We are two friends who have worked together for years and decided to take the plunge to launch our own company – The Pembrokeshire Holiday Company, a bespoke hospitality management company.
Just as we registered and started the company lockdown was implemented which seemed to scupper any plans that we had for the tourist season of 2020.
Based on the gorgeous north Pembrokeshire coastline, our company comprises of beautiful handpicked, unique properties. We’re a bespoke management and marketing company, set up to take all the time consuming work away from owners. Not only do we manage the guests from the moment they enquire, to the moment they leave we are their point of contact. If something breaks or needs repairing, we facilitate the fixing. The cleaning and laundry are all taken care of by us, and day to day maintenance such as gardening and window cleaning is all managed by us too.
We work specifically in a rural area of Wales and have specialised in helping farmers to diversify their properties in order to maximise their income potentials and ensure that those farms are still there for future generations. This part of our work is one that we are passionate and proud of in the knowledge that in some small way we have helped secure and future proof the legacy of generations passed.
As two Welsh women in the hospitality industry, a notoriously competitive and volatile business market, the challenges have been tenfold and that was without the added obstacle of a global pandemic.
Given this situation, the day to day financial burden has fallen to our spouses who have stable and regular incomes, but alongside this has come the challenge of running our existing companies and all of a sudden managing home schooling and childcare. Suddenly all the plates we were spinning began to spin even faster and it’s taken more than channelling our inner circus skills to keep them from falling.
Despite the challenges of collectively schooling 4 children and providing childcare for 5 children between the ages of 1 and 16 years old between us, we’ve somehow managed to keep things afloat. Everyone has been fed and watered daily, the schoolwork has been submitted and we’ve also managed to launch The Pembrokeshire Holiday Company with a collection of incredible properties that are already booking out from July 13th.
As has already been noted by others, the real challenges for women during lockdown is that often we earn less than our significant others, and therefore in these unprecedented times not only does the burden of childcare often fall on us, but the pressure of feeling that we must also continue to provide a source of income is very real. How do you manage all these different demands without completely losing the plot? How do you stay inspired and give as much energy to every facet of your life, whether or not it’s cooking the dinner for what feels like the millionth time in a row, providing endless rounds of snacks, working on phonics or developing a marketing strategy for your company? There’s certainly no guidebook out there to help answer these questions.
We found that the key lies in two different places. Firstly, in the incredible support and encouragement we had from our husbands, who whilst not always able to provide childcare due to their own work commitments, have been our biggest cheerleaders. And the other is the teamwork that we have discovered by nurturing each other. We’ve shared childcare, cooked dinner for one another and picked up the plates when the other has dropped them. We believe that the lessons that we have learnt in this most difficult time will see our business through into its maturity. Together, we feel we can achieve anything. The Pembrokeshire Holiday Company may be in its infancy, but it’s already proving its potential to grow exponentially with resilient roots that have been planted deep in the soil along this magnificent coastline.