Celebrating women and culture

Happy International Women's Day! We thought we'd celebrate some of the inspirational women that we have had the pleasure of meeting whilst embarking on our Travel & Lust journey. This year's theme is #PressforProgress, encouraging women to unite, influence and support in the name of gender parity. We have got to know some inspirational women that have done just that and are setting a new standard when it comes to women at work and following your passion. Prepare to be inspired.

Maria Grazia from Masseria Potenti - Puglia, Italy
The creative hostess with a big heart

Image © Chantal Ariens

Image © Chantal Ariens

Maria is the owner and hostess with the mostess at Masseria Potenti, Italy. The space is enormous but it is filled with so much spirit, which is very much attributed to Maria. The hotel feels like home. Maria cooks the most incredible meals, picks flowers, styles and plans weddings for guests and pays close attention those that stay at Masseria Potenti. What is so refreshing as that she was an actual lawyer before, who simply loved creative elements and followed her dreams to make Masseria Potenti what it is today. Her daughter Chiara Tommasino, as a protégée, clearly seems to be on a determined path of her ownThe creative soul adds a wonderful dynamic to the company and manages the social media, brand image and influencer relations. She is also very talented at design and offers her services designing invitations for those that get married at their beautiful house. 

Book accommodation, http://www.masseriapotenti.it/masseria/

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway - London & Chicago
Passionate and progressive change maker in the arts


It is hard to know where to start when talking about Simeilia, her work spans across a variety of projects, all heavily deep-rooted in shining a light and driving change within the arts - particularly theatre. A good friend of ours and someone we can't wait to collaborate with, Simeilia is the Founder and Chief Executive of Artistic Directors of the Future. In addition she is the Founder of Beyond the Canon and is determined to make sure that diverse profiles are not only better represented but that such voices shape the future and tell their own stores. London and Chicago are where she spends most of her time, however, her work has taken her to Sweden, Canada, New York and all over the UK. Black Lives Black Words is an international project where Simeilia is Executive Director. Did we mention that she is an author? She is behind Monologues for Black Actors, a series of plays for diverse actors to perform. Simeilia continues to travel participating in talks, engaging communities and influencing change. We are excited to see future works, campaigns and activities Simeilia has in the pipeline worldwide.


Sivan Askayo - Tel Aviv, Israel
Vibrant and energetic travel photographer


Sivan Askayo is effortlessly cool. Originally from Tel Aviv, she spent 12 years in New York city (her other home) where she initially worked in advertising. It was after some of life's turns that she stumbled upon photography. Whilst figuring out her next steps during a transitional time in her life, she started documenting life around her. New York City sure didn't make a bad backdrop. People were her focus and after some time she realised that this new hobby wasn't just cathartic, she was actually quite good at it. After embarking on a course in photography she worked her way to her first feature and it all took off from there. Today she travels around the world photographing food, people and some of the latest boutique hotels such as. This is when she isn't documenting culture to complement editorial features in magazines such as Condé Nast Traveller and Travel & Leisure.

See her portfolio of work here, http://sivanaskayo.com

Charlotte Everaert - Ghent, Belgium
Creative soul turned uber hotelier

Image via CNTROL+F Studio

Image via CNTROL+F Studio

It isn't often that you find a 20-something hotelier making a mark on the scene. Charlotte Everaert is Belgian and the proud owner of Aliceroxy Styling Studio. She is a fashion stylist, interior stylist and as of this year...hotelier. After having studied Communications & Digital Marketing, Charlotte realised that she wasn't fully reaching her creative potential, so she went on to study fashion styling in Amsterdam. In her own words, she is an "aesthetics addict" dedicating herself to working with a bold use of colour paired with experimental and visionary approaches. It is this same aesthetic that she managed to pair well with The GuestHouse, that she lives in and runs in upcoming city Ghent, Belgium. The house embodies Charlotte's flair, with it being a melting pot of colours, fixtures and quirk. This is all well-balanced with original features and contemporary touches and showcases a dutiful sense of play. This is just the beginning for Charlotte.

Stay at The Guesthouse, https://www.atelier-turquoise.be/the-guesthouse/

Arianna Cini from KM Zero Tours - Chianti, Tuscany (Italy)
Dedicated soul connecting Tuscan culture to the people


Arianna is an absolute trooper. Her dedication to bringing tourism back to her home region in Chianti, Tuscany and neighbouring places is simply awe-inspiring. She has always travelled and has been fortunate to visit places such as Russia, Australia and China. After having lived in different places and meeting her partner Alessio in the northern region of Italy, she was unsure as to what to do. Home at the time wasn't exactly where work was brimming for everyone. However, she found that she felt even more connected to her home town after travelling and wanted to do something that involved giving back and sharing the adoration she has for her region with others, thus KM Zero Tours was born. We broke bread, drank Chianti wine, made pasta and went shopping whilst with Arianna and her Alessio. There are several companies offering tours in Tuscany but what makes Arianna special is the way she is with people, her sincerity and her very down to earth demeanour. The purpose of KM Zero tours is always at the forefront of the decisions she makes, collaborations she takes on with her partner and the activities they launch. Arianna states that "tourism can contribute to gender equality and preservation of biodiversity and culture".

Experience slow travel in Tuscany, https://www.kmzerotours.com
View experiences for this Spring, https://www.kmzerotours.com/tuscany-2018-chianti-spring

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