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MC Fireside Chats – January 10th, 2024 

Episode Summary

In the latest episode of MC Fireside Chats, hosted by Brian Searl, an enlightening conversation unfolded among industry experts in the field of glamping and outdoor hospitality. The episode, marked as the first of 2024, featured Amanda Venezia of Glampology and Missy Fojtik from Daydreamer Domes. Brian, the founder and CEO of Insider Perks, steered the discussion, highlighting the evolving landscape of outdoor hospitality and the unique experiences offered by glamping. Amanda Venezia shared her journey into the glamping industry, starting with her inspiring experience under canvas in Yellowstone. Based in Boston, Venezia faced challenges due to unpredictable weather and land availability, leading her to explore the mobile glamping route. She also innovated with indoor glamping parties for children, adapting to the limitations posed by the Boston climate. Her story underscored the importance of flexibility and adaptation in entrepreneurship, especially in the outdoor hospitality sector. Missy Fojtik’s project, Daydreamer Domes, was another focal point of the discussion. Fojtik’s venture involved transforming an old golf course into a glamping site equipped with geodesic domes, a pink pool, modified containers, and a refurbished clubhouse offering various amenities. Fojtik’s journey highlighted the need for creativity, vision, and persistence in the face of regulatory and logistical challenges. Her emphasis on design and attention to detail in creating a unique guest experience resonated with the entrepreneurial spirit essential in this industry. The conversation also delved into the personal challenges and insights gained by both entrepreneurs. Venezia discussed the balancing act between her full-time job and her glamping venture, while Fojtik detailed her navigation through local regulations and building codes. Both shared the necessity of resilience and strategic thinking, which are pivotal in shaping successful business models in the glamping sector. The discussion transitioned to the vision and growth plans for both businesses. Venezia expressed her aspiration to expand Glampology’s services, with a particular interest in organizing women’s retreats and integrating her Reiki certification. Fojtik shared her ambition for Daydreamer Domes, aiming to create a space for diverse activities and community engagement. Their plans exemplified the dynamic nature of their projects and the ongoing evolution in their business strategies. A significant part of the conversation centered around regulatory challenges in the glamping industry. Fojtik shared her experiences with local regulatory bodies, emphasizing the importance of strategic communication and understanding various standards, such as ADA compliance. Venezia talked about the complexities of obtaining liability insurance for her mobile glamping setup, highlighting a unique challenge in the industry. The episode also touched upon the importance of learning from others in the industry. Both guests spoke about attending conventions and using resources like the Glamping Report to inform their strategies and offerings. They discussed how unique accommodations like domes can command higher prices due to their novelty and the experience they offer. As the discussion continued, both guests explored the idea of expanding their services to create unique experiences for their guests. Venezia is exploring additional services like picnics and considering subcontracting for activities like palm reading. Fojtik discussed offering various activities, including foraging walks and Palm reading, to add value to her guests’ stay. Towards the end of the episode, the conversation veered into personal interests and travel experiences. Venezia and Fojtik shared their travel stories and how these experiences influenced their perspectives on hospitality and business. They discussed the value of exploring different cultures and landscapes and how such exposure can inspire new ideas for their businesses. The episode concluded with Brian Searl appreciating the valuable exchange of ideas and experiences between Amanda and Missy. He emphasized the importance of such conversations in enriching the understanding of the outdoor hospitality industry. The episode was a testament to the innovation, resilience, and creativity that define the glamping industry, showcasing how entrepreneurs are redefining the boundaries of outdoor hospitality.

Recurring Guests

Special Guests

An image of a woman smiling in a circle during the MC Fireside Chats event on January 10th, 2024.
Missy Fojtik
Founder
DayDreamer Domes
An image of a person in a circle, featured in an episode.
Amanda Venezia
Owner
Glampology

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] 

Brian Searl: Welcome everybody to another episode of [00:01:00] MC Fireside Chats. My name is Brian Searl with Insider Perks. Super excited to be here with you for a, well, the first episode of 2024. I was gonna say another, but the first episode of 2024 for a glamping focused show. Normally, we have a bunch of recurring guests here, but I guess everybody just decided to take more time off for the holidays.

I don’t know how I get a cushy job like that, or I can take off till January 10th, but I’m gonna try to figure out how I secure that. But in the meantime, we’ve got two special guests here. We’ve got Amanda from Glampology, and did I get it right, Misty from Daydreamer Domes? Missy, are you frozen? I think Missy’s frozen.

Okay. Missy, hopefully we’ll be back and join us in a few minutes, but we’ve got Amanda here from Glampology. Amanda, how long, let’s just briefly introduce yourself and we’ll figure out how we’re going to fill an hour here. I don’t know how we’re going. 

Amanda Venezia: Hahaha 

I’m Amanda. I just started Glampology last year.

Pretty much my inspiration was when I went glamping under canvas out in Yellowstone two years [00:02:00] ago and, know, being like, in Boston where weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s, it was a little difficult to envision a big campground here. But after looking for land and stuff, I got a little bit stuck and ended up going with the mobile glamping route.

So that’s what I currently do here in Boston. And since it’s a break with the winter weather, I started doing indoors glamping parties for kids. So it’s what I’m doing right now. 

Brian Searl: So when you say a couple of directions, right, we have to save an hour. We’re going to talk to you anyway. So when you say indoor glamping, what does that mean?

Amanda Venezia: So I have these little indoor teepee tents which I call little glamping tents and I bring mattresses and blankets and linens and a little decor so that kids can enjoy essentially glamping inside. It’s been a huge hit with the little ones grateful for 

that. 

Brian Searl: Very nice. Oh so you got started in Boston.

You were, you [00:03:00] wanted to originally do talk to us through your original dreams that you wanted to do. Not saying it was different to what your dreams are now, but back then, right? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, so when I went glamping in Yellowstone I came home and I was like, wow, this is something that I would love to bring here to New Hampshire or somewhere in the outskirts of Boston.

But land was really hard to find and it’s just me. So I was doing it on my own. And it was just, it was really difficult. So I changed my route and went the mobile route. Initially, my biggest dream would be doing weddings and stuff and having some land where I can set up some glamping tents and people can rent that out for that.

But right now I’m focusing on just mobile and it’s been working so far, so we’ll see. 

Brian Searl: That’s awesome. There’s nothing wrong with pivoting, right? I pivot probably seven times a day and do U turns and drive the wrong way down a street that I’m supposed to drive the other way on, right?

Metaphorically speaking, right? So yeah, that’s [00:04:00] interesting. Like I’ve heard obviously of the mobile glamping. Missy was talking to you a little bit about it before. She’s familiar before the show started with mobile glamping. And so I just never heard the indoor thing, but that seems… it seems like a really good way to get the younger generation interested in glamping without necessarily being hauled outside too, right?

Amanda Venezia: Right, right. And like I said, weather doesn’t always cooperate out here. That’s always a backup plan. If someone also rented a outdoor tent during the summer months, we can always bring it inside. Yeah it was a huge directional change, but it’s worked out in so far.

Brian Searl: The weather isn’t properly right now either. It is I’m in Calgary, Canada. It is negative 20 degrees Celsius here today, which in United States language is negative four degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah, it’s not warm here. Otherwise I would be outside. I was talking to my business development representative on Slack this morning.

She’s like, you’re not going to do the show from outside today. I was like, well, is that a challenge? Give me 500 bucks. And I’m a little like I’ve been skiing and learned how to do that when it was negative 25. [00:05:00] So I’ve got the gear, but anyway, she wouldn’t give me 500 bucks. She just laughed at me.

Here I am with my little cuddly puppy dog. This is the only reason people watch the show, I know. Anyway, Missy, welcome back. 

Missy Fojtik: Yes, thank you. 

Sorry, my child came in and turned off my monitor for me. Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, you’re welcome. Tell us a little bit about what you have going on.

Missy Fojtik: My project is called Daydreamer Domes. We have been at it over there for about three years. I bought an old golf course and I rescued it and it had not been a golf course in probably eight or nine years. Built 20 geodesic domes. They’re gold. We’ve got a pink pool that’s surrounded by 20, 000 square feet of astroturf.

We’ve got modified containers and we rehabbed the old clubhouse. So inside the clubhouse, we’re going to be running a tea house. And we’ve got a couple of sensory deprivation tanks, a speakeasy, and a little store. We’re just a small team and just, you know, we’re moving every day, so [00:06:00] we should be open this summer.

Brian Searl: I feel like you said. Like I run a glamping resort and this and this and this. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I overdid it. 

Brian Searl: But we’re just a small team. We’re just doing this. 

Missy Fojtik: Right.

Brian Searl: I feel like your ambitions are a little more than a small team. 

Missy Fojtik: What’s that? 

Brian Searl: I said I think your ambitions are a little bit bigger than a small team.

You’re maybe selling yourself short. 

Missy Fojtik: Well, I need a bigger team is probably what I need, but you know, we, I’m trying to be very thoughtful about everything that I do and I want it to look a certain way. It’s, a high level of design and we’ve really taken care with everything that we’ve done.

So while we are a team of three right now, I also have an army of subcontractors that do a lot of work for me as well. 

Brian Searl: So how did this get all started? How did you envision taking, you said taking over a golf course, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, so I have 

been glamping 

Brian Searl: I didn’t mean to interrupt you, I was just going to say, it’s an interesting opportunity because I’ve read for years about how golfing generally, from a sport perspective, is on the decline.

So I bet you there are a lot of these opportunities out there with this beautiful land. [00:07:00] 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, so my property is a golf course since the 20s, and it was designed by, really, a world renowned golf course architect at the time, and it just fell into a state of disrepair, so there was no really infrastructure, no electrical or anything like that, but what I did have is, you know, I inherited landscaping that was gorgeous.

I inherited a massive sprinkler system. We’re still mowing 65 acres right now and the other like 90 acres have just kind of… we’ve just let it grow and the people before us let it grow. So it’s a really interesting juxtaposition between, well maintained and Mad Max back there.

Brian Searl: When you decided to start here first off to look at the land, what was in your, what was in your mind? 

Missy Fojtik: Like I was going to say I’ve been glamping since before it was even really a thing. So I stayed in my first tent when I was in India and probably, I think it was like 2002 and it had a toilet in it.

And ever since then, I’ve always sought out unusual and unique places and I just fell in love with the [00:08:00] geodesic dome. I had no idea how hard those words build if you want to build them to meet, residential building code. But we’re there now. It has taken a long time. It has been quite a struggle, but The domes are awesome.

So I knew I wanted domes. And when I found this property, I’ve been watching it for years and it had a big drop in pricing. It was right around the pandemic time. So I just hopped on it because there was another property I’d looked at. I just, I couldn’t get it through permitting. I couldn’t get the township behind it.

Knowing now, I probably could have, it’s just all about how you word things sometimes, but I was able to do this in South Haven and… it’s 20 minutes from our home, so it’s close, and it’s just been really an incredible opportunity. 

Brian Searl: Awesome. So 

Where are you now? Where are you are you exactly where you want to be?

Of all the things that you listed, did you plan all that originally? Did you add as you go? Did you modify? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, yeah I modify. Like you were saying with pivoting, I modify multiple times a day. I change my mind a lot, and you, when you’re in a when 

Brian Searl: you’re building a speakeasy, right?

Because then you can’t be like, well, let me [00:09:00] just tear that up. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. You have to modify based on what’s allowed. And you have to modify based on the resources that you have and, what you can do within your space. And what I really built this for it was to be.

Like a conglomeration of a lot of different people’s efforts. Like we’re looking for like teachers and people that want to do little sideshows here where they can host classes. And, we’ve got private chef events. Like I really just felt the space for people to exercise their creative freedom.

So I’m a bit of an artist myself and really just, this is a venue that has just allowed me to let my crea- creative juices flow and that goes to everything else. Like this, the float tanks that was not initially on my list, but I found, I met a guy who was going to move to a tree house spa in Oregon and couldn’t take them up a tree with them.

So I got them used and boom, I had a couple of float tanks, and it’s just, it’s been pieces like that. I didn’t want to put a fence around my whole pool. So I decided, I put containers around it so I didn’t have to buy a fence. So I’ve got nine containers that surround my pool that I can use for, different [00:10:00] activities.

So I can use them as cabanas. I can use them as art studios. And you just lean into what assets you have and just start dreaming about what you can do with them. 

Brian Searl: Well, that’s true. Never let anything stop you if you want to accomplish something. Same thing with Amanda, right?

If you wanted to accomplish something in camping, you pivoted and here you are. 

Amanda Venezia: It’s awesome. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, you still have bigger plans, obviously. We all do, right?

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Some people don’t. Some people are happy where they’re at, but it feels like all three of us. 

Missy Fojtik: I want more, 

more, more. I just, I, if I had a million dollars a day, I could spend it very easily on all the dreams that I have.

And, so many people come over and say, “Oh, you could do this, you could do this.” But you have to curtail those, right? And say, what can I afford? And what’s realistic? 

Brian Searl: Well, and that’s the thing. 

I’ve been in business for, I’m not brave enough to own a glamping resort. Cause I couldn’t deal with the permitting and the council and all those people who I feel like don’t deserve to decide whatever I want to do with my land.

So I’m not brave enough to do that, but I have been, like I’ve been in business since 2009 and that’s the same thing the whole time. It never stops. It continues. It’s the,[00:11:00] I have all these ideas in my head. What can I realistically accomplish this year and next year and the next six months and whatever else.

