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Natasha Hoskins of Allcall: “Stop dressing up your fears”

Stop dressing up your fears — I remember a year ago, I grabbed coffee with one of my advisors to update them after our first launch of Allcall. I was super transparent with them, shared my fears and what I felt like we might not be able to achieve. They stopped me and said, “you are dressing […]

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Stop dressing up your fears — I remember a year ago, I grabbed coffee with one of my advisors to update them after our first launch of Allcall. I was super transparent with them, shared my fears and what I felt like we might not be able to achieve. They stopped me and said, “you are dressing up your fears and making them so much bigger than they actually are. There are tiny little ant mounds in front of you and instead of stepping right over them, you are dressing them up putting lipstick on them, making them big. Stop, step over them, and move on.” It was one of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten.


The COVID19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. But sometimes disruptions can be times of opportunity. Many people’s livelihoods have been hurt by the pandemic. But some saw this as an opportune time to take their lives in a new direction.

As a part of this series called “How I Was Able To Pivot To A New Exciting Opportunity Because Of The Pandemic”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natasha Hoskins.

Natasha Hoskins is the Founder and CEO of Allcall. Prior to founding Allcall, she worked at Indiegogo as a founding member of the post-campaign business, where she brought on thousands of brands to the Indiegogo platform, raising nearly 100 million dollars. Natasha lives in Brooklyn and loves to travel.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we start, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Thanks for having me! My upbringing has definitely informed the work I do today, so this is a great place to start. Both of my parents grew up outside the US — my Dad in Lebanon and France, and my mom all throughout Southern and Latin America. They have an international non-profit organization that’s in over 140 countries, and I spent much of my childhood traveling from country to country for their work. Our home base was always South Florida, but we’d often spend a month or two out of the year living in another country. This upbringing was fundamental to my worldview and my appreciation for experiencing new places and cultures. Travel has always been a part of me!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I had a high school art teacher who always said, “inspiration finds you working.” I’ve never forgotten this. This last year has been such a test of creativity in pivoting our business — all the best moments of inspiration have undoubtedly come out of hustle and hard work.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Cooking has been a huge source of anxiety release for me since the pandemic started. I find it to be a creative outlet that helps me disconnect from work while still being productive. So, I’d say Alison Roman’s cookbooks Dining In and Nothing Fancy, have had the most impact on me in the last few months. From her Buttermilk Biscuits to her tacos “Impostor al pastor“ to her chickpea stew, it’s all so good and all possible to make in a tiny New York kitchen.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you tell our readers about your career experience before the Pandemic began?

I founded Allcall in October 2018 because I saw this major gap in the travel industry between young, millennial consumers and the travel products available to them. I spent over a year fundraising, building the team, brand, and platform.

We launched the first version of Allcall in December of 2019, as a marketplace for curated itineraries, where tastemakers (what we call Guides) could create and sell premium itineraries for destinations around the world, to travelers who wanted an insider experience on a location. It was a hit! In those first three months of business, we were selling itineraries with zero marketing spend — a great sign! Then the world changed forever in March.

What did you do to pivot as a result of the Pandemic?

A few months into the pandemic, we started to see a new type of travel emerge — road trips, digital nomads, long-term homestays, workcations, and a desire to plan for big 2021+ trips. This new kind of traveler had different needs to the pre-pandemic traveler — and we were perfectly positioned to address them. Personalization and trusted recommendations are paramount. This is true for people who are taking socially distanced trips now, and it’s true for planning post-vaccine travel just on the horizon. From this, a new direction for Allcall was born.

We launched The Club in December, as a subscription-based offering that provides unlimited personalized itineraries, on-demand text recommendations, and exclusive deals curated by our in-the-know community. Every recommendation we make is fully customized, given the members’ needs and ever-changing conditions. Since launching our waitlist in December, we’ve been blown away by the response.

Can you tell us about the specific “Aha moment” that gave you the idea to start this new path?

To be honest, there wasn’t an “aha moment” for us. The Club came out of months of talking to our customers, and lots of trial and error in creating a new direction. We say it was forged in the fire of 2020 and it truly was. However, each day of hard work we got a bit closer, and the problem we needed to solve became clearer. I think the best products come out of getting your hands dirty and then fine-tuning, fine-tuning, fine-tuning, to get to something that is really special and valuable to people.

