Holly Mire has always had a love for Disney. Growing up her parents would frequently bring her and her brother to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Once Holly was married and had kids of her own she knew right away that WDW was a place that she wanted her children to experience. She brought her children on their first trip in early 2010, and they have gone at least once a year since! This was when Holly reconnected with Sunny Ockman: “Sunny and I went to Nicholls together to become teachers,” states Holly, “We lost touch for a few years, and then I brought my youngest two to Disney, and when we came back she was about to bring her oldest to Disney. So we got to talking, and it came natural, and we hit it off from there, and it’s always been Disney related until we decided to jump in to become travel agents and we decided to do it together, and we have been doing it together ever since.”
how apoet was born
A Pair of Ears Travel, APOET, is Holly and Sunny’s baby but it took a lot of blood, sweat, and tears to build her up into the woman is she now. The two started as travel agents together five years ago under another agency. Their initial reason to start this side job was to make extra money to help fund their vacations. But it then became so much more than that! After about three years under another agency, Holly and Sunny decided to branch off and start their own travel agency. “A year and a half ago we built A Pair of Ears Travel. Since then we have been hiring independent contractors to work underneath us to help build our business,” stated Holly.
personal lives vs. travel agent life
Running your own travel agency business takes a lot of hard work just like any other business or job would. Both Holly and Sunny work full-time jobs as teachers that is until May 2018. Last year the pair decided to have Sunny work full time on APOET from home and become the full-time manager. She left her teaching job behind to be available to clients and travel agents at any time of the day. Sunny said, "being my own boss gives me lots of flexibility with my work hours."
This decision has helped to balance out their family lives as well. Holly’s husband, Timmie Mire said, “In the early stages of the business nothing could wait. Everything had to be done right then and there, so that took up a lot of family time. But now with the strategic decision they have made has freed up more time for family. They have learned how to balance life with owning their own business.”
Is it all only about disney?
While Disney may be the leading travel destination that APOET helps clients with it is not the only place that they can help clients book.
“We can do pretty much anything. Sunny and I are ones that we do believe if we have not experienced it we will not sell it personally as agents. So Sunny and I will do Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, Universal Studios Orlando, and we still soon be doing Universal Hollywood starting in October because we will be experiencing that in October. But our other agents do Sandals and Beaches, all-inclusive resorts, cabins, just different things that clients have asked them to book.”
a future to look forward to!
After only opening their own business a year and a half ago A Pair of Ears Travel has 30 travel agents working under them and are continuing to grow! Sunny said, “I am confident our company will continue to grow and bring in more sales. Our goal is to become an "EarMarked" agency with Disney Destinations by 2020.”
Holly and Sunny genuinely love what they do, to help families plan their dream vacations, and you can tell that they are incredibly passionate about what they do. Holly said, “The growth has been amazing, to watch it grow. We call it our baby, it’s a girl, and we love watching her grow! And everything is based off what helps the business grow not what helps Sunny and Holly its what helps the business grow.”
“Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.” -Walt Disney