And yeah, it’s one of the hardest things to learn is you can’t move as fast as you want to, sometimes. 

Missy Fojtik: That’s right. I have been wanting to be open for a year, and we finally just ripped the band-aid off and opened up the clubhouse this week, or last week. So we’re going to be open for floats and we’re doing our first float on Sunday.

Just, it’s a slow build, right? You have to get people to know who you are and get people on the door and the word spreads. 

Brian Searl: So how long 

have both of you been doing this, Amanda first? 

Amanda Venezia: I just started last year. 

Brian Searl: That’s okay. That’s better than all the people who have never started. Don’t say just started, you actually did it.

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. In my head, I was only planning it about six months and then I was like, you know what, now’s the time. And yeah, so I opened, I got like my business license and all that in October and my first rental was June of last year. So. I 

Brian Searl: I [00:12:00] mean, that’s awesome. Like I, again, we’re going to try to fill an hour here, so I might pontificate a little bit where I normally would just defer to my guests.

But I think that’s. I think that’s really an important thing when you talk about an entrepreneur or a business owner to think about. Because a lot of people who start their own business will sit there and say, “Well, I’ve only been doing it six months or a year or two years or five years or whatever.”

But the sheer amount of people who only envision it and never do it is mind blowing, like… 

Missy Fojtik: Absolutely. 

Brian Searl: Billions of people, right? 

Amanda Venezia: Thank you. Yeah, I think being in the mindset of being okay to fail, I think was. where I needed to be. And, if I was okay with failing, if it had done that, then I was okay to start.

And I think that’s, a hard position to get yourself in, but once you’re there, I think it opens a lot of doors. So at least for me, that’s how I looked at it. 

Brian Searl: I think I completely agree with you. Missy, do you agree? 

Missy Fojtik: Agreed. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Yeah.[00:13:00] 

Missy Fojtik: I personally, I’ve had a lot of different business ideas.

I have, I, this is, this is the big one for me, but I’ve had a lot of things I started and didn’t finish. A lot of things that, I was dreaming about doing, but it just takes that special. Special time and special thing to really just make you kick in and go 

for it. 

Brian Searl: Well, but I think what she’s talking about too, and again, we’re going to get back to glamping, talking about glamping business.

But I think what’s really important to talk about the failing aspect of it. Cause you have to be like, to me, failing is a win because that just shows me how not to do it. And, but it like, it’s one of the hardest things to deal with because I still like, every time I fail. Even though I know that’s a learning experience, and in six hours I’ll be fine, when I fail and get the email that a client is leaving, or unhappy, or they didn’t accept my proposal and chose somebody else, or whatever whatever happens.

The guy didn’t accept the job, or hundreds of different things, right? Then that’s you kind of kick yourself and wonder, could I have done something better? But then I get over it now I get over it in a couple hours, right? But previously I would just dwell, and you figure, you try, you [00:14:00] overanalyze, and you self doubt.

And those are the kinds of things that make, that handicap a lot of people from moving forward, I think, with whatever their dreams are, is that 

fear. 

Missy Fojtik: That’s true. And you get to some point where you’re too busy to worry and too busy to, just do. 

Brian Searl: Yeah. And that certainly helps with it, right?

That certainly helps because at the same time, your failures are coming in, your wins are coming in. But yeah, it’s definitely, so glamping. When did you all I know you said, Missy, you’ve been glamping for a long time and we know that it’s been much more popular overseas. I don’t know about India specifically, you said, but I know in the UK they’ve been glamping for a very long time.

In South Africa, I think it’s been a huge thing for a long time. They’ve got some big manufacturers over there and things like that. But when did you first decide that you felt like this was a good business opportunity for you? Both of them are 

the same question, but yeah. 

Amanda Venezia: I’m probably the long, the worst person to ask.

Cause I just, I literally came back from Yellowstone and was like, I need to do this. Like I need. I need [00:15:00] to do this somehow, and I didn’t have, I have a full time job, I don’t have a ton of resources, but I think that drive of how much I loved it and how much I really like to especially get children outside, I’ve done a lot of Mission work, especially in Africa and just seeing kids who are out every single day because they don’t even have a roof over their heads and bringing that to communities here is, was really important to me.

And, I was never a glamper. I never really even liked camping. But then I started doing it and I went to the glamping convention out in Colorado all by myself and met so many people. That’s just that was so inspirational because you surrounded yourself with people who are like minded and here I didn’t really have that.

And when I went out there, it just almost solidified every, all my dreams. And I think that’s just [00:16:00] how it went. And it was just the energy that I got back from that. I put it in, I literally. Buy my tents the next day from someone that was there and I was like, you know what this is my money to lose and I’m gonna go for it.

So that’s how I did it Which probably isn’t the most genius thing, but it worked for me and 

Brian Searl: It’s genius if it worked for you. Missy, I want to get to your answer, but give me one second. So Amanda We talked about, you introduced yourself briefly, but talk us through what Glampology is and how it works.

Like I know you said you do a little bit of the indoor stuff, but what does it look like in the summer? What is your? 

Amanda Venezia: So in the summer I’ve been doing people’s homes where I will set up one of the big bell tents and I put up to six air mattresses in there. Again, that comes with linens some small decor and they have it overnight or two nights, whatever they would like.

And then, I pick it back up and I bring it back home and, again, I started [00:17:00] last summer. So June was my first rental, which was an out of state rental. And then I was… Honestly, just through social media, booked every single weekend in the summer, all the way to almost October. And that was just, I couldn’t ask for a better year.

And when I was doing that, people were asking, oh, so many questions about, “Can I put this tent inside?” And I’m like, “You can’t.” And it was so hard to explain how actually, how big it is because people out here aren’t really used to this concept yet. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, 

Amanda Venezia: and 

Brian Searl: it looks on the internet. 

Amanda Venezia: On the internet, it looks tiny.

They were like, “Can I put that in my basement?” I’m like, “No, you can’t.” so then I was like if I keep getting these kind of questions, what could I put in someone’s basement? Which brought me to the indoor stuff during the winter months, which again is just the little tent teepees that people are doing and I’m calling it glamping.

And that’s been working so far. 

Brian Searl: We’ve had so many discussions on this show about what the definition of glamping is. Is it camping? Is it glamping? Is it luxury camping? Is it, [00:18:00] and everybody calls it a different term for a different situation. And I don’t think there really is a definition. So go ahead.

Call it whatever you want, right? There’s no rule. But so where do you want to, where’s your ideal, like where do you want to take this in the next couple years? Do you want to keep, do you want to add more tents? Do you want to hire more staff? Are you happy with how you are now? 

Amanda Venezia: I never thought that I thought one rental was going to be successful in my eyes and I booked a whole summer.

So now I’m like what can I do next summer? And I’ve been, ideally, I would really like to do some retreats for women. I’m also Reiki certified, so I really like that kind of stuff. And maybe if we could bring some communities like moms and stuff together and do some retreats like that would be something that I’d really like to do for this summer.

That’s a goal. And obviously a goal is to get more rentals in a weekend out to, do two or three and ideally, my, like I said, I would love to do weddings, so it’s always in the back of my mind to look at land once in a while I’m not, I really want to get my name out there and a reputation before I [00:19:00] start something like that, but it’s just been working and I’m grateful.

Brian Searl: You’ll get there again, step by step. But I think your name is out there pretty well, and people have a lot of respect if you’re book every weekend, right? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: It’s going well for you.

Amanda Venezia: It did. It did. It’s nerve wracking about next year, I think it’s when you see something working, you’re like, how can I make this even bigger and better? And. Retreats would be a great thing and something I would really like to do. So that’s my goal for this year.

Brian Searl: It sounds like you’re on the right path again. Like I’m only one person and I have an opinion, right? It doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong. I could be wrong, but probably, yeah. But anyway like we’ve talked a lot about the experiences and experiential hospitality on the show too. And so I think that you’re headed in that right direction where I think.

And I don’t know the glamping industry as well as someone who would own it or operate the glamping show conference like David Kors does, or Ruben Riney, American Glamping Association, or things like that, right? But I think that what I took away from the last few years is that [00:20:00] glamping necessarily wasn’t overbuilt because we didn’t have really that huge market that the UK does.

But I think that people rushed into it really quickly and some had great plans and some had okay plans and some had terrible plans. And a lot of it was based on financing that was completely different two years ago than it is today. And I think that what people are finding now as we head into an uncertain, more uncertain economy than we have now, I think.

is you have to set yourself apart somehow. You can’t just throw up some tents, right? And whether that is the, I’m going to work locally and put it up in someone’s yard, because that’s not something hundreds of people are doing for now, or that’s the rekey, or that’s the speakeasy, or that’s the whatever, right?

I think that’s the answer, is how am I different? Because everybody can have a bell tent, but how do I make that experience in the bell tent different and unique? Would you agree with that, Missy? 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I tell you I was going to say, too, you have to work within your local regulations because I will tell you there are a lot of people who’ve had a lot of really amazing ideas and then have [00:21:00] even built things that are really incredible that won’t pass, fire inspection or won’t pass, you’re, you have to have a parking lot, like what people think they can just throw a tent somewhere, but if you’re going to leave it there permanently and the authorities find out about it, they’re going to make you have parking, they’re going to make you have a lot, a lot of things that you probably hadn’t anticipated.

So it’s people, that, have the dreams, which I fully support, but you got to make sure that you do it within the, the regulations, unfortunately. 

Brian Searl: Which is why. 

Missy Fojtik: So I know California has cracked down like substantially, and they’ve shut down tons of glamping places. 

Brian Searl: Which is why I’m not brave enough to ever own a glamping resort.

I can’t do it. I get frustrated with the rules around my service business 

for marketing. 

Missy Fojtik: I’m telling you, pitchforks when I came in and fire and brimstone. And honestly, I went through everything on my own. You just have to know how to speak to the planning commission because you have to be able to read between the lines, right?

And say they didn’t call this out. So if I can make what I want to do fit into these boxes, if I can word it in such a way that they don’t have any objections. [00:22:00] Then, there’s a chance I can get it approved. But it’s really spending the time to analyze what the restrictions and the, the codes are.

So you try to get a geodesic dome approved in the state of Michigan… I did it, I did it by myself, so I did not hire a huge team of people to do it, but I just went at it in the best way that I could. And every time they said no I went back and I thought about it and I came back at it until, I finally got good at it.

The other day I had the inspector come over and he went through, cause we just got our building final inspected and he went into a bathroom and he said, your toilet is off by a quarter of an inch. And I was like a quarter of an inch. I was like what do you want me to do about that? He said, you’re going to have to get a new toilet.

And I was like, he said or you can get a new toilet seat. And I said, these are made for the toilet. I can’t get a new toilet seat for this. And he was like you’re going to have to get a new toilet. And then I thought about it. And I said, what about if I got like a spacer? To put under that toilet seat that could raise it a quarter of an inch and he said that would be fine and you know what you have to realize that those are the kind of people that you’re dealing with. They are not going to lead you to [00:23:00] water; they’re gonna let you hang yourself because it’s one last place that they have to inspect right and you know if it’s and it really it’s not just that person in particular, he’s just trying to do his job, right?

And he’s watching in case somebody else is watching, but you have to figure out how you’re going to get your thing done, and that’s the tenacity of being an entrepreneur, really, in my 

opinion. 

Brian Searl: For sure. There’s so many things that are involved in it. A lot of people it’s been glorified over the last five or six years, but a lot of people think it’s just showing up and ordering your employees around and then going home and collecting a check, and it’s not really like that, right?

Missy Fojtik: No, do you know how many people have applied with me that they want to be the person that goes out and makes the connections? And they do not want to get their hands dirty. I’m routinely in that mud myself. Like I’m doing those floors myself. There’s things that I’m doing. I’m not afraid of work.

But a lot of people who have come and really they just they want the glory of it. I say it’s as sexy as owning a weed business now. Do you remember when that was starting? I don’t know. You know where you guys are what your rules are, but they’re in Michigan There’s one on every [00:24:00] corner, but when it first started and it was happening in Michigan, but not Chicago It was everybody’s cousin or brother or someone was like trying to get into the business and you know trying to be a partner somewhere And it’s just that it doesn’t work like that.

You still have to have a business mind. You know? So 

Brian Searl: I don’t 

want to get us too far off the path here But I do want to know What is the danger of having a toilet seat that is a quarter inch off kilter? What could it be? 

Missy Fojtik: I’ll tell you it’s ADA, it’s ADA regulations, which you think would be very clear cut, but they’re different from.

Area to area. So I still, if, if I had known, I bought a toilet seat that said it was ADA approved. ADA approved in what state? I have no idea, but not my state. So 

Brian Searl: It’s, yeah, that’s interesting. That’s just stuff I couldn’t deal with, right? Every city, every jurisdiction, every County has different rules and regulations.

Missy Fojtik: It is incredibly frustrating, but you have to realize if you want to play the game, then play it, right? Play the game in your own way, but know that the game is afoot and [00:25:00] don’t be playing checkers when everybody else is playing chess. And it took me years to get to that point where I was like, “Oh, I understand what’s happening.”

You guys are screwing me, but it takes a little bit, like I, I never spoken in front of a planning commission before, and I didn’t realize when they ask you, when they ask a question, just say, I don’t know what this is going to look like. They’re not asking it for you to answer. They’re just thinking out loud.