How are things going with this new initiative?

We’ve been blown away by the response thus far, our waitlist is growing every day and the feedback we are getting from our members could not be better. We hear all the time, “I’ve been waiting for something like this for years” or “I’m so impressed, I’m going to recommend you like crazy” We are undoubtedly on to something, which makes the months of searching for the right pivot so worth it.

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?

Absolutely my co-founder Deana Burke. We met almost 5 years ago when we were both working at Indiegogo. Fast forward a few years later and we were both leaving to work on our own start-ups. She came on as an advisor, and then by March 2020 I had finally successfully recruited her to join Allcall as a co-founder and CMO. I had been working as a solo founder for over 2 years by the time she joined, and I can honestly say riding this rollercoaster of entrepreneurship with the right person by your side makes all the difference. When there are low moments, it’s amazing to have someone to pull things back into perspective and when there are wins there is nothing better than toasting with someone who understands the blood, sweat, and tears that go into that hard-fought win.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started in this new direction?

It’s been so interesting to see how travel has not stopped; it’s just changed. The heart of our business has always been exploration and a curiosity to see the world. When COVID hit I was genuinely concerned that this value would be lost. But curiosity for new adventures did not go away in people, it just evolved. People didn’t take that Euro 2020 trip, but they may have checked the Great American Road Trip off their bucket list. Or found something new in their own backyards that sparked joy and adventure.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I started leading my organization” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Stop dressing up your fears — I remember a year ago, I grabbed coffee with one of my advisors to update them after our first launch of Allcall. I was super transparent with them, shared my fears and what I felt like we might not be able to achieve. They stopped me and said, “you are dressing up your fears and making them so much bigger than they actually are. There are tiny little ant mounds in front of you and instead of stepping right over them, you are dressing them up putting lipstick on them, making them big. Stop, step over them, and move on.” It was one of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten.

Don’t take it personally — To weather the storm of the startup journey, you need to have thick skin. Rejection is inevitable and part of the process, and you need to be able to accept it with ease if you want to get any sleep at night.

Hire self-starters — The best hires I’ve made are always individuals with a personal drive to get things done and learn new skills. With startups, everyone wears many hats and changes to the business can happen fast. Having a team that enjoys striving towards shared goals and adapting to new challenges is absolutely essential.

You’ll never regret paying it forward — So many people (mostly female entrepreneurs) paid it forward towards me at the start of my entrepreneurial journey. They took time out of their very busy schedule to meet with me, made introductions, edited decks and sent feedback on our site. This generosity was fundamental to starting Allcall and now I am always on the look to do the same.

Being direct is the kindest thing you can do — When I first started managing people, I was hyper-concerned with couch-ing feedback in positivity and what I found was that in an effort to not hurt someone’s feelings there was a real lack of clarity. This made it harder for them to deliver on their work and to grow professionally. Being kind and being your employees’ biggest cheerleader is imperative but giving direct honest feedback is so important for healthy working relationships. An excellent read on this is Radical Candor by Kim Scott.

So many of us have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. Can you share the strategies that you have used to optimize your mental wellness during this stressful period?

Exercising has been integral to my mental health this year. I actually started a workout class on my building roof with a small group of friends in May. It’s been such a fun way to get moving while also seeing my pod of friends (outdoors). I found that exercising can totally change my mental state and always helps to pull me out of a funk. Plus, a great way to tune out of the news, screen time, and onslaught of notifications for a solid chunk of time!

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?

I’ve experienced so much generosity from people in my life, financially, spiritually, and emotionally. It’s completely shaped the way I see the world and a characteristic I strive to demonstrate in every part of my life. I think a movement of generosity leads to more empathy, a greater sense of care and compassion, and a healthy paradigm shift in how we relate to what we have.

Is there a person in the world whom you would love to have lunch with, and why? Maybe we can tag them and see what happens!

Oh, great question! There are so many people, but at the moment I’d have to go with Emily Weiss, the founder of Glossier. I’ve seen 15-year olds and 35-year olds lose their mind over Glossier. It’s such a powerful brand. I’d love to talk with her about building a company with a ravenous customer base and blitz scaling a business.

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can join The Club waitlist here and learn more about Allcall by visiting our website at www.allcalltravel.com. Be sure to follow us on Instagram for some serious travel wanderlust.

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

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