Squish Stars: Allison Fleece

allison fleece smiling
The past number of months have been a whirlwind. Yet, there are some women entrepreneurs that are continuing to break the mold and shine like the stars they are! We're proud to introduce our Squish Stars campaign, highlighting incredible women entrepreneurs!

We were lucky to talk to Allison Fleece, Co-founder of WHOA traveland ask her some questions. 


Tell us about your business? How did you get started?
WHOA travel is an adventure company for women by women. We focus on active adventures all over the world with a commitment to shared experiences and giving back.

What measures have you been forced to take since COVID started? What is the biggest pivot you had to make with your business? 
Allison: Our entire industry (travel) has been put on pause due to COVID, especially the type of travel we specialize in (international and group travel). We've innovated by developing a safe and pandemic friendly way to travel through a new division we launched called WHOA Wild Card Adventures. The short, WHOA Wild Cards are surprise camping and outdoor adventures for those looking to get out into the great outdoors, it can be the whole family, friends, couples, anyone and everyone (even your dog) and they're happening within three hours of your home city. The surprise? You won't know where you are going until the day you leave! Wild Cards are fun and family friendly way to explore our own backyards, have an adventure to look forward to, and support our local economies as well.

What have you learned from this experience thus far? Both on a professional and personal level. 
Allison: Humans are really adaptable and can be really creative when put in a pinch. I love seeing all of the innovations and evolutions happening within businesses during these otherwise tough times.

Have any businesses or individuals helped to inspire you through this time? What do you admire most about them? 
Allison:  I am a part of a Women's Tour Collective which is a small group of female owned travel businesses, and the women in our group have been a solid sounding board and mentor for me and my business. The bi-monthly calls I get to do with them are a constant source of inspiration during these times.

What are the biggest issues for running your company right now? What areas do you need help with? 
Allison:  The nature of our business, being a travel company, is the biggest issue.

What's been your biggest win since starting your company? 
Allison:  In 2019 we had a big year, we took almost 30 adventures across 6 continents, that was pretty huge, and 2020 was going to be even bigger, but I'm happy with how we did in 2019 and it's a good place to pick back up from when travel and the world is a little more safe.
Are there any special or new self-care practices that have helped you stay grounded? 
Allison:  I really try to get out into nature as often as possible, living in the city that's not always easy so I definitely have to plan it out, but for me there is nothing better for my mental health than the great outdoors.

Favorite show you've been watching/book you're reading/podcast you're listening to? 
Allison: I enrolled in a Racial Justice course called Roots to Revolution that meets every Monday for 6 weeks and it's been LIFE CHANGING learning the history of our country that isn't taught in schools. It's helping me in my journey as an ally and activist. I also am reading Caste, watching all of Netflix, and listening to Ted Talks Daily, The Daily, Pod Save America, and a whole lot more.

If you could be any of our marshmallow flavors, which one would you be? 
Allison:  S'mores! Because I love all things fall, campfires, outdoors, and it has a little bit of everything, which is totally my personality.

To learn more about Allison and her business:
Instagram:  @whoatravel