If you answer, they’re just looking for information to hang you with. 

Brian Searl: I don’t know if they’re all, I don’t know if we can want all the planning commission 

people into that body. 

Missy Fojtik: No, no, no, no, not all the planning commission people. I’m just saying going through the process is supremely difficult and they’re operating within, 

Brian Searl: their own set of guidelines and who’s tried to screw them before to you and.

Missy Fojtik: Being a novice, you don’t know what you don’t know, and it depends on if your city wants something like that, and if that individual that’s voting wants something like that, 

Brian Searl: it’s, 

yeah, regulations are tough. I, as I was born in the United States, right? And so I’m, I live in Canada [00:26:00] now, but I lived there most of my life, and so I’m familiar with the political dynamic between the people who want more regulations and the people who don’t.

Maybe want less regulations than the people in the middle who like feel like we just want less regulations, but we still want to be safe in the planes Right and things like that And I think it’s interesting because the people who usually want less regulations also don’t want and I know this is oversimplifying But like the United Nations or stuff like that It would almost be easier to just have one government who owned everything and then they would all have the same toilets you type Do you get less regulation with more government?

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, no, 

I, it’s, it has really been an eye opener for me. I had no idea what went on. Even when we’re going through the permitting process, it’s almost it’s government, it’s big government on a little scale. Because if you’re doing it out in the country, it’s like you’re stacking the votes.

Which way do you think this one’s going to vote? Which way do you think this one’s going to vote? And it’s really it’s been fascinating and it’s been really fun. It’s been very frustrating, but it’s been a great learning experience, and honestly, [00:27:00] like I’ve been through things that, most people will never go through, but it’s been, a massive highs and massive lows.

That’s what being in business is. 

Brian Searl: What were some 

of the things you had to deal with, Amanda, when you were trying to start up your business? I know it’s different not owning the lake, but certainly there were 

still things 

Missy Fojtik: shipping delays. 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. I, I didn’t have too much. I think it was just how much I wanted to spend, how much I wanted to put out there.

And honestly I’d say how much time and energy was honestly my biggest hurdle because I do have a full time job and it was. Difficult to figure out if I wanted to leave that or if I could or I think that’s what was stressful for me. I didn’t have to go through many regulations. Definitely finding liability insurance was difficult.

Because out here, right? 

Brian Searl: What happens if the little child plays with the lighter and sets the tent on fire? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. And [00:28:00] here, no, I called six to ten places and they were like, what are you trying to do? And I was like, I, 

Brian Searl: That’s what happens in campgrounds and there’s 8, 000 of them in the U.

  1. 12, 000 or something in the U. S.

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, but they just could not grasp like what they’re insuring, essentially. That was honestly probably the biggest hurdle. And I did get a liability insurance. I still don’t even know if it really covers everything. 

Missy Fojtik: I just went with it. 

Brian Searl: They did it on a live show in front of the whole internet.

Amanda Venezia: But that, that honestly was probably my biggest hurdle. And just myself was my biggest hurdle as well. It’s just, everybody yapping in your ear and you being able to overcome what everybody else’s opinions were also was a hurdle for me. But no, I didn’t have any regulations with toilets or land or anything like that.

And, I’m sure if I get bigger, it will be harder. And I know looking into just doing this retreat, even down the street at [00:29:00] a senior center, I mean It was like 18 pages long of things that I have to make sure I have for this including parking and all, you just don’t think of that kind of stuff.

So I’m sure a lot more hurdles are going to come my way, but. 

Brian Searl: Well, all those are hurdles. So they’re all equal, right? Just because you have to deal with a planning commission versus dealing with paperwork. It’s all the same kind of, I’m an entrepreneur. I have to learn all this stuff. I have to understand what I have to go through and fix and not fix and know and not know and all those kinds of things.

And so I think it. There’s no less of a problem than any other problem that you have to go through, or learning experience that you have to go through, at least that’s my opinion of the whole process, so I don’t know if you guys share that, but I was probably going to lead somewhere, but my mind was totally blank.

Amanda Venezia: I definitely think too, like I said before, surrounding yourself with people who have done this, or just the energy, like I went to that convention, I went to a campground, er, I think it was a campground convention out in South Carolina. I’m [00:30:00] going to do the one in the UK in September.

Like I think just being around people who have the same energy is so important. At least it was for me. Cause I was like, okay, I’m not crazy. This has been done and these people have been successful and they’ve started just like I have with literally nothing. But your ideas. So I think 

Brian Searl: that’s good.

That’s actually what I was going to say is that it’s the same challenge you go through with the people tripping in your ear, right? People who don’t understand. Like my mother still doesn’t understand what I do. I have 26 years of experience. 

Missy Fojtik: My mother still calls my dad weird. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Like I think probably five or six years into the company, she was still trying to get me to work at a local hospital when you’re here as an IT person.

Mom. Like I have six employees, I’m fine. I don’t need to go quit my, right? But that’s, and that’s different, right? But that’s, it’s the chirping in the ear of the people who don’t understand. Don’t want to understand sometimes. And if you listen to those people, it’s just the same thing as the hesitation to fail.[00:31:00] 

Those like minded people who have done it before. And certainly there’s a grain of salt, like if you listen way both sides sometimes, right? But, yeah. That’s equally as challenging and frustrating, at least it was for me. Alright, what else are we going to talk about? We’ve got 26 minutes to fill up, guys.

Normally we have 4 or 5 other guests here, but So what is 

Missy Fojtik: We’re just lucky. We’ve got the floor, Amanda.

Amanda Venezia: I know. I guess, maybe, 

Brian Searl: what to hear me talk. Well, please, if you guys could just 

Missy Fojtik: Amanda, we can just interview each other. 

Amanda Venezia: I don’t know. I kind of wanted to Just, see pick your brain as to, 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, and I have a couple questions for you, too, so 

Brian Searl: Go for it, yeah, shoot.

Amanda Venezia: Just, did you have people saying, you know? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh my gosh. People thought I had lost my mind, so they’re like, what are you doing? You’ve got three kids and you’re moving to Michigan to do this glamping thing on this golf course. Like why? I’ve been in medical sales for [00:32:00] years, and honestly, like during COVID, I was, couldn’t get into the hospitals.

The kids are bouncing off the walls. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I can’t do this. Like I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. Like it’s my time, right? Like I have sacrificed so much for, my kids, my job, whatever. And I was like, I want to do something that I want to do. That’s going to give me joy in my heart.

So that’s what speaking of. It’s a snow day today. And I want something that’s going to bring my kids joy. And something that can be like a legacy for our family. And they’re like, but I don’t understand you’re building a yurt. Like what, who is going to, how much are you going to charge for it?

So it’s there’s always people that question everything, and then they want you to, they want you to do it their way. And you’ve got to do some things on your own terms, so that’d be brave. 

Amanda Venezia: What you went through sounds like something I never want to do or can do. I’m strong.

Missy Fojtik: It will show you. Yeah. Thank you. It will show you what your metal is made of. And I will tell you, you’re starting with your indoor glamping. Like you can do [00:33:00] something like this. I’m not a rocket scientist, you know? It’s just, you have to figure it out. And if you’ve got, a couple

braincells, you’re good to go, just take it slow. So don’t overdo it. Like I’ve learned from me, I overdid it. I do have a question for you though about yours. So how much are you charging a night to bring that whole thing out? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. So back to the challenge, that was a challenge. Yeah, really have much competition.

There was one person way down in the Cape and then there was a one person that was much North in Massachusetts who was charging 725 a night. See, 

Missy Fojtik: I know how much it takes to set up those dome tents. Like, how many hours are you spending doing that? Checking it out there. 

Amanda Venezia: Six person tent in an hour and 15 minutes.

So is it 

Missy Fojtik: by yourself? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. So not that I like to, I did hire my little cousin, but I personally couldn’t charge that. I just don’t think it was worth that. 

Missy Fojtik: We wouldn’t pay that?

Amanda Venezia: [00:34:00] The 700, so I took 700 and then I called a couple places that were down in Rhode Island, which is the next state over, and they were charging about I think 4 or 5.

So I basically went with, I think I started at 300, just to get my name out there. But since it was so successful, I had a SCORE mentor who is like a small business mentor, and he was like, raise the price now. And I did. I went up to four and that seemed to be working. Right now I charge four a night and that’s up to us.

Missy Fojtik: Here’s where I’m at and big shout out to SCORE too. I use them as well. That’s a great It’s a great resource for people that are just getting started. My question is I’ve got, so my domes have bathtubs. They are almost 400 square feet. They have heat, they have AC and they’re like designed to the nines.

And I’ve got people pushing back when I’m like, and we’ve got a humongous, like heated pink pool, all these cabanas and the really, the funkiest like [00:35:00] clubhouse you’ve ever seen. And I’ll say, and we’re going to include breakfast and I’m like, Hey, I want to do this and I’ll include breakfast and I’d like to charge maybe four or 50 or 500 a night on the weekends.

And we’re right by the beach and people are like, Oh my God. Never, but then 

Amanda Venezia: Oh no, I’m thinking like, I would stay there very easily. 

Missy Fojtik: Well, and see, that’s what I need to find that people like that, because I’ve had, I haven’t, some older people in my life and they really just think it’s too much.

And because most of my community, I’ll be honest with you, it’s a lot of retirees out there. But in the summer, it’s a lot of everybody and we’re two hours from Chicago. And I’m like, I’ll catch you locals, some great deals. Cause we’re going to be open in the winter time too. And we’ll chop all those rates in half.

And just cause I want to find staff that I can keep going through the down season. I don’t want to have just a huge Rolodex of people that like, turn and burn every summer. I just want to have, like people I can depend on always, like I had a woman come over yesterday and I will tell you.

I’m hiring older people because a lot of the younger people I’ve seen them and I have three older, [00:36:00] younger people of my own. There’s not a lot of work ethic there, but there’s a lot of older people who just, they want to get out of the house. They want something to do. They’re not done yet, and honestly, I’ve had several women come to my place that are older and say, I want to be a part of this, right?

Like I want to volunteer. And that’s just it’s great. They see your vision and everything like that. I just think There’s a lot of upside with it. 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, and I think, for me and maybe, for you is to call, make a lot of phone calls. Make a lot of phone calls.

Missy Fojtik: That’s what we’re doing now. Yeah. 

Amanda Venezia: With campgrounds who are doing something similar, but also. Like the resorts and hotels who are matching almost what you’re offering and even though they’re a hotel if they’re charging 400 a night, why can’t you? I mean to me so I’ll be in Michigan in actually June so I will definitely come by

 

Missy Fojtik: Okay. Amanda coming uh-huh 

Amanda Venezia: For me, coming from Boston like People would pay that here, but again, you have to see what [00:37:00] people around you are, their financial status too.

Missy Fojtik: But so did you read the glamping report? 

Amanda Venezia: I know that they put one out when I was at the convention. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh it’s awesome. Brian, have you read it? 

Brian Searl: I’ve read some of it. Yeah. We report. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, it’s great. Like they do one every year and the lady who writes it is like the CEO of Oh, who is it?

Isn’t it like 

Amanda Venezia: Marriott? Marriott? I know Marriott people. 

Missy Fojtik: No, no, it’s not. It’s a campground. What is it called? KOA, but so the KOA has its own little like glamping test site that they’re doing, but they did the whole report. So they did the first report. Yeah. They did it in 22 and every year, I just I scour that thing through and I read every detail cause their information is spot on and domes command a higher price point.

Yeah. Than anything else, because let’s face it, everyone’s got I always call it the four walls of a Marriott, like a lot of people haven’t ever experienced sleeping in something round, and your bell tents are like that too, so you give people like a unique, unique accommodation, you can [00:38:00] afford to charge more for it, but you’re like, where, what’s that, where’s that sweet spot?

I don’t know. Have you considered doing food with yours? Any activities with it? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah this summer I’m going to offer like a picnic type thing. With like little cushions and stuff because that’s in right now. 

I think it’s more going to be like, I will set up the picnic and they’ll have to be responsible for food because I just don’t.

Want that liability right now. 

Missy Fojtik: There’s a place here in South Haven and they set these gorgeous like boho beach picnics on the public beach. They bring the stuff, the people pay. 69 or 79 a night just, or I’m not a night, just to go and sit on a pillow. The only thing that provides a sparkling water, they have to bring everything else.

And they have the option to buy like a charcuterie board for them or whatever. People want to sit in a beautiful environment, right? They don’t care so much what they’re doing. It’s if they’re in something that’s wonderful, you can have something small for entertainment, like we’re going to do palm Readers, and we’ve got people doing like foraging walks and stuff like that, but [00:39:00] just to give you like, there’s a lot of like people you can subcontract with just to come and say, “Hey, you want to come read palms over here for, like an hour, how much would you charge me?”

That would love to do a little side hustle like that. And that just builds so much value, cause you can say, I’m offering 

Brian Searl: Do you screen the Palm Readers to make sure they actually can tell fortunes correctly? 

Missy Fojtik: I had a party a couple of years ago, and I had a friend come and pretend to be a palm reader, and I had an actual palm reader there, and you know what?

People just want to be entertained. 

Brian Searl: Oh, I agree. 

Missy Fojtik: Do you think any of them are for real? 

Amanda Venezia: I want to hear what you 

Brian Searl: Like, I don’t know that palm reading is fake. I haven’t 

Missy Fojtik: I don’t know it’s fake either, it’s about making that connection. 

