Julie uses support from St Helens Chamber to start and grow her own travel business

22 Nov 2022

Startup Business

During the pandemic, Julie Walne faced a difficult time after being made redundant. During this time travel was banned and restrictions were far from being lifted, but Julie took the brave decision to follow her passion and set up her own travel business.

Julie explained: “Some people thought I was crazy for setting up a travel business during a pandemic when people weren’t allowed to travel. I actually thought I was a tad barmy myself but travel is what I know, it is in my blood and it is my passion so I felt I had to give it a shot.”

Despite the challenges, Julie set up her dream business under the Travel Counsellors umbrella. Through the Travel Counsellors platform, Julie is part of a community of trusted travel professionals, who all run their own businesses as independent Travel Counsellors, providing concierge style service and putting people at the heart of everything they do.

The whole network of trusted travel professionals are passionate about making every element of your travel experience completely personal to their clients.

Julie deals with all elements of travel for both business and leisure; and has a clear passion for the industry.

Julie continued: “My business is all things travel and as much as the majority of my time is spent in the Corporate field with businesses who travel on business, I also market Holidays and have a very strong team around me who fulfil the bookings.

“It was so hard to start with as travel had stopped completely with airports coming to a standstill, but I diversified into domestic travel & pushed UK Staycations for the first year to at least get some business over the line. This proved that much of a success that I decided to continue marketing holidays alongside my business travel services.”

The New Enterprise Allowance is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions and the European Social Fund.

The funding for this project has now concluded, but other support is available to other aspiring start up businesses including How to Start a Business Workshops.

Through the New Enterprise Allowance, Julie accessed support from St Helens Chamber’s Business Start Up team with everything from funding to writing a business plan.

Julie commented: “I really appreciate all the support your colleagues gave me throughout the NEA programme. The NEA couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I was I such a rut and had no business know how whatsoever, so the guidance was much needed.”

St Helens Chamber’s Business Start Up programme provides a range of support including one to one mentoring, access to free short training courses, help to access funding and much more.

The start-up team help people to make their business dream a reality and can also help them to grow their business after the initial start-up stages supporting them through their first three years.

Starting a business has given Julie the freedom to enjoy a slower pace of life, and work around her family commitments while doing a job she loves.

Julie explained: “I have loved the slower pace of life running my business solely from home and building it over Teams & Zoom calls. I have loved the flexibility of being able to drop and collect my daughter from school instead of having to rely on school clubs for wrap around hours but I must say, I am enjoying being back out in front of clients, now we can be.  I feel lucky to have the mixture of both. Everyone talks about wanting a better work-life balance and I really do believe I have nailed it.

“It also helps that the platform I have set up under is multi-award winning and I have the confidence that anyone who comes to me with an enquiry is in fabulous hands for their trip.  I am more successful now I have branched out on my own which is always a bonus, so hopefully lots of awesome holidays for my family which is the goal. Life is for living!”


To find out more about Julie’s Travel Counsellor Services visit https://tctravelmanagement.co.uk/julie.walne (business) or https://www.travelcounsellors.co.uk/julie.walne/ (leisure)


To find out more about Business Start Up support from St Helens Chamber visit https://www.sthelenschamber.com/startup/