Whilst we are London based at heart, that hasn’t stopped us from hopping across the pond and going state side, if it meant being able to interview the creative pioneers behind The Travel Creatives. The Travel Creatives is a production company that creates social media content for brands, specialising in predominantly tourism and travel. Alex, Sam and Rob’s jaw dropping content has seen them amass a following of over 60k followers on Instagram as well as a loyal #travelcreatives community. Communication is key to their success, with none of them currently living in the same city, which they hope will change this summer as they come together in New York. Understand the importance of staying on top of social trends in a hugely competitive space and be inspired by The Travel Creatives content and their vision of just how we should see the world.
Rob Berry (RB), Alex Broadstock (AB), Sam Dundas (SD)
Rob: June 11, 1993
Alex: March, 4, 1994
SD: July 12, 1996
Rob: New York City
Alex: Columbus, OH
SD: Toronto, Canada
Rob:Photo/Video + Content Creator
Alex: Photo/Video + Product Designer
Sam: Business Development
Company Name: The Travel Creatives
If you went to university was it a clear-cut path what you were going to do after you left?
RB: After graduating business school there was a clear path to a typical marketing position at a mid to large size firm somewhere close to home in Ohio, but from the outset I knew that I had to move on from Ohio. I always had this romantic idea of living in New York City, and taking the leap to move out here was probably the best decision that I have ever made. New York does not play by the rules. If you have a crazy idea this is the place to make it happen. I mean we have pet hotels and cereal bars here because that’s just how we roll.
AB: I recently graduated university after studying Industrial Design. I absolutely love the creative process and collaboration behind those projects; however, I knew near the end of my degree that photography and videography was really what I wanted to pursue. Living in New York last summer, I had the opportunity to travel and pursue creative photo and video projects which really solidified my post graduation trajectory.
SD: I’ve never really felt like I belong in university, however in the modern age my dad always told me a university degree is the benchmark I’ll need to put me on a level playing field and get my foot in the door. I write this from my university, where I look around and see all these different talents from so many disciplines, and the fact that I get to meet and interact with those people is why I think I’ve made it this far. I’ve spent the last four years as a sponge, taking in everything I can and adding it to my artillery so when the time comes, I can launch out of the gate and start the first day of the rest of my life.
What is The Travel Creatives and when did you launch?
The Travel Creatives is a production company that creates social media content for brands mainly in the tourism and travel industries. Alex and I (RB) have been doing work like this for years so it was natural for us to team up and launch The Travel Creatives on December 1st of 2017.
How did the idea for The Travel Creatives come about?
The Travel Creatives began as a reason for us to travel and and capture our experiences. As long time friends (Alex and Rob) we have always shared a relentless need to explore this world and, naturally, we’re bringing our cameras.
Is The Travel Creatives your full time job?
We still pick up freelance jobs when not working on The Travel Creatives, but it is our main focus.
What were the initial challenges in getting the ball rolling for The Travel Creatives?
Understanding how to approach new clients. There’s a saying that artists are the worst people to sell their own work, and we definitely felt that burden. The ball really started rolling when we brought our dear friend Sam Dundas, who we like to call the “suit and tie” of our operation, onto the team.
Will The Travel Creatives be looking to raise investment in the future?
Probably not. Scale is not currently our focus.
Have you got a mentor?
Rob: I don’t have a mentor per se, but I surround myself with creative and inspirational people at all times. This is probably one of the most important things that lead to my personal successes.
Alex: I agree with Rob that the friends we surround ourselves with are by far the most influential people on our journey. My good friend Kurt Keaner has been a great mentor figure when talking about the film industry, understanding client relations, and the way the industry operates.
Sam: I have a few who are decorated business execs in LA, Toronto and Vancouver that I can always count on to be in my corner. But most importantly, my dad (MBA) is my single greatest inspiration, coach and best friend for everything business and personal, and I’m most grateful for that.
Who do you seek out for support and advice (if not a mentor)?
Rob: This again would be my creative community. It’s easier than ever to keep in contact with people around the world. So as I travel, I am building a roster of the best of the best when it comes to creative.
Alex: Product Design has taught me a lot about the need for creative collaboration, and my friend Colin Hearon has been such a help when brainstorming ideas. In the creative industry you always need friends who have their ear to the streets to bounce ideas off of.
What are the key things to stay on top of when running The Travel Creatives?
All: Social trends. We are creating assets that must be cutting edge. This means we have to understand the culture while also be pushing that needle just a bit further on every project we produce.
Instagram is key to The Travel Creatives, how often do you have to post and any tips you could share for those looking to utilize their Instagram platforms more?