Brian Searl: Sorry, I didn’t interrupt you guys. You were having a good conversation.

I’ll shut up again. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh no. So here’s my thing. If you’re going to have that business where you’re doing it inside, how much do you charge for inside?

Amanda Venezia: Insides right now, 200. They have to have. Two. So 200 for two and then each additional is 30. But for me, it’s so much [00:40:00] easier. Yeah, I’m there for a half an hour versus an hour and 15 and it takes half the time to take down.

So to me, that’s worth that money. And people are going crazy over it and not just mine, but other people are doing it here too. And, 

Missy Fojtik: You should, oh, gee, I have a good idea for you. What about setting it up at a hotel? People do that on the hotel balconies. They do it in Chicago and they charge a ton for it.

So they’ll put it like where the penthouse is and they’ll set it up on their like terrace or something and then add an extra grand to it. 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. It’s all about the add ons, you know? The connections I’ve made, I had a charcuterie lady. So I was offering that. I had a balloon lady that was doing, making balloon arches for the tents and people were just loving it.

So it’s funny how something. Can just branch out just from social media and things like that. 

Missy Fojtik: You feel like, so here’s my thing, I feel like we’re entering into a new kind of era and things will come in and come out and I feel like the charcuterie [00:41:00] board has had its day. And I feel like we need to find something new.

Have you seen the Butterboards? 

Amanda Venezia: But I like butter if it has 

Missy Fojtik: Beautiful things with butter and then have all these different like breads and it’s got like flowers and nuts and stuff in it. Those are really cool. You just have to keep watching your Pinterest. Yeah. How’s your feed? 

Amanda Venezia: That’s true. I don’t do a lot on that, but I need to get involved in like TikTok and stuff for sure.

Missy Fojtik: I try, I literally just got 200 followers like yesterday because I finally figured out that I’ve been tagging stuff wrong. There was one group that I wanted to be in and it was like, South Haven Douglas Recommended. And I swear I had post on there and I kept thinking, Oh, somebody there doesn’t like me because they never put my stuff up.

Like I’ll put it in there and they, I don’t ever see it. And then I figured out. I read the rules and it said you must say what city your business is in. So nobody knew what my business was [00:42:00] or where it was. So I was just getting deleted. So I finally said I was in, South Haven. 

Brian Searl: I thought you were following all the rules and details and all that stuff.

Missy Fojtik: Oh, no I’m, no, I’m horrible. I’m petrified. I’m getting red tagged or shut down. That is mine. I’ve seen it happen to people. I do not want that happening to me. So yeah, I know everything else. 

Amanda Venezia: You gotta get on those mom groups too. Those are, yeah, I’ve, 

Missy Fojtik: girls trips too. I think I want to get into girls trips.

So I love your idea about doing retreats. And I have talked to a lot of people that do like metaphysical work because a lot of those, that kind of thing happens within. A retreat. You’re a Reiki certified, right? Like we’re talking to a Reiki person right now. I’ve never done Reiki before. I’m super interested in it.

Why don’t you include Reiki in it? You’re a practitioner, 

Amanda Venezia: but there was no bites to that one, but that’s okay. 

Brian Searl: You have to be there longer than 30 minutes, but you want to be longer than 30 minutes. You have to be there [00:43:00] longer. 

Missy Fojtik: How long is a Reiki session? I have no idea. 

Amanda Venezia: You can do it like 15 minutes to an hour to two hours.

People. You can go for a long time. 

Brian Searl: I’ve done one time in Banff. Did you? It was a combination of that and like a meditation thing. They had us, it was me and a woman, a girl I used to date. We laid down at a table in a dark room or something and they did both at the same time or I don’t know.

I was the most reluctant. 

Missy Fojtik: And then do they like, is it’s like energy healing, right? 

Brian Searl: They don’t touch you.

Missy Fojtik: No, they just put their hands around you. And absorb the energy. 

Amanda Venezia: It’s wild, the stuff you pick up. It really is. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure. I would like to do it one day. How long did it take you to get certified?

Amanda Venezia: The course was like a couple days or something like that. It was super easy. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, you don’t feel like it was like a gift that you were born with? It’s something you can just, anybody, like I could learn to do Reiki if I want to? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, of course. I think you have to be in that kind of mindset for sure.

Yeah and believe in it and [00:44:00] believe that it works. That’s not for everyone. So I think if you can believe it and yeah, I’ve done it a couple of times where I’ve picked on someone’s health condition and that was. 

Yeah. So 

Missy Fojtik: that’s cool. I took to a friend the other day and her sister is a like a medium.

And every time, she sees like a extra, like some sort of a spirit and she has to close it. It like goes into her body and then it makes her really weak. It brings her energy down. I didn’t know. I’ve never heard anybody tell me a story about a family member that did something like that before. So it’s so foreign to me.

I think it’s, I’m fascinated by all of it, but you always have to, be there for yourself to see it. I’ll tell you what, I’ll trade you a Reiki session for a float tank when you’re in Michigan. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. That sounds great. 

Missy Fojtik: Have you floated before? 

Amanda Venezia: I have not. I have not. That and ice bath has been on my list to do 

Missy Fojtik: yeah, floating is so cool. So I had only floated like probably five or six times before I got these [00:45:00] tanks. And it was. Like just a, like I said, Brian earlier, it was like a knee jerk decision to do it. And so I was like, I gotta learn about this now, so I started listening to all these podcasts about it and really started drinking the Kool Aid and I was so busy.

I don’t get much of a chance to do it like I should, but I’ve got just like debilitating ADHD. And so to get into the tank, it helps me just. Clarify, and really have a path of what I want to do. But people use it for all different things, so it’s probably a lot like what you do, right?

Like some people identify with it in a certain way. And the more exposure you have to that concept, the more you start to understand it and the more you start to believe in it, right? 

Brian Searl: Everything in life, right? Yeah, I don’t know if any of that stuff works, but I’m open to anything. 

Missy Fojtik: And that’s why I feel like I, I’m a bit of a cynic, but I always feel like I just want everything.

I want all, I want to see all the weird stuff. Like I want to see all the fringy stuff cause I’m a fringy person, what’s that? 

Brian Searl: Interesting. Like I was watching, I don’t know if you guys know Gary Vaynerchuk. He does a, it runs a big [00:46:00] marketing company. He’s really big on social media and stuff like that.

But I was watching one of his keynote speeches the other day and he was talking about oysters and he literally just asked the audience, he was up on a panel on stage, like how many people hate oysters. 60 percent of the people raised their hands. Keep your hands up. Now tell me how many people have ever tried an oyster, right?

And so it’s interesting to see how you can judge things and decide things without ever investigating or researching or whatever. 

Missy Fojtik: Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s why I feel like my place is going to finally give me time where I haven’t had a chance to do all that stuff. Cause I’ve been so busy having people come and do stuff and I’d be like, Hey, and then I’m going to trade you this for, a little bit of that or whatever.

And to be a voyeur, to all of that and just be able to, have it in my own home. It’s probably like people who want to lamp in their own house. You want to just do something in the comfort of your own home sometimes. 

Brian Searl: So where do you guys go from here? We’ve got about nine minutes left, so you can each have four and a half minutes.

Missy Fojtik: Let’s see, what are you coming to Michigan for, Amanda? 

Amanda Venezia: We’re just doing a road [00:47:00] trip. Road trip. We’re trying to do all 50 states, so we only have maybe 15 or so left. Michigan’s one of them. 

Missy Fojtik: Do you want any recommend local recommendations on what to do in the area? 

Amanda Venezia: Totally. You can definitely.

Missy Fojtik: Are you gonna do top to bottom? Are you doing the hand? Because Michigan’s like this, it’s like a hand, they call it the glove, and then this. 

Amanda Venezia: I want to do as much as we can, I know she wanted to go to some kind of island thing, 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, 

Amanda Venezia: If you said it, I’d know it, but 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I know what it is.

It’s where the Grand Hotel is and everything. 

Brian Searl: Mackinac Islander.

Missy Fojtik: Mackinac Island, yeah. 

Brian Searl: I just want to point out, while they talk about this for the next couple minutes for everybody who’s watching, this is one of the skills you should have as a hospitality owner, the ability to guide your people and help them with whatever they need.

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, okay. I’ll give you a breakdown. So are you gonna do top to bottom or are you just heading straight to Mackinac? 

Amanda Venezia: I would say probably top to bottom. I mean we have five days, so So I think we’ll try to do it. 

Missy Fojtik: I would say your weather is still gonna be proper crap in the UP, which is this.[00:48:00] 

This area, it snows there. Like I went to school there and in October the snow is over the top, the stop sign. So you know, once you’ve seen the Great Lakes, they’re just, they look like oceans. They’re so big. So if you’re gonna go to Mackinac Island, like Traverse City 

Amanda Venezia: Yes. 

Missy Fojtik: Is like really great.

Is that on your list? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. 

Missy Fojtik: Okay so by the time you go to Mackinac and you go to Traverse City and you go to Daydreamer, that’s really all you have time for. 

Amanda Venezia: Where are you located? Like in the 

Missy Fojtik: Okay, so if I’m on the hand, Traverse City is like right here. I’m right here. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. 

Missy Fojtik: Are you driving or are you flying?

Amanda Venezia: We are driving. We’re doing a road trip, so we’ll have to fly. 

Brian Searl: You’re out of Michigan, so you have to go past her at some point. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I would have to look at a map like, but I think if you just come this way. is what I would do, right? And then where do you go from Michigan?

Amanda Venezia: We haven’t really decided yet.

Maybe Chicago, maybe North Dakota. I would really, I don’t know. The world is gonna. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. If you start at the top and go around, you [00:49:00] go to Chicago, right? If you go here and you’re up at Mackinac and go around this way, you’re in Wisconsin. 

Brian Searl: But if she comes down the west side of Michigan through Traverse City, you’re straight down from Traverse City.

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: and loops around to Chicago and she’s fine. 

Missy Fojtik: Chicago, if you hit it right with the traffic, you can get to Chicago, like from my place, in two hours. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. It’s gonna take a long time. A lot more to drive there. . 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I know. I’m like five days. You wanna try to do all that in five days?

Amanda Venezia: That I have nine, but I’m just saying by the time we get there, it’s probably gonna take a whole day to drive out there. So yeah, we love or trips . 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. Fun. I’ll have my pool open by then. So you can come lay by the pool. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: I’m gonna take your time. Take a traveler. I dunno if you guys are, but like we, 

Amanda Venezia: I’m a big traveler, so 

Brian Searl: we went to Iceland in September.

Amanda Venezia: And there’s three times, I cannot get enough of it. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, 

Brian Searl: everybody kept telling us go around the ring or the whole ring road and the ring road. Like you have, we’re there for two weeks, like 12, 12 days, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Right before the [00:50:00] volcano. 

Brian Searl: And we realized we realized like if we were going to go around the ring road and see, we would’ve had to drive like four to six hours a day.

I don’t want to do that. So we just did the whole side, the South side of the island and up through the peninsula by the glacier and then we’ll go back. 

Missy Fojtik: I do have to tell you though, my husband’s from the Czech Republic and to go to Croatia. And so to go from the Czech Republic to Croatia, you have to go through Slovenia.

And I said gosh, if we’re going to go through Slovenia, let’s like check some stuff out and see what’s in Slovenia. And he was like, Oh, there’s nothing. Slovenia, just we’ll go to Croatia, like classic Eastern European. And I got a book, ’cause I, every time we go somewhere, I get another book and I read it cover to cover and I, ’cause I just do that one country, right?

And so this time I was like, let’s stop, take a little extra time. And I was on maternity leave at the time actually. And so we went to Slovenia and it. Amazing. It was so great, but he would never have given it a second thought, but it’s like learning about things too, or talking to someone about what you should do.

Brian Searl: But it’s also like where you grow up, whatever’s [00:51:00] closer to you and people don’t realize how close Europe is to all the other countries, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, it is. It is. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: But you grow up by it. Like I lived in Florida for a few years and like when we moved there, we were nine miles, we were in Ormond Beach, north of Daytona.

When we move there, we’re gonna go to the beach every day. We’re gonna go to Disney World all the time. We’re 45 minutes away from it. Like three times and you’re bored. And then everybody who flies down there is let’s go to this. Really? You want to go to Disney World? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh my God. 

Brian Searl: It was wherever you move is my point.

Like whatever’s closer to you. 

Missy Fojtik: That’s why I feel so bad for people in the Midwest. Cause it’s just, there’s not, there’s no skiing here. There’s not a lot of good rock hounding. There’s not, there’s just, they don’t have a lot. I don’t know, like to offer and then you get out here there’s really great biking trails, right?

If you like fishing, there’s really great fishing. People love hunting out here, but it’s hard, for like little kids because it’s a lot of the same scenery, and everything’s that, the same people, same currency, whatever. You go to Europe and you can go through three countries, in a day.

Brian Searl: Yeah, I’ve driven all over. Like I’ve been to all, like I spent years bootstrapping my company in the beginning, driving around in the [00:52:00] Jeep with my girlfriend at the time, stepdaughter. And so I went through it all looks the same to me, right? Generally 

speaking, shopping 

Missy Fojtik: No way! You know what?

Me and Andre together, we’ve been to 53 countries. You have to, you gotta go, you gotta go where it’s gritty. 

