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Meet Tamika Stewart of GEAUXVacay in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tamika Stewart.

Tamika, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
To be simple. I’m just a little girl from the New Orleans Westbank who always believed she could and would create her own destiny. I grew up in my own little bubble – an only child – from a middle-class family. While we weren’t the richest, my family (collectively) made sure I never went without anything. I had everything I needed and most of the things I wanted. I lived a happy life. Growing up, I was able to take small summer trips with my cousin and her family and that’s ultimately where I developed my love for travel…I just knew the world was so much bigger and I wanted to be able to experience it all.

I eventually enrolled in LSU where I majored in Communications. During my junior year, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in an internship with Sports Illustrated as a Marketing Campus Consultant. Sports Illustrated started this internship where they selected a team of 5 consultants per school from 150 schools across the United States to be responsible for creating events and promos to initiate buzz and introduce Sports Illustrated partners to each of the college campuses. At the end of that internship, my team was recognized as one of the top 5 college campus marketing groups and we were flown to New York to not only attend the Sports Illustrated swimsuit party but to sit on panel discussions with top Sports Illustrated executives. It was really a dream come true. Not only did I get to experience life in the “Big Apple” – my first real big trip from home — which further excited me about travel and getting out of Louisiana, but this is when I truly fell in love with Marketing and knew this was what I wanted to do with my life! Failure was not an option.

Following graduation, I was determined to outline a plan to jumpstart my career in full gear. I took an unpaid internship at an advertising agency in New Orleans, while I took the time to dot my I’s and cross my t’s. Simultaneously, I was secretly planning my next move. I didn’t tell anyone that I was planning to move to Atlanta and then one day … I just said “Ma, I’m moving to ATL … I’ve got this apartment and here’s my plan.” No job. No friends. No clue what was next for me, but I just knew I had to do it!

With just my graduation money, the prayers of my family and my optimistic outlook, I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I had enough money from graduation saved up to pay rent and live for six months. My family, being the amazing support system that have always been, encouraged me … saying “Go. If It doesn’t work out, you can always come back home.”

Well, I’m happy to say that I did not have to go back home! While I will always be a New Orleans girl at heart, and the fleur de lis tattooed on my shoulder further backs that up, Atlanta, is where I truly discovered who I was as a woman and what I wanted out of this thing called life and for that I will always be grateful to this city.

I was in Atlanta for three weeks before I landed a job, with a small recruiting agency as an Account Coordinator, which allowed me to start my career in the Marketing/Advertising field. It has definitely been a whirlwind and I have diligently worked my way up the corporate ladder, holding several positions managing key accounts for clients like Turner Sports, DELL, AT&T, Yahoo!, Walmart, The Home Depot, Park & Fly, & Huddle House to name a few. Currently, I’m Regional Marketing Director with AMLI Residential, a premier property management company in the United States, where I oversee the entire marketing strategy for the Atlanta, S. Florida, Houston and Seattle regions.

My position with AMLI afforded me the opportunity to finally be in a comfortable position with finances and life where I could really take the time and energy and push it all into my passion – traveling! This year alone, I’ve been on 20 trips … 16 domestic, plus London, Paris, Switzerland and Iceland. I still have Cabo, Turks & Caicos, the Bahamas and countless domestics trips already booked through the end of the year! I’m the true definition of BOOKED & BUSY!

As I started to experience these travels and sharing my excitement and appreciation through Instagram stories or messages with friends, I realized how blessed I really am. Most people are lucky if they take one international trip a year (some people have never left their city) and here I am traveling the world! I know trip planning, especially international, can be quite daunting to some, so I decided that I wanted to help those people who desire to travel more, but don’t know where or how to start, plan amazing vacations. From all of this, in June 2019, GEAUXVacay was formed.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I know people find entertainment in the struggle, but honestly for me I haven’t experienced those trials. My journey has been somewhat smooth since day one and I pray that it continues to go that way, I’m truly blessed and favored. While I know “To Whom Much is Given Much Is Required” and while I do have my days where I’m super tired or feel like I can’t juggle everything at once, I try to take a step back, not only from my corporate career but from my own business ventures as well. I think it’s always a good idea to reset, refocus and realign your mindset whenever you’re feeling burnt out.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about GEAUXVacay – what should we know?
My company is GEAUXVacay (pronounced, “GO” .. I always have to put my New Orleans twist on things). We are a travel consulting firm; that has the strategic ability to help you plan your next dream vacation, giving you the blueprint to book on your own, but also having the executional ability for a full-service option that allows us to not only plan the vacation but book everything on your behalf … leaving no work on your end!

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
My passion. Michelle Obama said “I think that in order to be successful, women have to figure out what they’re passionate about first. No matter what you aspire to, you’ve got to love what you do in order to be successful at it.” And I couldn’t agree more. To me, passion isn’t something that can be learned. If you’re passionate about something, you just are and you’ll show it with every move you take. My passion for marketing and traveling has defined my entire life and set the stage for my desire to go above and beyond to ensure favorable outcomes.

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