With our following of 60k on Instagram we have learned that consistency is key. We knew early on that leveraging a community is essential to what we do. We built a community of “Travel Creatives” (#TravelCreatives) and we pull many of our posts from them. Our social is a mix of our work from our projects and that of a community we have created. Usually we post twice a day, but three times is definitely better. Having a style also comes with consistency. You won’t see any cat memes on our feed…however most companies pivot and cat memes are pretty dope.
The Travel Creatives is made up of 3 co-founders. How does that work logistically for The Travel Creatives and what differing roles do you take on?
Alex is finishing up design school in Ohio this spring (18’) and planning to move to New York by the start of the summer. Sam is also in school in Halifax, Canada. And Rob is based in New York. The three of us are in constant contact text messaging all day everyday and we also use Slack and Facebook Messenger off and on. Sam is in charge of the business portion of the company which includes client outreach and building the experiences that we capture. Rob and Alex both shoot video and photos depending on the project. Alex also does all the design and branding for the company and any pitches.
Looking back is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Alex + Rob: We wish would would have started earlier and met Sam sooner.
Sam: Quite the opposite, had I not done everything leading up to the day Rob and I first spoke on a ferry from Hvar to Split in Croatia, this would have never come to be. It was a domino effect of events that lead me to Croatia last summer, tracing all the way back to October 2016.
What’s a typical day for you, working on The Travel Creatives?
Most days are spent working with clients to develop campaigns or reaching out to new clients for projects. When we’re shooting on location there aren’t any typical days, however, sleep is usually not a top priority.
Any personality traits you have discovered about yourself along the way?
Rob: I’ve discovered that I have become more optimistic and resourceful in difficult times. (See next question for example)…
Alex: I’ve always wanted to do everything myself when it comes to running a business or completing a project, however, I’ve learned to let go and allow people to shine in the areas they excel in. It’s a magical thing. One of my favorite aphorisms is ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and I live by it.
Sam: I’d say I’ve learned a lot more about the art of creation, and that business interests are not always going to align with brand and artistic drive. I believe the key to making this work is allowing the art to lead our business, that’s our competitive advantage and we have to showcase that, otherwise we’re just a few guys with big ideas and lots of equipment.
Any fuck ups along the way?
Well during our first trip in Patagonia, our van ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere. You can see some videos below of what we were experiencing, but let’s say it includes night terrors, ostriches, and (luckily) some really nice people.
To get a real idea of just what happened the night we ran out of gas, watch the video we captured here.
What has been your best moment so far as a result of setting up The Travel Creatives?
Rob: The best moment so far has been bringing people together. One of the most rewarding things was to introduce my co-founders Alex and Sam.
Alex: Our first adventure together was to the city of Tromsø, which is located in Norway within the Arctic Circle. I will never forget the night we spent shooting the northern lights together and being in such awe of what we were seeing.
Sam: Getting behind the wheels of a Tesla none of us could afford, shredding through the city and tunnels of Tromso in the middle of the night. The boys in front of me with a Ronin out the back of our rental, Kris (a close friend of TC) holding the Ronin while Al holds Kris and Rob on the gas. That was exhilarating.
What advice would you give other twenty-something’s who are thinking of pursuing a career in the same industry as you?
Rob: Do it. What do you have to lose?
Alex: Cultivate your own voice and create work that is meaningful.
Sam: In my eyes, there’s nothing in this world more rewarding than watching something transfer from your imagination into reality right before your eyes. I believe we all have the ability to do that and it’s just a matter of giving it a shot.
What is next for The Travel Creatives over the coming year?
Both Alex and Sam are graduating university this year, so we hope to push this project as hard as we can and create some meaningful work. Some destinations of the list for 2018 include SE Asia, Canada, Egypt, Taiwan, and Dubai.
If you weren’t be doing this, what do you think you would doing?
Rob: No clue. Maybe working some sort of marketing job in Ohio.
Alex: Trying to be Kanye’s best friend
Sam: Probably back working for ABinBev, which is hilarious because I’m a celiac. Guess you could say I never drank the kool-aid.
What’s the dream?
Rob: The DREAM. Very good question. The dream is simple, it’s to travel and work with friends.
Alex: Yea what Rob said. Make cool shit with your friends
Sam: To do anything it takes to get the three of us together in the same city full-time so we can start doing some real damage.
Just for fun…
In your twenties the three things I tend to think about are…
Rob: Time, People and Travel.
Alex: Time, Happiness, People
Sam: Freedom, ambiguity, patience.
When I look at my bank statement after a night out I usually…
Rob: laugh because NYC prices are insane, so I rarely go out anymore.
Alex: Pass Out!
Sam: Look at myself in the mirror, give a sarcastic thumbs up and say “you deserve it pal.”
The Twenty Mile Club is….
A community that reminds us that we’re not alone, that we’re not (too) crazy for throwing out the cookie-cutters.
Find The Travel Creatives on all their social channels
Follow the guys personal Instagram accounts here