Brian Searl: Oh no, I to be clear I know there’s different pieces of this I like, I haven’t done all the country travel yet, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Speaking from the United States perspective on the main roads 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, yeah.

Brian Searl: and local towns is what I mean. Yeah. It’s the same. There are things to do. There doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to visit those places, right? Generally speaking. Optics. We don’t have the same scenery yet. Alright, we’ve got two minutes left. Amanda, do you want to add anything to your I feel like I asked about future plans and then we went off onto something else that’s more valuable.

Amanda Venezia: I touched on that. Future plans. Definitely retreats. For me. But yeah. No, I’m super I can’t wait. I’m definitely going to stop by. Missy I’m excited for that and yeah, I, good luck with everything. I can’t wait to see you. 

Missy Fojtik: Seriously, best of luck. And if you [00:53:00] ever have anything you have a question about, feel free to call me and I’m happy to weigh in and look forward to meeting you and reiking together.

Amanda Venezia: Yes. Totally. 

Missy Fojtik: Awesome. Thanks, Brian. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, you’re welcome. Let’s just wrap it up a couple minutes early here. Thank you guys for joining us for another episode of MC Fireside Chats. We will be back next week with our Campground Auto Focus episode, hopefully with a few more guests that will show up due to the holidays being a little bit more over, but thank you guys.

It was a great show. Like I really enjoyed the back and forth between you guys. I got to figure out ways to encourage that more, I think, between our guests because there’s a lot of value that I think you both unlock with each other that there’s way more value than we talk. So thank you guys. I appreciate it.

I wish you all the best of luck with both of your businesses. We’ll follow up soon. Have a great time. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. Thank you. 

Missy Fojtik: Bye. 

[00:54:00] 

[00:00:00] 

Brian Searl: Welcome everybody to another episode of [00:01:00] MC Fireside Chats. My name is Brian Searl with Insider Perks. Super excited to be here with you for a, well, the first episode of 2024. I was gonna say another, but the first episode of 2024 for a glamping focused show. Normally, we have a bunch of recurring guests here, but I guess everybody just decided to take more time off for the holidays.

I don’t know how I get a cushy job like that, or I can take off till January 10th, but I’m gonna try to figure out how I secure that. But in the meantime, we’ve got two special guests here. We’ve got Amanda from Glampology, and did I get it right, Misty from Daydreamer Domes? Missy, are you frozen? I think Missy’s frozen.

Okay. Missy, hopefully we’ll be back and join us in a few minutes, but we’ve got Amanda here from Glampology. Amanda, how long, let’s just briefly introduce yourself and we’ll figure out how we’re going to fill an hour here. I don’t know how we’re going. 

Amanda Venezia: Hahaha 

I’m Amanda. I just started Glampology last year.

Pretty much my inspiration was when I went glamping under canvas out in Yellowstone two years [00:02:00] ago and, know, being like, in Boston where weather doesn’t cooperate, it’s, it was a little difficult to envision a big campground here. But after looking for land and stuff, I got a little bit stuck and ended up going with the mobile glamping route.

So that’s what I currently do here in Boston. And since it’s a break with the winter weather, I started doing indoors glamping parties for kids. So it’s what I’m doing right now. 

Brian Searl: So when you say a couple of directions, right, we have to save an hour. We’re going to talk to you anyway. So when you say indoor glamping, what does that mean?

Amanda Venezia: So I have these little indoor teepee tents which I call little glamping tents and I bring mattresses and blankets and linens and a little decor so that kids can enjoy essentially glamping inside. It’s been a huge hit with the little ones grateful for 

that. 

Brian Searl: Very nice. Oh so you got started in Boston.

You were, you [00:03:00] wanted to originally do talk to us through your original dreams that you wanted to do. Not saying it was different to what your dreams are now, but back then, right? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, so when I went glamping in Yellowstone I came home and I was like, wow, this is something that I would love to bring here to New Hampshire or somewhere in the outskirts of Boston.

But land was really hard to find and it’s just me. So I was doing it on my own. And it was just, it was really difficult. So I changed my route and went the mobile route. Initially, my biggest dream would be doing weddings and stuff and having some land where I can set up some glamping tents and people can rent that out for that.

But right now I’m focusing on just mobile and it’s been working so far, so we’ll see. 

Brian Searl: That’s awesome. There’s nothing wrong with pivoting, right? I pivot probably seven times a day and do U turns and drive the wrong way down a street that I’m supposed to drive the other way on, right?

Metaphorically speaking, right? So yeah, that’s [00:04:00] interesting. Like I’ve heard obviously of the mobile glamping. Missy was talking to you a little bit about it before. She’s familiar before the show started with mobile glamping. And so I just never heard the indoor thing, but that seems… it seems like a really good way to get the younger generation interested in glamping without necessarily being hauled outside too, right?

Amanda Venezia: Right, right. And like I said, weather doesn’t always cooperate out here. That’s always a backup plan. If someone also rented a outdoor tent during the summer months, we can always bring it inside. Yeah it was a huge directional change, but it’s worked out in so far.

Brian Searl: The weather isn’t properly right now either. It is I’m in Calgary, Canada. It is negative 20 degrees Celsius here today, which in United States language is negative four degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah, it’s not warm here. Otherwise I would be outside. I was talking to my business development representative on Slack this morning.

She’s like, you’re not going to do the show from outside today. I was like, well, is that a challenge? Give me 500 bucks. And I’m a little like I’ve been skiing and learned how to do that when it was negative 25. [00:05:00] So I’ve got the gear, but anyway, she wouldn’t give me 500 bucks. She just laughed at me.

Here I am with my little cuddly puppy dog. This is the only reason people watch the show, I know. Anyway, Missy, welcome back. 

Missy Fojtik: Yes, thank you. 

Sorry, my child came in and turned off my monitor for me. Yeah, thanks. Thanks for having me. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, you’re welcome. Tell us a little bit about what you have going on.

Missy Fojtik: My project is called Daydreamer Domes. We have been at it over there for about three years. I bought an old golf course and I rescued it and it had not been a golf course in probably eight or nine years. Built 20 geodesic domes. They’re gold. We’ve got a pink pool that’s surrounded by 20, 000 square feet of astroturf.

We’ve got modified containers and we rehabbed the old clubhouse. So inside the clubhouse, we’re going to be running a tea house. And we’ve got a couple of sensory deprivation tanks, a speakeasy, and a little store. We’re just a small team and just, you know, we’re moving every day, so [00:06:00] we should be open this summer.

Brian Searl: I feel like you said. Like I run a glamping resort and this and this and this. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I overdid it. 

Brian Searl: But we’re just a small team. We’re just doing this. 

Missy Fojtik: Right.

Brian Searl: I feel like your ambitions are a little more than a small team. 

Missy Fojtik: What’s that? 

Brian Searl: I said I think your ambitions are a little bit bigger than a small team.

You’re maybe selling yourself short. 

Missy Fojtik: Well, I need a bigger team is probably what I need, but you know, we, I’m trying to be very thoughtful about everything that I do and I want it to look a certain way. It’s, a high level of design and we’ve really taken care with everything that we’ve done.

So while we are a team of three right now, I also have an army of subcontractors that do a lot of work for me as well. 

Brian Searl: So how did this get all started? How did you envision taking, you said taking over a golf course, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, so I have 

been glamping 

Brian Searl: I didn’t mean to interrupt you, I was just going to say, it’s an interesting opportunity because I’ve read for years about how golfing generally, from a sport perspective, is on the decline.

So I bet you there are a lot of these opportunities out there with this beautiful land. [00:07:00] 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, so my property is a golf course since the 20s, and it was designed by, really, a world renowned golf course architect at the time, and it just fell into a state of disrepair, so there was no really infrastructure, no electrical or anything like that, but what I did have is, you know, I inherited landscaping that was gorgeous.

I inherited a massive sprinkler system. We’re still mowing 65 acres right now and the other like 90 acres have just kind of… we’ve just let it grow and the people before us let it grow. So it’s a really interesting juxtaposition between, well maintained and Mad Max back there.

Brian Searl: When you decided to start here first off to look at the land, what was in your, what was in your mind? 

Missy Fojtik: Like I was going to say I’ve been glamping since before it was even really a thing. So I stayed in my first tent when I was in India and probably, I think it was like 2002 and it had a toilet in it.

And ever since then, I’ve always sought out unusual and unique places and I just fell in love with the [00:08:00] geodesic dome. I had no idea how hard those words build if you want to build them to meet, residential building code. But we’re there now. It has taken a long time. It has been quite a struggle, but The domes are awesome.

So I knew I wanted domes. And when I found this property, I’ve been watching it for years and it had a big drop in pricing. It was right around the pandemic time. So I just hopped on it because there was another property I’d looked at. I just, I couldn’t get it through permitting. I couldn’t get the township behind it.

Knowing now, I probably could have, it’s just all about how you word things sometimes, but I was able to do this in South Haven and… it’s 20 minutes from our home, so it’s close, and it’s just been really an incredible opportunity. 

Brian Searl: Awesome. So 

Where are you now? Where are you are you exactly where you want to be?

Of all the things that you listed, did you plan all that originally? Did you add as you go? Did you modify? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, yeah I modify. Like you were saying with pivoting, I modify multiple times a day. I change my mind a lot, and you, when you’re in a when 

Brian Searl: you’re building a speakeasy, right?

Because then you can’t be like, well, let me [00:09:00] just tear that up. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. You have to modify based on what’s allowed. And you have to modify based on the resources that you have and, what you can do within your space. And what I really built this for it was to be.

Like a conglomeration of a lot of different people’s efforts. Like we’re looking for like teachers and people that want to do little sideshows here where they can host classes. And, we’ve got private chef events. Like I really just felt the space for people to exercise their creative freedom.

So I’m a bit of an artist myself and really just, this is a venue that has just allowed me to let my crea- creative juices flow and that goes to everything else. Like this, the float tanks that was not initially on my list, but I found, I met a guy who was going to move to a tree house spa in Oregon and couldn’t take them up a tree with them.

So I got them used and boom, I had a couple of float tanks, and it’s just, it’s been pieces like that. I didn’t want to put a fence around my whole pool. So I decided, I put containers around it so I didn’t have to buy a fence. So I’ve got nine containers that surround my pool that I can use for, different [00:10:00] activities.

So I can use them as cabanas. I can use them as art studios. And you just lean into what assets you have and just start dreaming about what you can do with them. 

Brian Searl: Well, that’s true. Never let anything stop you if you want to accomplish something. Same thing with Amanda, right?

If you wanted to accomplish something in camping, you pivoted and here you are. 

Amanda Venezia: It’s awesome. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, you still have bigger plans, obviously. We all do, right?

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Some people don’t. Some people are happy where they’re at, but it feels like all three of us. 

Missy Fojtik: I want more, 

more, more. I just, I, if I had a million dollars a day, I could spend it very easily on all the dreams that I have.

And, so many people come over and say, “Oh, you could do this, you could do this.” But you have to curtail those, right? And say, what can I afford? And what’s realistic? 

Brian Searl: Well, and that’s the thing. 

I’ve been in business for, I’m not brave enough to own a glamping resort. Cause I couldn’t deal with the permitting and the council and all those people who I feel like don’t deserve to decide whatever I want to do with my land.

So I’m not brave enough to do that, but I have been, like I’ve been in business since 2009 and that’s the same thing the whole time. It never stops. It continues. It’s the,[00:11:00] I have all these ideas in my head. What can I realistically accomplish this year and next year and the next six months and whatever else.

And yeah, it’s one of the hardest things to learn is you can’t move as fast as you want to, sometimes. 

Missy Fojtik: That’s right. I have been wanting to be open for a year, and we finally just ripped the band-aid off and opened up the clubhouse this week, or last week. So we’re going to be open for floats and we’re doing our first float on Sunday.

Just, it’s a slow build, right? You have to get people to know who you are and get people on the door and the word spreads. 

Brian Searl: So how long 

have both of you been doing this, Amanda first? 

Amanda Venezia: I just started last year. 

Brian Searl: That’s okay. That’s better than all the people who have never started. Don’t say just started, you actually did it.

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. In my head, I was only planning it about six months and then I was like, you know what, now’s the time. And yeah, so I opened, I got like my business license and all that in October and my first rental was June of last year. So. I 

Brian Searl: I [00:12:00] mean, that’s awesome. Like I, again, we’re going to try to fill an hour here, so I might pontificate a little bit where I normally would just defer to my guests.

But I think that’s. I think that’s really an important thing when you talk about an entrepreneur or a business owner to think about. Because a lot of people who start their own business will sit there and say, “Well, I’ve only been doing it six months or a year or two years or five years or whatever.”

But the sheer amount of people who only envision it and never do it is mind blowing, like… 

Missy Fojtik: Absolutely. 

Brian Searl: Billions of people, right? 

Amanda Venezia: Thank you. Yeah, I think being in the mindset of being okay to fail, I think was. where I needed to be. And, if I was okay with failing, if it had done that, then I was okay to start.

And I think that’s, a hard position to get yourself in, but once you’re there, I think it opens a lot of doors. So at least for me, that’s how I looked at it. 

Brian Searl: I think I completely agree with you. Missy, do you agree? 

Missy Fojtik: Agreed. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Yeah.[00:13:00] 

Missy Fojtik: I personally, I’ve had a lot of different business ideas.

