Meet Sandra Potisek, travel-blogger and co-founder of a NEW Slovenian marketing agency for responsible travel
Together with her travel-blogger friend Helen Jelenc aka ‘Wandering Helene’ (American travel-blogger living in Slovenia who I also interviewed a while ago) she has launched a Slovenia-based marketing agency they named Wallflower Studios focusing on responsible travel and sustainable living.
Let’s hear more about this impressive project!
It’s really exciting to hear that two Slovenia travel bloggers have joined forces and started their own marketing agency focusing on responsible travel in Slovenia! How did this happen?
Thank you, we’re both very excited for this new chapter! Helene and I met a couple of years ago at a travel conference in London, and we immediately clicked. Soon we started creating content together, helping each other out with ideas, photos, technical issues… and discovered we work really well together. Not only do our values and passions for travel and content creation align, but our skills compliment each other’s nicely as well.
Both of us have been freelancers for a while, but as time went on, we wanted to start working on bigger, more impactful projects that require a team effort, so joining our forces and setting up an agency seemed like a fairly natural progression. And since travel is what brought us together in the first place, the direction we wanted to take Wallflower Studios into was a no-brainer.
While travel is still under construction (due to pandemic), what do you think will be the main sustainable travel trends & challenges in the future and how do you see Slovenia meeting them?
I really love that more travellers have started supporting local, independent businesses and thinking about the impact their travels and behaviours have on the environment. Some countries like New Zealand are amazing at communicating the importance of nature preservation to locals and visitors alike, and I think everyone should follow their lead.
When it comes to challenges, there’s plenty. One of the biggest in my eyes is over-tourism on a global scale. While, of course, the pandemic wouldn’t be my preferred way to go about it, I really hope it will end up helping us tackle it. I think Slovenia here has a huge opportunity not only to “take the weight off” overcrowded destinations, but also avoid falling into the trap itself. It’s a shame most tourists who visit us only aim for Ljubljana, Bled and Postojna Cave, when there’s so much more to discover!
Travel safety is another thing more and more travellers are paying attention to. Slovenia is winning here already, we just have to communicate it better.
Speaking of communication, I think the main issue a lot of businesses in Slovenia are having is that they’re not adapting to digitalisation quickly enough. Digital channels are where everything is happening these days, and if you’re nowhere to be found, it’s game over. Yes, the competition is fierce, but contrary to the popular opinion, you don’t even need a big budget to tell a great story and attract the right people.
“Digital channels are where everything is happening these days, and if you’re nowhere to be found, it’s game over.” Sandra Potisek, Wallflower Studios Marketing Agency
You and Helene both have vast experience in creating the right type of communication for your clients, as you have been previously helping companies in generating sales. What can your new clients expect from your agency?
We definitely do things differently compared to most other agencies in the space. Our goal is to not only generate sales, but for our work to have a positive impact as well.
We’re not fans of the copy-paste approach and always put people before algorithms, by treating our clients’ businesses as if they were our own, nurturing their values and audience, and approaching projects in creative, innovative ways – at any budget.
Responsible & sustainable tourism is now more important than ever, which in Slovenia has always been the case. Do you find any aspects of it more important?
It’s difficult to say what’s more important. Everything is. For me personally, local-first is what I’ll always stand for, from consuming local produce to supporting local businesses and communities over foreign corporations.
How will you include your travel blogging, photography and video creating skills into your new project?
Since Wallflower Studios is a creative content marketing agency at its core, visual storytelling is a very important part of all projects we take on. My blogging, photography and video skills come into play everywhere – from on-site content creation to social media marketing.
Especially social media has really changed the landscape of travel in recent years. Travel trends have been massively influenced by Instagram in particular.
But while aesthetic photos and inspirational videos can really put your place and business on the map, there’s a fine line between promoting tourism responsibly and falling into the trap of encouraging over-tourism and damaging behaviours, which have become a huge problem.
This is where we come in – the campaigns we work on are designed responsibly from the get-go, with long-term effects on the locals and the environment in mind.
Sandra strongly believes in the power of visual storytelling to inspire people to visit new destinations and promote responsible travel. Travel trends have been massively influenced by Instagram in particular, she says.
Is the future of Slovenia green?
I think so and I hope so! We have every predisposition …
Anything else you’d like to mention?
I’d just like to invite everyone to sign up to our Wallflower Studios Newsletter! We’ll be organising a couple of free online workshops soon, which I think many travel and lifestyle businesses trying to find their feet in content marketing would find beneficial.
Interview by Mari Podhrasky (@mari_podhrasky) / Twitter