A double-award winning travel agent couple has taken homeworking a step further by setting up home together.
Instant Cruise homeworkers Andrew Boyd and Francesca Barone have their own individual offices and their own clients but they live, and work, in the same house in East Sussex.
Earlier this month, Francesca, who began working for Future Travel in January 2006, was named Homeworker of the Year at the 2007 Agent Achievement Awards. It was the second victory for the couple as Andrew picked up the Complete Cruise Solution Sales Person of the Year prize in December last year.
The pair’s whirlwind romance flies in the face of the commonly held belief that homeworking can be a lonely and isolated existence – they actually met through work.
Early last year Francesca sent an e-mail to Andrew following a customer query. He answered and things developed from there. The couple set up home and office in May 2006 and after the company’s conference in Barbados in December she accepted his marriage proposal.
The double act had a combined turnover of £3 million last year. Francesca has more of a luxury client base dealing with cruise companies such as Silversea and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, while Andrew tends to work with mainstream operators, the bulk of his business coming through Complete Cruise Solution brands P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises, Cunard and Ocean Village.
Francesca said: “Although we work together and we are a couple, we cover different areas so it is easier to have our own client base. The scenario is very much upstairs/downstairs. We meet in the middle for coffee.”
Andrew added: “We share ideas and we e-mail each other quite a lot. We used to share a Teletext page as well so we would take each other’s calls. But if one of my clients called Francesca she would pass it back to me and I would do the same.”
The couple’s own website, Classiccruisecollection.co.uk, is being revamped and will feature deck plans and itineraries.
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