“Often, the greatest luxury is time,” says Sophie Caulcutt, co-founder of luxury travel, lifestyle, and concierge company, Voyager Club. A veteran in the fashion industry, Caulcutt earned her stripes at companies like Beulah London, Marie-Chantal, and Amanda Wakeley where she held sales and business development roles and owned campaigns for international expansion, strategic partnerships, and new launches.
Recognising the need for a curated experience that marries unique properties around the world and exquisite fashion, Voyager Club and its one-of-a-kind vacation wardrobe service MyVacationStylist has been a hit with the luxury set who are pressed for time but keen for a fashionable holiday. We spoke to Caulcutt about her learnings as a business founder and expert traveller.
If we asked young Sophie what she wanted to be when she grew up, what would she have said?
I think I wanted to be a lawyer if I remember correctly! But I was always creative and I think if you have that inside of you, it’s hard to turn it off. I am a great believer in things happening for a reason.
You started a made-to-order handbag company right after art school. What were some of the biggest learnings you gained from that experience?
How to multitask – how to do everything from creative elements to the commercial. As women, we have a superwoman built inside of us. I learnt some hard lessons too, as I lost my first ever collection to a flood in my apartment – months of work gone! Resilience. How to get back up on your feet. I also learnt it is so important to have a mentor, someone with experience who you respect and who you can call when you really need it.
How important is relationship-building in your line of work and can you share some tips for doing this well?
Relationships are integral to our business. Clients trust us, our level of service, and our style. We deliver an exceptional customer journey and our clients know that we go above and beyond. We like to make the impossible possible. The foundations of the business are built on long-term relationships, trust, and integrity, and that goes for our partners too.
Who is your typical Voyager Club member?
The discerning traveller who doesn’t have time. We have a broad mix of clients and we also look after three royal families – we would never mention any names because clients come to us for discretion! It doesn’t matter who they are, we always offer the same level of service.
Tell me more about MyVacationStylist and the gap you saw when developing the concept?
Like many entrepreneurs, I guess I solved a problem. I had worked in fashion for most of my career and my other passion was travel. I was lucky enough to have travelled to some amazing places, both for work and pleasure. I couldn’t understand why no one was connecting the dots between the two, where you are going and what you put in your suitcase. There seemed to be a service for everything apart from that, so we had a vision to create a travel and lifestyle company that would be the first company to do just that.
All the services that we offer are completely bespoke and a la carte and we really get to understand a client’s needs and style. A client may need help with finding a beautiful private house in Europe for the summer or they may need our vacation wardrobe service, or we can take care of everything.
If you choose the MyVacationStylist service, you will be paired with one of our stylists and asked a series of questions about your style, sizes, and preferences, as well as your vacation itinerary. We then create a visual edit of pieces for you to see based on your style, destination, and budget. Once you have decided which pieces you like from our edit, we can ship directly to your home, hotel, or villa. The best part is that you only pay for what you keep. We have also been doing a lot of staycation pieces!
How do you think luxury travel has changed in the past five years?
I think previously it has been about hopping on a plane for the weekend to as many places as possible throughout the year, but we are now entering a phase—thank God—where it’s all about slow travel. Fewer destinations but spending longer in each destination. I also think private travel will become even bigger; private rentals rather than hotels, and we can already see that with client requests. The concept of travel and wellness has also evolved over the past five years and I think will continue to grow with the backdrop of the current climate; people really want to focus on their health as well as the environment.
Why was it important for you to support the Vital Voices Europe charity?
I got involved by chance but really I don’t think it was an accident as I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I think it’s so important to use your voice as well as to be involved with a non-profit on a deeper level. Vital Voices is an incredible network of women all over the world who are working to improve the lives of women in their communities and helping to amplify their voices.
Which place would you consider to be your hideaway location and why?
I would hibernate in Harbour Island – pink sand, turquoise waters, you can walk barefoot, no need for heels anywhere.
What is the next place on your bucket list?
Comporta this summer – if we get a summer—and then Cuixmala, Mexico this winter.
What are your favourite cities for: food, fashion, culture
I love the cities with vibrant colours and culture – very voyager! I have an affinity with India, specifically Rajasthan and Jaipur for the colours and the fabrics. Marrakech I adore for a similar reason. Galicia in northern Spain is an amazing hidden gem for food. I always love visiting Milan for culture – the Italians do it best.
If you had to pick one hotel to spend the rest of the lockdown period in, what would it be?
There are so many! I think it would have to be Cuixmala, Mexico located on a 30,000-acre nature reserve. Super private, surrounded by incredible nature, wildlife, and biodynamic farming. We have just launched it on Voyager Club, and I have to say, not many places compare.
Once lockdown ends, what is the first London restaurant you’ll be heading to and what will you order?
I have been dreaming about this quite a bit! There are a few, but I am craving a little la dolce vita. Olivomare is one of the best kept secrets in London and one of my favourite hidden gems. It has a little terrace outside and the best pasta. The lorighittas – similar to spaghetti bottarga—is to die for!
Address: The Refinery, 13 Radnor Walk, Chelsea, London SW3 4BP
Phone: 020 7824 8879