I have, I, this is, this is the big one for me, but I’ve had a lot of things I started and didn’t finish. A lot of things that, I was dreaming about doing, but it just takes that special. Special time and special thing to really just make you kick in and go 

for it. 

Brian Searl: Well, but I think what she’s talking about too, and again, we’re going to get back to glamping, talking about glamping business.

But I think what’s really important to talk about the failing aspect of it. Cause you have to be like, to me, failing is a win because that just shows me how not to do it. And, but it like, it’s one of the hardest things to deal with because I still like, every time I fail. Even though I know that’s a learning experience, and in six hours I’ll be fine, when I fail and get the email that a client is leaving, or unhappy, or they didn’t accept my proposal and chose somebody else, or whatever whatever happens.

The guy didn’t accept the job, or hundreds of different things, right? Then that’s you kind of kick yourself and wonder, could I have done something better? But then I get over it now I get over it in a couple hours, right? But previously I would just dwell, and you figure, you try, you [00:14:00] overanalyze, and you self doubt.

And those are the kinds of things that make, that handicap a lot of people from moving forward, I think, with whatever their dreams are, is that 

fear. 

Missy Fojtik: That’s true. And you get to some point where you’re too busy to worry and too busy to, just do. 

Brian Searl: Yeah. And that certainly helps with it, right?

That certainly helps because at the same time, your failures are coming in, your wins are coming in. But yeah, it’s definitely, so glamping. When did you all I know you said, Missy, you’ve been glamping for a long time and we know that it’s been much more popular overseas. I don’t know about India specifically, you said, but I know in the UK they’ve been glamping for a very long time.

In South Africa, I think it’s been a huge thing for a long time. They’ve got some big manufacturers over there and things like that. But when did you first decide that you felt like this was a good business opportunity for you? Both of them are 

the same question, but yeah. 

Amanda Venezia: I’m probably the long, the worst person to ask.

Cause I just, I literally came back from Yellowstone and was like, I need to do this. Like I need. I need [00:15:00] to do this somehow, and I didn’t have, I have a full time job, I don’t have a ton of resources, but I think that drive of how much I loved it and how much I really like to especially get children outside, I’ve done a lot of Mission work, especially in Africa and just seeing kids who are out every single day because they don’t even have a roof over their heads and bringing that to communities here is, was really important to me.

And, I was never a glamper. I never really even liked camping. But then I started doing it and I went to the glamping convention out in Colorado all by myself and met so many people. That’s just that was so inspirational because you surrounded yourself with people who are like minded and here I didn’t really have that.

And when I went out there, it just almost solidified every, all my dreams. And I think that’s just [00:16:00] how it went. And it was just the energy that I got back from that. I put it in, I literally. Buy my tents the next day from someone that was there and I was like, you know what this is my money to lose and I’m gonna go for it.

So that’s how I did it Which probably isn’t the most genius thing, but it worked for me and 

Brian Searl: It’s genius if it worked for you. Missy, I want to get to your answer, but give me one second. So Amanda We talked about, you introduced yourself briefly, but talk us through what Glampology is and how it works.

Like I know you said you do a little bit of the indoor stuff, but what does it look like in the summer? What is your? 

Amanda Venezia: So in the summer I’ve been doing people’s homes where I will set up one of the big bell tents and I put up to six air mattresses in there. Again, that comes with linens some small decor and they have it overnight or two nights, whatever they would like.

And then, I pick it back up and I bring it back home and, again, I started [00:17:00] last summer. So June was my first rental, which was an out of state rental. And then I was… Honestly, just through social media, booked every single weekend in the summer, all the way to almost October. And that was just, I couldn’t ask for a better year.

And when I was doing that, people were asking, oh, so many questions about, “Can I put this tent inside?” And I’m like, “You can’t.” And it was so hard to explain how actually, how big it is because people out here aren’t really used to this concept yet. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, 

Amanda Venezia: and 

Brian Searl: it looks on the internet. 

Amanda Venezia: On the internet, it looks tiny.

They were like, “Can I put that in my basement?” I’m like, “No, you can’t.” so then I was like if I keep getting these kind of questions, what could I put in someone’s basement? Which brought me to the indoor stuff during the winter months, which again is just the little tent teepees that people are doing and I’m calling it glamping.

And that’s been working so far. 

Brian Searl: We’ve had so many discussions on this show about what the definition of glamping is. Is it camping? Is it glamping? Is it luxury camping? Is it, [00:18:00] and everybody calls it a different term for a different situation. And I don’t think there really is a definition. So go ahead.

Call it whatever you want, right? There’s no rule. But so where do you want to, where’s your ideal, like where do you want to take this in the next couple years? Do you want to keep, do you want to add more tents? Do you want to hire more staff? Are you happy with how you are now? 

Amanda Venezia: I never thought that I thought one rental was going to be successful in my eyes and I booked a whole summer.

So now I’m like what can I do next summer? And I’ve been, ideally, I would really like to do some retreats for women. I’m also Reiki certified, so I really like that kind of stuff. And maybe if we could bring some communities like moms and stuff together and do some retreats like that would be something that I’d really like to do for this summer.

That’s a goal. And obviously a goal is to get more rentals in a weekend out to, do two or three and ideally, my, like I said, I would love to do weddings, so it’s always in the back of my mind to look at land once in a while I’m not, I really want to get my name out there and a reputation before I [00:19:00] start something like that, but it’s just been working and I’m grateful.

Brian Searl: You’ll get there again, step by step. But I think your name is out there pretty well, and people have a lot of respect if you’re book every weekend, right? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: It’s going well for you.

Amanda Venezia: It did. It did. It’s nerve wracking about next year, I think it’s when you see something working, you’re like, how can I make this even bigger and better? And. Retreats would be a great thing and something I would really like to do. So that’s my goal for this year.

Brian Searl: It sounds like you’re on the right path again. Like I’m only one person and I have an opinion, right? It doesn’t mean I’m right or wrong. I could be wrong, but probably, yeah. But anyway like we’ve talked a lot about the experiences and experiential hospitality on the show too. And so I think that you’re headed in that right direction where I think.

And I don’t know the glamping industry as well as someone who would own it or operate the glamping show conference like David Kors does, or Ruben Riney, American Glamping Association, or things like that, right? But I think that what I took away from the last few years is that [00:20:00] glamping necessarily wasn’t overbuilt because we didn’t have really that huge market that the UK does.

But I think that people rushed into it really quickly and some had great plans and some had okay plans and some had terrible plans. And a lot of it was based on financing that was completely different two years ago than it is today. And I think that what people are finding now as we head into an uncertain, more uncertain economy than we have now, I think.

is you have to set yourself apart somehow. You can’t just throw up some tents, right? And whether that is the, I’m going to work locally and put it up in someone’s yard, because that’s not something hundreds of people are doing for now, or that’s the rekey, or that’s the speakeasy, or that’s the whatever, right?

I think that’s the answer, is how am I different? Because everybody can have a bell tent, but how do I make that experience in the bell tent different and unique? Would you agree with that, Missy? 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I tell you I was going to say, too, you have to work within your local regulations because I will tell you there are a lot of people who’ve had a lot of really amazing ideas and then have [00:21:00] even built things that are really incredible that won’t pass, fire inspection or won’t pass, you’re, you have to have a parking lot, like what people think they can just throw a tent somewhere, but if you’re going to leave it there permanently and the authorities find out about it, they’re going to make you have parking, they’re going to make you have a lot, a lot of things that you probably hadn’t anticipated.

So it’s people, that, have the dreams, which I fully support, but you got to make sure that you do it within the, the regulations, unfortunately. 

Brian Searl: Which is why. 

Missy Fojtik: So I know California has cracked down like substantially, and they’ve shut down tons of glamping places. 

Brian Searl: Which is why I’m not brave enough to ever own a glamping resort.

I can’t do it. I get frustrated with the rules around my service business 

for marketing. 

Missy Fojtik: I’m telling you, pitchforks when I came in and fire and brimstone. And honestly, I went through everything on my own. You just have to know how to speak to the planning commission because you have to be able to read between the lines, right?

And say they didn’t call this out. So if I can make what I want to do fit into these boxes, if I can word it in such a way that they don’t have any objections. [00:22:00] Then, there’s a chance I can get it approved. But it’s really spending the time to analyze what the restrictions and the, the codes are.

So you try to get a geodesic dome approved in the state of Michigan… I did it, I did it by myself, so I did not hire a huge team of people to do it, but I just went at it in the best way that I could. And every time they said no I went back and I thought about it and I came back at it until, I finally got good at it.

The other day I had the inspector come over and he went through, cause we just got our building final inspected and he went into a bathroom and he said, your toilet is off by a quarter of an inch. And I was like a quarter of an inch. I was like what do you want me to do about that? He said, you’re going to have to get a new toilet.

And I was like, he said or you can get a new toilet seat. And I said, these are made for the toilet. I can’t get a new toilet seat for this. And he was like you’re going to have to get a new toilet. And then I thought about it. And I said, what about if I got like a spacer? To put under that toilet seat that could raise it a quarter of an inch and he said that would be fine and you know what you have to realize that those are the kind of people that you’re dealing with. They are not going to lead you to [00:23:00] water; they’re gonna let you hang yourself because it’s one last place that they have to inspect right and you know if it’s and it really it’s not just that person in particular, he’s just trying to do his job, right?

And he’s watching in case somebody else is watching, but you have to figure out how you’re going to get your thing done, and that’s the tenacity of being an entrepreneur, really, in my 

opinion. 

Brian Searl: For sure. There’s so many things that are involved in it. A lot of people it’s been glorified over the last five or six years, but a lot of people think it’s just showing up and ordering your employees around and then going home and collecting a check, and it’s not really like that, right?

Missy Fojtik: No, do you know how many people have applied with me that they want to be the person that goes out and makes the connections? And they do not want to get their hands dirty. I’m routinely in that mud myself. Like I’m doing those floors myself. There’s things that I’m doing. I’m not afraid of work.

But a lot of people who have come and really they just they want the glory of it. I say it’s as sexy as owning a weed business now. Do you remember when that was starting? I don’t know. You know where you guys are what your rules are, but they’re in Michigan There’s one on every [00:24:00] corner, but when it first started and it was happening in Michigan, but not Chicago It was everybody’s cousin or brother or someone was like trying to get into the business and you know trying to be a partner somewhere And it’s just that it doesn’t work like that.

You still have to have a business mind. You know? So 

Brian Searl: I don’t 

want to get us too far off the path here But I do want to know What is the danger of having a toilet seat that is a quarter inch off kilter? What could it be? 

Missy Fojtik: I’ll tell you it’s ADA, it’s ADA regulations, which you think would be very clear cut, but they’re different from.

Area to area. So I still, if, if I had known, I bought a toilet seat that said it was ADA approved. ADA approved in what state? I have no idea, but not my state. So 

Brian Searl: It’s, yeah, that’s interesting. That’s just stuff I couldn’t deal with, right? Every city, every jurisdiction, every County has different rules and regulations.

Missy Fojtik: It is incredibly frustrating, but you have to realize if you want to play the game, then play it, right? Play the game in your own way, but know that the game is afoot and [00:25:00] don’t be playing checkers when everybody else is playing chess. And it took me years to get to that point where I was like, “Oh, I understand what’s happening.”

You guys are screwing me, but it takes a little bit, like I, I never spoken in front of a planning commission before, and I didn’t realize when they ask you, when they ask a question, just say, I don’t know what this is going to look like. They’re not asking it for you to answer. They’re just thinking out loud.

If you answer, they’re just looking for information to hang you with. 

Brian Searl: I don’t know if they’re all, I don’t know if we can want all the planning commission 

people into that body. 

Missy Fojtik: No, no, no, no, not all the planning commission people. I’m just saying going through the process is supremely difficult and they’re operating within, 

Brian Searl: their own set of guidelines and who’s tried to screw them before to you and.

Missy Fojtik: Being a novice, you don’t know what you don’t know, and it depends on if your city wants something like that, and if that individual that’s voting wants something like that, 

Brian Searl: it’s, 

yeah, regulations are tough. I, as I was born in the United States, right? And so I’m, I live in Canada [00:26:00] now, but I lived there most of my life, and so I’m familiar with the political dynamic between the people who want more regulations and the people who don’t.

Maybe want less regulations than the people in the middle who like feel like we just want less regulations, but we still want to be safe in the planes Right and things like that And I think it’s interesting because the people who usually want less regulations also don’t want and I know this is oversimplifying But like the United Nations or stuff like that It would almost be easier to just have one government who owned everything and then they would all have the same toilets you type Do you get less regulation with more government?

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, no, 

I, it’s, it has really been an eye opener for me. I had no idea what went on. Even when we’re going through the permitting process, it’s almost it’s government, it’s big government on a little scale. Because if you’re doing it out in the country, it’s like you’re stacking the votes.

Which way do you think this one’s going to vote? Which way do you think this one’s going to vote? And it’s really it’s been fascinating and it’s been really fun. It’s been very frustrating, but it’s been a great learning experience, and honestly, [00:27:00] like I’ve been through things that, most people will never go through, but it’s been, a massive highs and massive lows.

That’s what being in business is. 

Brian Searl: What were some 

of the things you had to deal with, Amanda, when you were trying to start up your business? I know it’s different not owning the lake, but certainly there were 

still things 

Missy Fojtik: shipping delays. 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. I, I didn’t have too much. I think it was just how much I wanted to spend, how much I wanted to put out there.

