Spotlight on: Q&A with David Garcia from Bespoke England
David’s family and his love for working with people, that are the driving force behind Bespoke England Tours, where he provides a premium bespoke experience, which after 12 years in the tourism market he discovered there was a need for a personalised service.
Tell us a little about your background and what made you decide to set up your business ?
After having worked 12 years in the tourism industry throughout the UK, Western Europe and the Americas , I decided to set up my second tourism business, with the idea of providing high end and quality private car tours and bespoke experiences for discerning travellers. My main interest is in designing and offering experiences to showcase the best that the wonderful city of London and beautiful England have to offer
What was your first job?
Working in my father’s transport business, making coffees, carrying out deliveries and drop offs around England and Spain from the age of fifteen. Giving estimates for removals and loading lorries… been thrown in at the deep end of business at a very young age and loving it.
What do you love most about your job?
My favourite part of the job is actually driving and guiding. I love spending the day with my guests and sharing their joy when we visit these wonderful places or enjoy our fabulous experiences. I also love designing the growth strategy and steering the general direction of the business.
What are your most memorable experiences (good ones and bad ones !) ?
My most memorable personal experiences have been travelling throughout my life: road trips as a child with my parents and brother; backpacking around countries like Morocco and Mexico in my 20s, going to Italy with my wife a few years ago and taking my son to the beach in Menorca when he was a few months old.
My most memorable professional experiences were starting up two tourism businesses and buzzing on the challenges and successes that came with that.
My most difficult professional moments were when I started my tourism career about 14 years ago, leading groups of American middle and high school students, their parents and teachers around several European cities and the challenges that come with leading large and diverse groups on a budget when due to the low cost of the tours we were often let down by suppliers. The students were amazing and it was a blessing to guide them around and literally see their eyes widen as we visited some of Europe’s top landmarks but the logistics were extremely stressful and challenging.
What would you say are the key things that attribute to your success in life ?
I believe hard work trumps talent. I think success can be put down to not only working hard but more importantly working smartly. I also believe determination, surrounding yourself by capable professionals and people you admire are also very important. I have also found that continuous education and personal growth are key, I often take business coaching and mentoring and find they have a very positive impact. Finally, it’s vital to find the right work-life balance to have time to dedicate to my family and enjoy life outside of work, this is the issue I struggle the most with as sometimes I think I can be a bit of a perfectionist and a workaholic[/su_table]
|Describe Yourself in 3 words
|What do you like doing in your ‘spare time’
My main passion is travelling, pre Covid one of my ambitions was to travel to a place I hadn’t been to before at least once a year. I love spending time with my family travelling, going for drives, exploring our city London and the rest of England. I like cooking and discovering new foods and really enjoy reading, especially historical fiction.
Although exercise has been a constant on and off in my life (due to not finding the time sometimes) I find I feel much better physically and mentally when I do work out.
|Who has had the most influence in your life ?
My father was a really interesting man, a self made entrepreneur who built up several successful businesses and a large property portfolio from scratch. He was from a very underprivileged background, born into a really poor family in post civil war Spain. Despite this he achieved most of his ambitions by the time he was 60, although I often disagreed with him when I was younger (especially politically) when I’m challenged with a business issue I often ask myself what would my dad do? What would he suggest I do in this scenario.
|Favourite Film / Series ?
Difficult question. Just like in literature I really enjoy historical fiction and fantasy. Right now I’m watching the Vikings series which I love and I really enjoyed Game of Thrones too.
I also like spy, mystery and thrillers. I’m a big fan of the 007 films (waiting for the new one), Mission Impossible and Quentin Tarantino in general.
|Favourite Tipple/vice ? Tea, coffee, wine, chocolate etc ?
I drink copious amounts of coffee, that’s basically what keeps my engine running for the very long days.
I’m not much of a drinker but my favourite tipples are wine and just recently gin. Being of Spanish origin I particularly favour Spanish wines: Rioja and Ribera del Duero for reds and Albarino and Rueda for whites; rose wines are just for indecisive people but nice when cool on a hot summer day. The Cotswolds distillery make some amazing gins and whiskies too.
I really enjoy cooking and food too. Social media is probably another guilty pleasure on which I spend too much time mainly due to business.
|What can you not live without ?
|TIP : What tip/s would you give to someone based on your own life experiences both personal and business