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Meet Maria Varela. The Founder and CEO of My Layover Box.

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

What inspired you to create My Layover Box?

As a solo traveler, I found myself very inspired and learned how to love myself in this journey. So, I wanted to create a space for women to cheer themselves on. Whether you have a trip in a week or in five months, you still feel excited and this box wants to empower you to get excited about the next adventure!

How do you curate what will go in each box?

I wanted to provide something exclusive designed for each destination, either a phrase or something significant from the place. As a designer, I want to create a series of similar boxes, adding different home goods, so you can embrace the memories of your trip but also accessories to carry with you.

Layover sells shirts and sweatshirts designed specifically for travel lovers. What inspired your love of travel?

Recently, we started to sell clothing for the audience who is not necessarily purchasing a box yet but still has the desire to travel. We design everything in-house. My love for traveling started when I moved to the United States. As an immigrant, you need to learn to trust yourself, your gut, and be brave enough. I want women to feel they can do it too, the world is our oyster.

For sustainable-focused travelers, can they recycle the boxes? Or are there any other ways travelers can give back?

We hope people can still use the boxes after receiving them, also our goal is to help a non-profit for each destination we launch. Now, we are currently selling the DC tote and this lets us help the Latin American Youth Center with 50% of our profits.

Do you have anything special for Mother's Day holiday?

Yes! We are having a promotion of 20% off any of our boxes with the code, MOM20.

Why did you want to create products specifically for women?

Women are most likely to be afraid of solo traveling and our goal is to empower them to do it more. There is no need to worry about it and there’s so much to discover. It is an amazing opportunity to learn how to love yourself and trust yourself.

What is your favorite part about working in the travel industry?

As a designer, I love creating. So, combined with my passion for traveling, this makes my dream come true! We are working to have more boxes, more destinations, and more ways to empower women. I would love to travel to each place we launch and to show what it is like to be out and about.

Can you tell us about your entrepreneurial journey?

Wow! It is such a rollercoaster. Some days I truly believe in what I'm doing and there are days where is very hard to see the future of the company. But what I love the most about this journey is getting to know amazing people like Jeannette, who has been so encouraging and willing to help in any way.

What advice do you have for other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Just keep going! There's no great business built in a day. You just gotta remember your "why" and to enjoy the journey.

Why is travel so important, especially for women?

I believe it is the most beautiful way to embrace who you are, to be comfortable with the uncomfortable, to trust your gut, and take care of yourself, enjoy the present, the sand...the ocean..wherever you are, those moments with yourself are priceless.

Where do you see travel for the summer and beyond?

I’m looking forward to going back to Hawaii and Europe for sure. Hopefully, better days are coming with the vaccine and we can all leave the pandemic days in the past.

To find out more about My Layover Box, check out the website here.

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