And honestly I’d say how much time and energy was honestly my biggest hurdle because I do have a full time job and it was. Difficult to figure out if I wanted to leave that or if I could or I think that’s what was stressful for me. I didn’t have to go through many regulations. Definitely finding liability insurance was difficult.

Because out here, right? 

Brian Searl: What happens if the little child plays with the lighter and sets the tent on fire? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. And [00:28:00] here, no, I called six to ten places and they were like, what are you trying to do? And I was like, I, 

Brian Searl: That’s what happens in campgrounds and there’s 8, 000 of them in the U.

  1. 12, 000 or something in the U. S.

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, but they just could not grasp like what they’re insuring, essentially. That was honestly probably the biggest hurdle. And I did get a liability insurance. I still don’t even know if it really covers everything. 

Missy Fojtik: I just went with it. 

Brian Searl: They did it on a live show in front of the whole internet.

Amanda Venezia: But that, that honestly was probably my biggest hurdle. And just myself was my biggest hurdle as well. It’s just, everybody yapping in your ear and you being able to overcome what everybody else’s opinions were also was a hurdle for me. But no, I didn’t have any regulations with toilets or land or anything like that.

And, I’m sure if I get bigger, it will be harder. And I know looking into just doing this retreat, even down the street at [00:29:00] a senior center, I mean It was like 18 pages long of things that I have to make sure I have for this including parking and all, you just don’t think of that kind of stuff.

So I’m sure a lot more hurdles are going to come my way, but. 

Brian Searl: Well, all those are hurdles. So they’re all equal, right? Just because you have to deal with a planning commission versus dealing with paperwork. It’s all the same kind of, I’m an entrepreneur. I have to learn all this stuff. I have to understand what I have to go through and fix and not fix and know and not know and all those kinds of things.

And so I think it. There’s no less of a problem than any other problem that you have to go through, or learning experience that you have to go through, at least that’s my opinion of the whole process, so I don’t know if you guys share that, but I was probably going to lead somewhere, but my mind was totally blank.

Amanda Venezia: I definitely think too, like I said before, surrounding yourself with people who have done this, or just the energy, like I went to that convention, I went to a campground, er, I think it was a campground convention out in South Carolina. I’m [00:30:00] going to do the one in the UK in September.

Like I think just being around people who have the same energy is so important. At least it was for me. Cause I was like, okay, I’m not crazy. This has been done and these people have been successful and they’ve started just like I have with literally nothing. But your ideas. So I think 

Brian Searl: that’s good.

That’s actually what I was going to say is that it’s the same challenge you go through with the people tripping in your ear, right? People who don’t understand. Like my mother still doesn’t understand what I do. I have 26 years of experience. 

Missy Fojtik: My mother still calls my dad weird. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Like I think probably five or six years into the company, she was still trying to get me to work at a local hospital when you’re here as an IT person.

Mom. Like I have six employees, I’m fine. I don’t need to go quit my, right? But that’s, and that’s different, right? But that’s, it’s the chirping in the ear of the people who don’t understand. Don’t want to understand sometimes. And if you listen to those people, it’s just the same thing as the hesitation to fail.[00:31:00] 

Those like minded people who have done it before. And certainly there’s a grain of salt, like if you listen way both sides sometimes, right? But, yeah. That’s equally as challenging and frustrating, at least it was for me. Alright, what else are we going to talk about? We’ve got 26 minutes to fill up, guys.

Normally we have 4 or 5 other guests here, but So what is 

Missy Fojtik: We’re just lucky. We’ve got the floor, Amanda.

Amanda Venezia: I know. I guess, maybe, 

Brian Searl: what to hear me talk. Well, please, if you guys could just 

Missy Fojtik: Amanda, we can just interview each other. 

Amanda Venezia: I don’t know. I kind of wanted to Just, see pick your brain as to, 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, and I have a couple questions for you, too, so 

Brian Searl: Go for it, yeah, shoot.

Amanda Venezia: Just, did you have people saying, you know? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh my gosh. People thought I had lost my mind, so they’re like, what are you doing? You’ve got three kids and you’re moving to Michigan to do this glamping thing on this golf course. Like why? I’ve been in medical sales for [00:32:00] years, and honestly, like during COVID, I was, couldn’t get into the hospitals.

The kids are bouncing off the walls. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I can’t do this. Like I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life. Like it’s my time, right? Like I have sacrificed so much for, my kids, my job, whatever. And I was like, I want to do something that I want to do. That’s going to give me joy in my heart.

So that’s what speaking of. It’s a snow day today. And I want something that’s going to bring my kids joy. And something that can be like a legacy for our family. And they’re like, but I don’t understand you’re building a yurt. Like what, who is going to, how much are you going to charge for it?

So it’s there’s always people that question everything, and then they want you to, they want you to do it their way. And you’ve got to do some things on your own terms, so that’d be brave. 

Amanda Venezia: What you went through sounds like something I never want to do or can do. I’m strong.

Missy Fojtik: It will show you. Yeah. Thank you. It will show you what your metal is made of. And I will tell you, you’re starting with your indoor glamping. Like you can do [00:33:00] something like this. I’m not a rocket scientist, you know? It’s just, you have to figure it out. And if you’ve got, a couple

braincells, you’re good to go, just take it slow. So don’t overdo it. Like I’ve learned from me, I overdid it. I do have a question for you though about yours. So how much are you charging a night to bring that whole thing out? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. So back to the challenge, that was a challenge. Yeah, really have much competition.

There was one person way down in the Cape and then there was a one person that was much North in Massachusetts who was charging 725 a night. See, 

Missy Fojtik: I know how much it takes to set up those dome tents. Like, how many hours are you spending doing that? Checking it out there. 

Amanda Venezia: Six person tent in an hour and 15 minutes.

So is it 

Missy Fojtik: by yourself? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. So not that I like to, I did hire my little cousin, but I personally couldn’t charge that. I just don’t think it was worth that. 

Missy Fojtik: We wouldn’t pay that?

Amanda Venezia: [00:34:00] The 700, so I took 700 and then I called a couple places that were down in Rhode Island, which is the next state over, and they were charging about I think 4 or 5.

So I basically went with, I think I started at 300, just to get my name out there. But since it was so successful, I had a SCORE mentor who is like a small business mentor, and he was like, raise the price now. And I did. I went up to four and that seemed to be working. Right now I charge four a night and that’s up to us.

Missy Fojtik: Here’s where I’m at and big shout out to SCORE too. I use them as well. That’s a great It’s a great resource for people that are just getting started. My question is I’ve got, so my domes have bathtubs. They are almost 400 square feet. They have heat, they have AC and they’re like designed to the nines.

And I’ve got people pushing back when I’m like, and we’ve got a humongous, like heated pink pool, all these cabanas and the really, the funkiest like [00:35:00] clubhouse you’ve ever seen. And I’ll say, and we’re going to include breakfast and I’m like, Hey, I want to do this and I’ll include breakfast and I’d like to charge maybe four or 50 or 500 a night on the weekends.

And we’re right by the beach and people are like, Oh my God. Never, but then 

Amanda Venezia: Oh no, I’m thinking like, I would stay there very easily. 

Missy Fojtik: Well, and see, that’s what I need to find that people like that, because I’ve had, I haven’t, some older people in my life and they really just think it’s too much.

And because most of my community, I’ll be honest with you, it’s a lot of retirees out there. But in the summer, it’s a lot of everybody and we’re two hours from Chicago. And I’m like, I’ll catch you locals, some great deals. Cause we’re going to be open in the winter time too. And we’ll chop all those rates in half.

And just cause I want to find staff that I can keep going through the down season. I don’t want to have just a huge Rolodex of people that like, turn and burn every summer. I just want to have, like people I can depend on always, like I had a woman come over yesterday and I will tell you.

I’m hiring older people because a lot of the younger people I’ve seen them and I have three older, [00:36:00] younger people of my own. There’s not a lot of work ethic there, but there’s a lot of older people who just, they want to get out of the house. They want something to do. They’re not done yet, and honestly, I’ve had several women come to my place that are older and say, I want to be a part of this, right?

Like I want to volunteer. And that’s just it’s great. They see your vision and everything like that. I just think There’s a lot of upside with it. 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, and I think, for me and maybe, for you is to call, make a lot of phone calls. Make a lot of phone calls.

Missy Fojtik: That’s what we’re doing now. Yeah. 

Amanda Venezia: With campgrounds who are doing something similar, but also. Like the resorts and hotels who are matching almost what you’re offering and even though they’re a hotel if they’re charging 400 a night, why can’t you? I mean to me so I’ll be in Michigan in actually June so I will definitely come by

 

Missy Fojtik: Okay. Amanda coming uh-huh 

Amanda Venezia: For me, coming from Boston like People would pay that here, but again, you have to see what [00:37:00] people around you are, their financial status too.

Missy Fojtik: But so did you read the glamping report? 

Amanda Venezia: I know that they put one out when I was at the convention. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh it’s awesome. Brian, have you read it? 

Brian Searl: I’ve read some of it. Yeah. We report. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, it’s great. Like they do one every year and the lady who writes it is like the CEO of Oh, who is it?

Isn’t it like 

Amanda Venezia: Marriott? Marriott? I know Marriott people. 

Missy Fojtik: No, no, it’s not. It’s a campground. What is it called? KOA, but so the KOA has its own little like glamping test site that they’re doing, but they did the whole report. So they did the first report. Yeah. They did it in 22 and every year, I just I scour that thing through and I read every detail cause their information is spot on and domes command a higher price point.

Yeah. Than anything else, because let’s face it, everyone’s got I always call it the four walls of a Marriott, like a lot of people haven’t ever experienced sleeping in something round, and your bell tents are like that too, so you give people like a unique, unique accommodation, you can [00:38:00] afford to charge more for it, but you’re like, where, what’s that, where’s that sweet spot?

I don’t know. Have you considered doing food with yours? Any activities with it? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah this summer I’m going to offer like a picnic type thing. With like little cushions and stuff because that’s in right now. 

I think it’s more going to be like, I will set up the picnic and they’ll have to be responsible for food because I just don’t.

Want that liability right now. 

Missy Fojtik: There’s a place here in South Haven and they set these gorgeous like boho beach picnics on the public beach. They bring the stuff, the people pay. 69 or 79 a night just, or I’m not a night, just to go and sit on a pillow. The only thing that provides a sparkling water, they have to bring everything else.

And they have the option to buy like a charcuterie board for them or whatever. People want to sit in a beautiful environment, right? They don’t care so much what they’re doing. It’s if they’re in something that’s wonderful, you can have something small for entertainment, like we’re going to do palm Readers, and we’ve got people doing like foraging walks and stuff like that, but [00:39:00] just to give you like, there’s a lot of like people you can subcontract with just to come and say, “Hey, you want to come read palms over here for, like an hour, how much would you charge me?”

That would love to do a little side hustle like that. And that just builds so much value, cause you can say, I’m offering 

Brian Searl: Do you screen the Palm Readers to make sure they actually can tell fortunes correctly? 

Missy Fojtik: I had a party a couple of years ago, and I had a friend come and pretend to be a palm reader, and I had an actual palm reader there, and you know what?

People just want to be entertained. 

Brian Searl: Oh, I agree. 

Missy Fojtik: Do you think any of them are for real? 

Amanda Venezia: I want to hear what you 

Brian Searl: Like, I don’t know that palm reading is fake. I haven’t 

Missy Fojtik: I don’t know it’s fake either, it’s about making that connection. 

Brian Searl: Sorry, I didn’t interrupt you guys. You were having a good conversation.

I’ll shut up again. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh no. So here’s my thing. If you’re going to have that business where you’re doing it inside, how much do you charge for inside?

Amanda Venezia: Insides right now, 200. They have to have. Two. So 200 for two and then each additional is 30. But for me, it’s so much [00:40:00] easier. Yeah, I’m there for a half an hour versus an hour and 15 and it takes half the time to take down.

So to me, that’s worth that money. And people are going crazy over it and not just mine, but other people are doing it here too. And, 

Missy Fojtik: You should, oh, gee, I have a good idea for you. What about setting it up at a hotel? People do that on the hotel balconies. They do it in Chicago and they charge a ton for it.

So they’ll put it like where the penthouse is and they’ll set it up on their like terrace or something and then add an extra grand to it. 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. It’s all about the add ons, you know? The connections I’ve made, I had a charcuterie lady. So I was offering that. I had a balloon lady that was doing, making balloon arches for the tents and people were just loving it.

So it’s funny how something. Can just branch out just from social media and things like that. 

Missy Fojtik: You feel like, so here’s my thing, I feel like we’re entering into a new kind of era and things will come in and come out and I feel like the charcuterie [00:41:00] board has had its day. And I feel like we need to find something new.

Have you seen the Butterboards? 

Amanda Venezia: But I like butter if it has 

Missy Fojtik: Beautiful things with butter and then have all these different like breads and it’s got like flowers and nuts and stuff in it. Those are really cool. You just have to keep watching your Pinterest. Yeah. How’s your feed? 

Amanda Venezia: That’s true. I don’t do a lot on that, but I need to get involved in like TikTok and stuff for sure.

Missy Fojtik: I try, I literally just got 200 followers like yesterday because I finally figured out that I’ve been tagging stuff wrong. There was one group that I wanted to be in and it was like, South Haven Douglas Recommended. And I swear I had post on there and I kept thinking, Oh, somebody there doesn’t like me because they never put my stuff up.

