“I don’t follow trends. I help create and influence them. I am never satisfied and am always seeking way to push boundaries of what is and isn’t possible for clients,” says Christa Craig of Renshaw Travel, the first Virtuoso agency in Canada, which is run by David Lowy.
This trendsetter, now in her eighth year as a travel advisor, says she is always thinking of what could be better, more exciting, more interesting, more unique and over the top to blow a client away.
“I love to take risks and be creative. I never limit ideas based on what has been done before,” emphasizes Craig, who says she spends a lot of time keeping on top of and researching new hotels, restaurants, destinations and experiences.
This driving passion is what earns Craig the ability to sell in the ultra-luxury category, the highest end of the market. “We specialize in ultra-high net worth individuals and families and do exclusively leisure business,” says Craig, noting that ironically, this is a very under-served part of the market. But this sector can make for some very good, very appreciative customers, who are used to having advisors in their lives for the important things.
“Our business is akin to ‘private banking for luxury travel,’” says Craig, who believes Lowy has been an amazing mentor to her.
It was coffee and furniture that first put this trendsetter on the path to becoming one of her agency’s top luxury advisors. She sharpened her management skills at a young age at a gourmet coffee company, where she opened stores and trained managers and staff.
She was also the director of sales for a high-end furniture and design company. Craig managed a team of 50 people, oversaw all of the sales, the human resources department, merchandising and was also a buyer for the company.
“With both of these positions, I was able to travel, which was always my favorite part of the job,” she tells us. “Long before I was in the travel business, I spent time checking out new hotels all over the world just out of curiosity and I’ve always loved luxury. I’ve been fortunate to work with and learn from a lot of talented people.”
Renshaw Travel is a boutique, family-owned agency with a lot of history. It’s been in business since 1948.
“The people I work with are warm, charismatic, intelligent and interesting. Everyone is always ready to share information and collaborate. The office has a relaxed atmosphere and we have a lot of fun. At Renshaw Travel, we have a fantastic group of talented travel advisors that know how to live life and share my passion of travel.”
Born and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Craig now resides in Vancouver, where she cherishes “the laid back resort town vibe mixed with a cosmopolitan city.”
“I love what I do and cannot imagine doing anything else,” says Craig. “I love luxury and appreciate it and the experiences that are possible. I love to get things for people that they didn’t know were possible. To that end, I spend a lot of time traveling, going to conferences, and gaining product knowledge about the very best places. Those of us from Saskatchewan also learn from an early age to work very hard. It comes naturally to us and I feel that is a definite advantage.”