Diedra Pyle and Lindsay Messina both started their careers in public relations. They were working at the same agency and instantly became friends. But over the course of the pandemic, like many, they realized they wanted to do something different.
The Texas-based duo founded Rove Travel Co.
“Since we have a background in marketing and PR, we actually started with, what does our brand look and feel like?” Pyle said. “And then we just had to learn how to become travel advisors. So, we kind of did things a little bit backward, but I actually think it has served us really well.”
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Pyle, who lives in Houston, and Messina, who lives in Austin, got their start when Messina was planning her honeymoon. She took the trip a year ago and had worked with a travel advisor to book it.
“I was like, this is it,” Messina said. “This is what I want to do. You make people happy; you make people’s dreams come true. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s so fulfilling and worth it.”
The pair did their due diligence and research and joined New York-based host agency Embark Beyond in June. Their first travelers went on their trip in September.
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Pyle and Messina are new to the industry, but they have firm plans for Rove Travel. They specialize in experiences for Generation Z and millennial travelers, and they plan to break into the world of trip-planning for influencers and content creators.
“We’re in our mid-20s, so we’re definitely younger and in that target demographic,” Messina said. “It just makes sense to us.”
Their friends are a ready-made network of clients for honeymoons and babymoons, she said.
And on the influencer front, they see great opportunity.
Pyle pointed to a number of brands running influencer trips; for instance, a favorite celebrity makeup artist of hers was recently in South Korea with makeup brand Laneige.
“We just kind of had this revelation of like, how cool would it be if we were the go-to people, like if [clothing brand] Revolve needed a trip, they’re calling Rove?” Pyle said. “Or if Laneige needs to do an influencer trip where we plan it, we’re the go-to people?”
While the duo isn’t working with brands just yet, it’s their “North Star,” Pyle said. They also see it as a way to grow quickly.
Messina and Pyle have been busy getting in touch with influencers, letting them know they’re out there. They also have a potential trip for a creator in the works.
They’ve been getting good responses from their inquiries, and they’re excited about what the future holds for Rove.
“As long as we keep just shooting our shot, the worst thing that people can say is no and not respond,” Pyle said. “And us being OK with that, I think eventually we’ll get there.”