Like I’ll put it in there and they, I don’t ever see it. And then I figured out. I read the rules and it said you must say what city your business is in. So nobody knew what my business was [00:42:00] or where it was. So I was just getting deleted. So I finally said I was in, South Haven. 

Brian Searl: I thought you were following all the rules and details and all that stuff.

Missy Fojtik: Oh, no I’m, no, I’m horrible. I’m petrified. I’m getting red tagged or shut down. That is mine. I’ve seen it happen to people. I do not want that happening to me. So yeah, I know everything else. 

Amanda Venezia: You gotta get on those mom groups too. Those are, yeah, I’ve, 

Missy Fojtik: girls trips too. I think I want to get into girls trips.

So I love your idea about doing retreats. And I have talked to a lot of people that do like metaphysical work because a lot of those, that kind of thing happens within. A retreat. You’re a Reiki certified, right? Like we’re talking to a Reiki person right now. I’ve never done Reiki before. I’m super interested in it.

Why don’t you include Reiki in it? You’re a practitioner, 

Amanda Venezia: but there was no bites to that one, but that’s okay. 

Brian Searl: You have to be there longer than 30 minutes, but you want to be longer than 30 minutes. You have to be there [00:43:00] longer. 

Missy Fojtik: How long is a Reiki session? I have no idea. 

Amanda Venezia: You can do it like 15 minutes to an hour to two hours.

People. You can go for a long time. 

Brian Searl: I’ve done one time in Banff. Did you? It was a combination of that and like a meditation thing. They had us, it was me and a woman, a girl I used to date. We laid down at a table in a dark room or something and they did both at the same time or I don’t know.

I was the most reluctant. 

Missy Fojtik: And then do they like, is it’s like energy healing, right? 

Brian Searl: They don’t touch you.

Missy Fojtik: No, they just put their hands around you. And absorb the energy. 

Amanda Venezia: It’s wild, the stuff you pick up. It really is. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, I’m sure. I’m sure. I would like to do it one day. How long did it take you to get certified?

Amanda Venezia: The course was like a couple days or something like that. It was super easy. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, you don’t feel like it was like a gift that you were born with? It’s something you can just, anybody, like I could learn to do Reiki if I want to? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah, of course. I think you have to be in that kind of mindset for sure.

Yeah and believe in it and [00:44:00] believe that it works. That’s not for everyone. So I think if you can believe it and yeah, I’ve done it a couple of times where I’ve picked on someone’s health condition and that was. 

Yeah. So 

Missy Fojtik: that’s cool. I took to a friend the other day and her sister is a like a medium.

And every time, she sees like a extra, like some sort of a spirit and she has to close it. It like goes into her body and then it makes her really weak. It brings her energy down. I didn’t know. I’ve never heard anybody tell me a story about a family member that did something like that before. So it’s so foreign to me.

I think it’s, I’m fascinated by all of it, but you always have to, be there for yourself to see it. I’ll tell you what, I’ll trade you a Reiki session for a float tank when you’re in Michigan. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. That sounds great. 

Missy Fojtik: Have you floated before? 

Amanda Venezia: I have not. I have not. That and ice bath has been on my list to do 

Missy Fojtik: yeah, floating is so cool. So I had only floated like probably five or six times before I got these [00:45:00] tanks. And it was. Like just a, like I said, Brian earlier, it was like a knee jerk decision to do it. And so I was like, I gotta learn about this now, so I started listening to all these podcasts about it and really started drinking the Kool Aid and I was so busy.

I don’t get much of a chance to do it like I should, but I’ve got just like debilitating ADHD. And so to get into the tank, it helps me just. Clarify, and really have a path of what I want to do. But people use it for all different things, so it’s probably a lot like what you do, right?

Like some people identify with it in a certain way. And the more exposure you have to that concept, the more you start to understand it and the more you start to believe in it, right? 

Brian Searl: Everything in life, right? Yeah, I don’t know if any of that stuff works, but I’m open to anything. 

Missy Fojtik: And that’s why I feel like I, I’m a bit of a cynic, but I always feel like I just want everything.

I want all, I want to see all the weird stuff. Like I want to see all the fringy stuff cause I’m a fringy person, what’s that? 

Brian Searl: Interesting. Like I was watching, I don’t know if you guys know Gary Vaynerchuk. He does a, it runs a big [00:46:00] marketing company. He’s really big on social media and stuff like that.

But I was watching one of his keynote speeches the other day and he was talking about oysters and he literally just asked the audience, he was up on a panel on stage, like how many people hate oysters. 60 percent of the people raised their hands. Keep your hands up. Now tell me how many people have ever tried an oyster, right?

And so it’s interesting to see how you can judge things and decide things without ever investigating or researching or whatever. 

Missy Fojtik: Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s why I feel like my place is going to finally give me time where I haven’t had a chance to do all that stuff. Cause I’ve been so busy having people come and do stuff and I’d be like, Hey, and then I’m going to trade you this for, a little bit of that or whatever.

And to be a voyeur, to all of that and just be able to, have it in my own home. It’s probably like people who want to lamp in their own house. You want to just do something in the comfort of your own home sometimes. 

Brian Searl: So where do you guys go from here? We’ve got about nine minutes left, so you can each have four and a half minutes.

Missy Fojtik: Let’s see, what are you coming to Michigan for, Amanda? 

Amanda Venezia: We’re just doing a road [00:47:00] trip. Road trip. We’re trying to do all 50 states, so we only have maybe 15 or so left. Michigan’s one of them. 

Missy Fojtik: Do you want any recommend local recommendations on what to do in the area? 

Amanda Venezia: Totally. You can definitely.

Missy Fojtik: Are you gonna do top to bottom? Are you doing the hand? Because Michigan’s like this, it’s like a hand, they call it the glove, and then this. 

Amanda Venezia: I want to do as much as we can, I know she wanted to go to some kind of island thing, 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, 

Amanda Venezia: If you said it, I’d know it, but 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I know what it is.

It’s where the Grand Hotel is and everything. 

Brian Searl: Mackinac Islander.

Missy Fojtik: Mackinac Island, yeah. 

Brian Searl: I just want to point out, while they talk about this for the next couple minutes for everybody who’s watching, this is one of the skills you should have as a hospitality owner, the ability to guide your people and help them with whatever they need.

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, okay. I’ll give you a breakdown. So are you gonna do top to bottom or are you just heading straight to Mackinac? 

Amanda Venezia: I would say probably top to bottom. I mean we have five days, so So I think we’ll try to do it. 

Missy Fojtik: I would say your weather is still gonna be proper crap in the UP, which is this.[00:48:00] 

This area, it snows there. Like I went to school there and in October the snow is over the top, the stop sign. So you know, once you’ve seen the Great Lakes, they’re just, they look like oceans. They’re so big. So if you’re gonna go to Mackinac Island, like Traverse City 

Amanda Venezia: Yes. 

Missy Fojtik: Is like really great.

Is that on your list? 

Amanda Venezia: Yeah. 

Missy Fojtik: Okay so by the time you go to Mackinac and you go to Traverse City and you go to Daydreamer, that’s really all you have time for. 

Amanda Venezia: Where are you located? Like in the 

Missy Fojtik: Okay, so if I’m on the hand, Traverse City is like right here. I’m right here. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. 

Missy Fojtik: Are you driving or are you flying?

Amanda Venezia: We are driving. We’re doing a road trip, so we’ll have to fly. 

Brian Searl: You’re out of Michigan, so you have to go past her at some point. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I would have to look at a map like, but I think if you just come this way. is what I would do, right? And then where do you go from Michigan?

Amanda Venezia: We haven’t really decided yet.

Maybe Chicago, maybe North Dakota. I would really, I don’t know. The world is gonna. 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. If you start at the top and go around, you [00:49:00] go to Chicago, right? If you go here and you’re up at Mackinac and go around this way, you’re in Wisconsin. 

Brian Searl: But if she comes down the west side of Michigan through Traverse City, you’re straight down from Traverse City.

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: and loops around to Chicago and she’s fine. 

Missy Fojtik: Chicago, if you hit it right with the traffic, you can get to Chicago, like from my place, in two hours. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. It’s gonna take a long time. A lot more to drive there. . 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah, I know. I’m like five days. You wanna try to do all that in five days?

Amanda Venezia: That I have nine, but I’m just saying by the time we get there, it’s probably gonna take a whole day to drive out there. So yeah, we love or trips . 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. Fun. I’ll have my pool open by then. So you can come lay by the pool. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: I’m gonna take your time. Take a traveler. I dunno if you guys are, but like we, 

Amanda Venezia: I’m a big traveler, so 

Brian Searl: we went to Iceland in September.

Amanda Venezia: And there’s three times, I cannot get enough of it. 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, 

Brian Searl: everybody kept telling us go around the ring or the whole ring road and the ring road. Like you have, we’re there for two weeks, like 12, 12 days, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Right before the [00:50:00] volcano. 

Brian Searl: And we realized we realized like if we were going to go around the ring road and see, we would’ve had to drive like four to six hours a day.

I don’t want to do that. So we just did the whole side, the South side of the island and up through the peninsula by the glacier and then we’ll go back. 

Missy Fojtik: I do have to tell you though, my husband’s from the Czech Republic and to go to Croatia. And so to go from the Czech Republic to Croatia, you have to go through Slovenia.

And I said gosh, if we’re going to go through Slovenia, let’s like check some stuff out and see what’s in Slovenia. And he was like, Oh, there’s nothing. Slovenia, just we’ll go to Croatia, like classic Eastern European. And I got a book, ’cause I, every time we go somewhere, I get another book and I read it cover to cover and I, ’cause I just do that one country, right?

And so this time I was like, let’s stop, take a little extra time. And I was on maternity leave at the time actually. And so we went to Slovenia and it. Amazing. It was so great, but he would never have given it a second thought, but it’s like learning about things too, or talking to someone about what you should do.

Brian Searl: But it’s also like where you grow up, whatever’s [00:51:00] closer to you and people don’t realize how close Europe is to all the other countries, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, it is. It is. Yeah. 

Brian Searl: But you grow up by it. Like I lived in Florida for a few years and like when we moved there, we were nine miles, we were in Ormond Beach, north of Daytona.

When we move there, we’re gonna go to the beach every day. We’re gonna go to Disney World all the time. We’re 45 minutes away from it. Like three times and you’re bored. And then everybody who flies down there is let’s go to this. Really? You want to go to Disney World? 

Missy Fojtik: Oh my God. 

Brian Searl: It was wherever you move is my point.

Like whatever’s closer to you. 

Missy Fojtik: That’s why I feel so bad for people in the Midwest. Cause it’s just, there’s not, there’s no skiing here. There’s not a lot of good rock hounding. There’s not, there’s just, they don’t have a lot. I don’t know, like to offer and then you get out here there’s really great biking trails, right?

If you like fishing, there’s really great fishing. People love hunting out here, but it’s hard, for like little kids because it’s a lot of the same scenery, and everything’s that, the same people, same currency, whatever. You go to Europe and you can go through three countries, in a day.

Brian Searl: Yeah, I’ve driven all over. Like I’ve been to all, like I spent years bootstrapping my company in the beginning, driving around in the [00:52:00] Jeep with my girlfriend at the time, stepdaughter. And so I went through it all looks the same to me, right? Generally 

speaking, shopping 

Missy Fojtik: No way! You know what?

Me and Andre together, we’ve been to 53 countries. You have to, you gotta go, you gotta go where it’s gritty. 

Brian Searl: Oh no, I to be clear I know there’s different pieces of this I like, I haven’t done all the country travel yet, right? 

Missy Fojtik: Yeah. 

Brian Searl: Speaking from the United States perspective on the main roads 

Missy Fojtik: Oh, yeah.

Brian Searl: and local towns is what I mean. Yeah. It’s the same. There are things to do. There doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to visit those places, right? Generally speaking. Optics. We don’t have the same scenery yet. Alright, we’ve got two minutes left. Amanda, do you want to add anything to your I feel like I asked about future plans and then we went off onto something else that’s more valuable.

Amanda Venezia: I touched on that. Future plans. Definitely retreats. For me. But yeah. No, I’m super I can’t wait. I’m definitely going to stop by. Missy I’m excited for that and yeah, I, good luck with everything. I can’t wait to see you. 

Missy Fojtik: Seriously, best of luck. And if you [00:53:00] ever have anything you have a question about, feel free to call me and I’m happy to weigh in and look forward to meeting you and reiking together.

Amanda Venezia: Yes. Totally. 

Missy Fojtik: Awesome. Thanks, Brian. 

Brian Searl: Yeah, you’re welcome. Let’s just wrap it up a couple minutes early here. Thank you guys for joining us for another episode of MC Fireside Chats. We will be back next week with our Campground Auto Focus episode, hopefully with a few more guests that will show up due to the holidays being a little bit more over, but thank you guys.

It was a great show. Like I really enjoyed the back and forth between you guys. I got to figure out ways to encourage that more, I think, between our guests because there’s a lot of value that I think you both unlock with each other that there’s way more value than we talk. So thank you guys. I appreciate it.

I wish you all the best of luck with both of your businesses. We’ll follow up soon. Have a great time. 

Amanda Venezia: Okay. Thank you. 

Missy Fojtik: Bye. 

[00:54:00] 

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