For my series on strong female founders I had the pleasure of interviewing Edyta Satchell.
She helps thousands of women who try to prioritize their health and wellness and want to look and feel their very best in the New Normal, but they feel like nothing works for them. By addressing the source of their suffering, Edyta creates highly customized, modern, comprehensive beauty and wellness programs to women executives that helps them to gain back their beauty, confidence, productivity, and success in all aspects of their life at home and during travel.
Edyta is the Founder of both Satchelle Global Travel Wellness and Finelle.com, she is an accomplished woman with more than 20 years of global leadership experience working with dozens of A-listers including CEOs of key Fortune 500 companies.
She has been featured in most prominent travel and wellness publications such as Travel Weekly, Travel Research Online, Travel Market Report, Authority Magazine, and more.
Edyta is also certified in Oncology Esthetics, supporting cancer survivors.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve been working in the travel industry for 20 years. I was a senior executive who traveled the world. I thought I knew everything about travel, but I was coming home bloated, dehydrated, overweight and worse. I developed acne and gluten, dairy intolerance too. I had stomach problems and frequent diarrheas. I was simply exhausted, and I had no help. I was coming home unhappy, tired, irritated, and drained. I had no time for my family at all.
As I traveled for years, my hotel room was never ready at 7am upon my arrival, but at 8 am I was presenting, entertaining, meeting clients, suppliers, my managers, employees and many more. As you can imagine, the entertaining continued until late night hours.
I remember during one of such events, I developed a stomach bug, I was sweating, my face was red and I was in tears. BUT, I had to present the very same day to 100 people and I ended up doing so without wearing any make-up. I was humiliated. It felt like the Q and A sessions was never ending. I wanted to go home or at least to my hotel room, but I couldn’t, because it wasn’t ready.
The worst part was that my managers didn’t care. The meeting was too important to them. I had to pretend that I’m feeling great and that I was ok, but I was not! AND NOBODY CARED! Nobody cared about how I felt and how I looked as long as I could present, entertain and spend long hours with clients and prospects.
This is the reason why I created a company that supports corporations in developing wellness and travel wellness programs for their employees. I also support women who want to look and feel their best before, during and after travel so that they can have it all: beauty, confidence, productivity, and success in all aspects of their life. I am one of them!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Great question. I create beauty and wellness itineraries that complement the travel itineraries that every traveler follows. The itineraries are highly customized and are created based on travel destinations, time of the year, seasonality, skin type, skin allergies, food allergies, and more. I’ve been doing it for “healthy” women. However, last year I was contacted by a female executive who was referred to me by one of my clients. She traveled intensively pre-Covid and continued to travel during Covid. She shared her story with me. During our conversation, I’ve found that she was a cancer survivor and she was frequently turned down just because she was a cancer survivor. She was looking for health and life coach and I knew then and there that I will not disappoint her by turning her down. I took Oncology Esthetics certification classes to be able to support her and any women who needs my help and is a cancer survivor. She recommended me to her friends and ever since I’ve been working with cancer survivors and I never turn them down.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I would like to share a recent mistake that I made. I’ve been following my beauty and wellness routine for quite some time and I thought I knew it all! Well, I’ve learned the hard way that there is ONE MORE THING to travel, especially NOW during Covid-19. I remember I was flying back from Europe in August last year and I was sitting be the window and when I arrived in Dulles, VA international airport of Washington D.C., my body temperature was taken. Since I was sitting in business, I was first to the medical evaluation tables, where there totally was no privacy. Six people were sitting by 6 tables and reviewing our medical forms and taking our temperatures. After asking me a few questions and taking my temperature, the medical agent said out loud: Ma’am, your body temperature is elevated! The first thing that came through my head was, oh, my God, I have Covid! I started to sweat and turned totally red. I looked around to learn that EVERYBODY standing behind me heard the news! I didn’t have Covid-19, BUT rest assured that for the first time in my life no one was standing next to me when I was collecting my luggage! Lesson learned, we have a new sheriff in town, Covid-19, that dictates not only how we travel but what we pack when we travel and that the body thermometer is a must. It would have saved myself a lot of embarrassing moments if I had a body thermometer in my hand luggage. So, ever since I advise to everybody to pack one for their next trip.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My company stands out because of my H2H approach: Human to Human. My success is not created based on hard sell. It’s created based on Human to Human interaction and support. I care about my clients the way I want to be cared for. I get to the root cause of their suffering and challenges. I always start a conversation with 3 questions and give my prospects space to answer them:
- What has been working for you so far and why?
- What is not working for you and why?
- What would you have done differently and why?
I’m not pushy. I’m very flexible and accommodating. I never forget that the other person is a human being too and I continue with my H2H approach. They absolutely love it!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I’ve recently launched a new website dedicated to female travelers, finelle.com, and a private group on Facebook @finellefab. The goals is to support women who need to travel and keep everything in balance; from their families, their career, and their own knowledge, to their health, beauty, vitality, and creativity. Finelle helps them navigate a life driven by travel and a spark for entrepreneurialism in a way that makes them look and feel their very best at home and while conducting business on the go. It’s for all women who are looking for a new approach to their travel life especially NOW, during Covid-19.
The is based on 3 main pillars: Beauty, Balanced nutrition, and Business on the go. It supports any woman, regardless of her past or present travel patterns. All are welcome!
