TRAVELING THE WORLD — THE CHLOE JOHNSTON WAY
Founder and President
Chloe Johnston Experiences
After an early introduction to the glamorous and exciting quirks of beautiful cities like Paris, Chloe Johnston realized she had a calling. Today, Johnston is the founder and president of Chloe Johnston Experiences, a company that promises travel with that special voila moment.
Q: You got the idea to found Chloe Johnston Experiences in grad school. How did that come about, and what made you realize you had a great business idea on your hands?
A: My mother introduced me to Paris — where Chloe Johnston Experiences was initially launched — when I was 12 years old. It was love at first sight, and bite! Waking up and eating chocolate for breakfast at the age of 12 was like a dream come true. During subsequent trips with my mom, who is an avid art, history, wine and vintage fashion aficionado, I developed a penchant for European clothing, along with a knack for unearthing hidden boutiques and artisans. My mom helped me understand the art of creating your own style in fashion, in your home, and of course, in your presence. I was constantly asked where I found certain pieces, and the answer was always Paris. It was through a grad school project — and over a glass of wine with my mom — that I decided to create shopping experiences in Paris for women. I presented my idea to my classmates, friends, family members, and floated it out to people I met in the course of deciding where I would go after grad school. The feedback was so positive and the excitement started to build. I finally realized I had homed in on the business I would create.
Q: Initially, your company focused on catering to women with an interest in Paris fashion. Who does your company cater to today?
A: Today we cater to the traveler who wants to experience those things that set their destination apart, whatever their budget may be. We have travelers with budgets from piggy bank to black card. Our offerings are all tailored to the client and might include arts, culture, culinary, fashion, interior design and a number of bespoke itineraries in New York City, Paris, London, Switzerland and California. More destinations and experiences are soon to come for both women and men.
Q: What types of experiences can clients expect in the future?
A: We are always looking at how we can expand and grow to cater to the ever-expanding wish lists of our clients. We recently provided a ballet experience for a client’s daughter in New York City that included lessons with a Bolshoi ballerina who defected to the U.S. The direction of future experiences will be limited only by our clients’ imaginations.
Q: Why is traveling with Chloe Johnston Experiences a better experience than hopping on a plane without a plan?
A: I develop a plan based on my relationships and conversations with each client. Every travel plan created by me or one of my team members has been vetted. This ensures that the experiences we create for our clients can be customized to their desires. That personalized consultation helps me home in on what they really want, as it often starts out as a general idea. We help them get to that voila moment. We pride ourselves on finding and delivering that for them.
Q: You make sure to form personal relationships with your clients to ensure a great experience. Why is this so important to your company?
A: Traveling is about the experiences and memories you make. It’s something that can’t be touched. I want to make sure that my clients experience travel the way I experience travel. I am not just visiting a city; I am living the culture and everything about the places I experience, no matter how short or long the stay. I have come to know and understand what makes each expert I work with so unique. In addition to teasing out the essence of an experience with them, it has provided me many beautiful friendships. The same applies for my clients. Taking time with them, as simple as it sounds, makes all the difference.
Q: Who is Chloe Johnston Experiences’ ideal client?
A: Our ideal client is someone who says, “I can schedule the monuments and museums on my own,” and “I don’t want to get on and off a bus to see things for an hour. I want more.” I help them find out what that is and get them there.
Q: Chloe Johnston Experiences creates events in Philly to give potential clients a taste of what you offer. What events do you have coming up and what do you hope to accomplish with them?
A: Our next event is our Fireman’s Ball for Bastille Day in Philadelphia on July 12. All of our events are created to give people an idea of the detail we put into each experience. This particular event ties us back to our roots and where Chloe Johnston Experiences started — in Paris.
Our Fireman’s Ball is modeled after the traditional Bastille Day festivities in Paris, where fire stations open their doors to the public for a full day (and night) of reveling. It is really something to experience. Since we can’t all be in Paris for the event, we brought it on — Philly style.
This event will bring a French revolutionary spirit to Philadelphia, the birthplace of freedom and independence. Also known as La Fête Nationale, or more commonly, Le Quatorze Juillet (the 14th of July), Bastille Day is a national holiday that commemorates the start of the French Revolution and the formation of the French Republic in 1789.
In keeping with tradition, the event will feature French-inspired fare along with champagne and specialty cocktails, as well as live music and, of course, cake and other surprises. With Paris as one of Chloe Johnston Experiences’ signature cities, you can count on an evening of stylish and whimsical fun.