Homeworker defies pandemic to open high-street shop and recruit staff

By Lisa James
Home » Homeworker defies pandemic to open high-street shop and recruit staff

A homeworker who set up her luxury, tailor-made business just before COVID effectively closed down travel is preparing to open a new store this autumn and employ more staff.

Wonderluxe Travel Founder and Director Sheena Sumner will open the store in Castle Donington, Leicestershire in September.

Sheena set up Wonderluxe Travel in 2019, focusing on tailor-made luxury, weddings and honeymoons, corporate travel and concierge services.

The business operates under Protected Trust Services (PTS).

She said: “We got off to a great start and 2020 started off storming. But then COVID-19 hit.

“Based on how I set up and the fact that the business was still growing, I was able to get on top of refunds pretty quickly. So I hit the reset button.”

She joined networking Zoom calls and concentrated on promoting herself and the brand. Through that, she found an investor.

“We have formed a business partnership and we have big plans,” Sheena said.

“We realise that the industry is definitely going to transform and we want to be part of that.”

She recently took on a second member of staff and is making a job offer to a third person today.

“I’m in the latter stages of negotiations with a landlord in Castle Donington village, right on the high street and hope to be open by mid-September, although that may be pushed back for a couple of weeks.”

Sheena’s plan is to create a travel lounge, where customers can discuss their travel plans over a cup of coffee or a glass of champagne. Appointments will also be available.

“There will be four of us in the shop, including one apprentice. I’m hopeful that, if travel is open and stays open, I can grow a team of homeworkers. I’d like four by the end of the year.”

The business has just been awarded its own ATOL so Wonderluxe Travel can create its own packages and Sheena has plans to take the company global.

“We are looking to open a second division, in the UAE. However, my primary focus is on the UK business at the moment,” she added.

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