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
My advice is that we need to understand what really makes our employees to thrive on an individual level. I always have a conversation with every person who works for me. I ask one question: how do you like to be rewarded? Some people will want to be acknowledge in front of their peers, some just want to receive an email from me that they did a great job, some other people opt-in for a Starbucks’ gift card at a holiday party. I do it all. Happy employees mean happy clients. This is how I exercise my H2H approach and truly care about: my employees and my clients.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
The key for me, when I was managing large teams, was the importance of understanding various cultures and help other people to understand that we are all different. We come from different countries, home environments, and have different personalities. I’ve always supported multi-cultural teams. I managed team members located in various countries in the world, who are working in different time zones and observing different holidays. I truly embraced the multi-cultural environment and people enjoyed working for me. I remember when I interviewed people who applied to join my team from other divisions and when I asked them why, they said, because we want to join your team. This was a mike dropping moment for me and very important moment as I understood that what I was doing was working and inspired people to work for me.
One other thing that I do, during a holiday time in December is that we go for a holiday lunch to different restaurants to learn about different cuisines German, Polish, Brazilian, Persian, Ethiopian and more. My team members talk about the experience for months.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
From the get-go, I knew that my offering and services were unique and required marketing and positioning in both travel and wellness. It was very hard for me to find a marketer who understands both. I spent hours interviewing candidates for marketing positions. After yet another one where I had to explain the difference between business and leisure traveler, I was in tears. I made a phone call to my friend, Maggie Fischer, who took this difficult task upon. Maggie is an amazing entrepreneur, marketing guru and a friend. She helped me with marketing, positioning, branding and so much more. She is behind all the beautiful websites and branding that she created for me and every day I cherish this friendship.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I love this question. I see travel being unique and very personal. I give a lot of free speeches and trainings around how to travel and be healthy especially now during COVID-19.
But, what’s important to mention is that I look for new ideas and different groups of travelers to support. Therefore, got certified in Oncology Esthetics so that I can support travelers who are cancer survivors or who are going through an active treatment. Many of them need to travel to chemo and radiation. Many of them are busy corporate executives who need to travel for business and many of them just want to have fun and enjoy a weekend in a spa. I help all of them to look and feel their very best, as I know that beauty and self-confidence along with health is the most important to them. So, I help them to look amazing along the way, whether they travel by car, train, metro, but or plane.
I want to thank Morag Currin for creating Oncology Training International to train people like me who want to help cancer survivors.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
- Beauty is not only what’s outside, i.e. the way we look, but also what’s within. Even if you don’t feel beautiful outside, never lose that inner-beauty, as people will remember.
- The Universe is my business partner – it is all about “Timing” and being patient – we often get frustrated if we don’t achieve a goal in that very moment, but we forget about the concept of Timing. It means that the Universe aligns with us at the right moment, which is right for us.
- Never forget where you started – we all started somewhere. When I left Poland many years ago, I worked in London, UK, as a helpdesk agent at one of the largest travel corporations. I learned so much and I use this knowledge everyday. I learned not only the technical terms, but also how to talk to people, how to truly listen to them so that they feel heard and supported.
- Fail often – there is nothing better than failing. Failure is not an outcome of something that didn’t come out of the way we wanted it. It is a result of recalibration and re-alignment of our path to success.
- Surround yourself with champions – Champions are the people who understand you, believe in your mission and know other people. It may be your mother, your grandmother, your work colleague, your neighbor or even your daughter. They know people. They may have many followers. They may play key roles in their communities. They can connect you to other people who will become your champions or future clients.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Since I specialize in supporting frequent travelers, I would create a “Frequent Travelers Unite in Health and Wellness” movement. For that very purpose I created Finelle.com and a “Finelle” persona. Finelle is a woman who is frequently on the go. She needs to juggle between the roles of being a mother, wife, business woman, and more. Finelle cares about her mental health, beauty, vitality, energy, productivity, and success in all aspects of her life. She understands beauty tricks, balanced nutrition, and how to work and be productive on the go. She has it all: beauty, vitality, confidence, and success!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“One person’s food is another person’s poison” is my favorite quote by Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of Institute of Integrative Nutrition. This quote is based on “bio-individuality”. What works for me may never work for my family members not to mention my clients.
Ever since I heard Joshua say it, I said to myself, whatever advice we give people in life whether it relates to balanced nutrition, lifestyle, beauty and vitality, must be based on bio-individuality and nothing else. One person will enjoy a 30 min walk every day and lose 15 pounds, but someone else will need to work out intensively 5 days a week to lose 5 pounds. Therefore, we must not forget that that we are all different and never base recommendations on the assumptions that what worked for me will work for other people as well.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I listened to Bella Hadid, American Fashion Model, speaking live last November at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion conference. She mentioned that travel is draining, lonely, and exhausting. I agree but, it doesn’t have to be that way. I would love to have a private breakfast with Bella to understand her current travel challenges in more details and offer a few tips that would change her travel experience forever. My travel tips would be based on the importance of understanding what is happening with her body when she travels, how her body reacts to the environment on the plane and why. Even where she sits on the plane matters! It’s also important to understand the environment and climate she lives in and travels to along with her skin type and beauty and dietary preferences. These tips would help her and any traveler to overcome the feeling of exhaustion, get energized again AND look amazing along the way.
How can our readers connect with you on social media?
I always love comments and feedback from readers. You can find me on:
Facebook / Instagram: @edytasatchell
My websites: edytasatchell.com, finelle.com or satchelleglobal.com