, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Like many entrepreneurs, the idea for Well Traveled was born out of personal frustration. I’m an avid traveler and while I love experiencing new places and cultures, I’ve found that trip planning is time-consuming and frustrating. Finding relevant, trustworthy recommendations is especially challenging. And I just thought, why is this process so broken? Travel planning should be a positive experience: you’re getting ready to do something exciting! I’ve found there are many solutions for budget travelers and equally as many targeting luxury travelers. But what about the rest of us in between? Most modern travelers fall somewhere in the middle. I saw a gap in the market and the opportunity to build something better, so I decided to do something about it.
What should our readers know about your business?
Well Traveled is a members-only community and booking platform designed for a new generation of travelers, foodies and adventure seekers. We really wanted to create a product designed specifically with today’s modern traveler in mind. So many of the current travel solutions on the market aren’t really addressing the needs of a newer, more tech savvy generation of travelers. In fact, many of the largest travel sites today were designed 20+ years ago and haven’t changed much since. Yet… how we travel, what we prioritize when we travel and even where we travel has changed so much (especially in the past year).
We actually launched Well Traveled’s Beta in 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic. To be honest, we weren’t sure whether we should launch given everything that was going on, but after a lot of careful consideration we soft launched our Beta with an open, honest and heartfelt message to our community and it turned out to absolutely be the right thing for us to do. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year is “don’t let perfect get in the way of progress.” It is the act of doing versus thinking that transforms ideas into reality and drives change. People thought we were nuts when we decided to move forward with launching Well Traveled last year, but thinking about where we are now and our thriving community, it’s clear looking back it was one of the best decisions we could have made.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love living in LA because there’s truly something for everyone, whether you’re a foodie, beach lover, health nut, pizza aficionado, coffee snob, wine drinker or art enthusiast… there’s just so much to explore! I love good food and wine so I’d probably start there… My new favorite hidden gem is Violet, a French restaurant with a charming courtyard, cooking lessons and the best truffle fries that I have ever had. A few other Westside food favorites include Margot (Culver City), Tar & Roses (Santa Monica), Barrique (Venice) and Fishing With Dynamite (Manhattan Beach).
A trip to LA wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Malibu, the Surfrider is a cute spot to stay and Malibu Farms Café is a lunch time crowd-pleaser for out-of-towners. Prior to the pandemic, one of my favorite LA activities was Cinespia movie nights at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. There was something magical about these evenings and I’m hopeful for a day when they’ll return.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’m immensely grateful for the support of my family, friends and fellow female founder community. My husband Alex is my biggest fan and has been so supportive of my decision to leave the 9-5 grind to build Well Traveled, in fact he’s the one who really encouraged me to go for it. I also want to give a shoutout to my co-founder Casi along with everyone on our team at Well Traveled who make everything we do possible. We’re an all-female run business and our team of 5 is small but mighty. I am constantly so impressed by our incredible team, their hustle and passion for what we’re building. I feel so lucky to work with these incredible women.
Lastly, I want to shout out just a few of the incredible female founders I’ve connected with. Having a supportive network of other women running their own incredible businesses has been so impactful and I am so grateful for all of them! Some of these incredible women include Ronda Fraley of The Wine Party Co, Lexi Aiassa of The Confidence Co, Abby West of Thatch, Victoria O’Connell of Golightly, Nicole Emrani Green of Givingli, Lisa Zimmermann of Oak & Oliver, Tiffany Paul of Slept and so many more.
Other: TikTok: @welltraveledclub