Wander Woman, Inc. and The Grant Access, LLC (TGA) both spearheaded by two FAMUans will collaborate for the inaugural My Wander Year (MWY), a 12-month trip around the globe, beginning August 2016. During the year, participants of MWY will explore the Czech Republic, Thailand, South Africa, and Panama.
While attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), Libryia Jones, of Wander Woman, Inc., sat beside Lauren Grant in business ethics class. Their friendship flourished after constantly running into one another at parties and concerts. In 2015, Grant and Jones ran into each other again on a trip to Nairobi, Kenya, where they discovered that they shared a love of travel.
Wander Woman, Inc. (WWI), founded in 2015, is dedicated to making travel a lifestyle, not just a vacation. By offering bold and creative solutions in the tourism space, “Wanderists” learn and interact with different cultures around the world. Founder Libryia Jones obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA with a concentration in finance from FAMU.
Founded in 2014 by Chief Experience Architect Lauren Grant, The Grant Access (TGA) has over 13 years of event planning, execution, and operational excellence. TGA has an impressive portfolio, collaborating with organizations, including: REVOLT TV, Nielsen, American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), and Essence Music Festival. Grant is a graduate of the School of Business and Industry at FAMU, receiving a bachelor’s degree and an MBA with a concentration in marketing.
Join us on a journey as we learn what sparked this dynamic duo’s love of travel and how FAMU shaped their current paths.
1.) What is your favorite place to visit?
Grant: My Mama’s house! Just kidding (but seriously, it’s definitely on my favorites list!) My favorite place so far in my travels would be Kenya and Barbados. Kenya was my first real time in Africa. The warmth I felt the first time a Kenyan told me “Welcome Home” was amazing! Barbados is not only a beautiful place, but the people are equally as beautiful. They make the country.
Jones: My favorite place so far is a tie between Kenya and Barbados.
2.) What led you both to Nairobi, Kenya, where you reconnected?
Grant: One of my Sorors and friends (of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.) found a flight deal to Nairobi out of Washington, DC. I couldn’t pass up the chance to visit Africa at that price! By the end of our posting on social media about this flight deal, we had more than 70 people (mostly FAMUans) on the trip! It was the beginning of rekindling quite a few friendships. It was also the first international event of The Grant Access, with Kenyan business leaders during that trip. Overall it was a great experience.
3.) How did FAMU prepare you for your current undertaking?
Grant: FAMU has prepared me in every way. Attending FAMU was the single best and most influential decision I’ve made in my entire life. Professors that have helped shape me in business to the support of fellow FAMUans that have supported me in entrepreneurship, there’s no mountain I can’t climb and there is not a “no” I can’t turn into a “yes!”
Jones: FAMU prepared me for the sheer level of endurance and dedication it takes to make this a success. Additionally, the very first thing we learned in the School of Business & Industry is the power of networking. I was able to launch this program and bring it to where it is largely due to my network. This partnership with The Grant Access is a prime example of that. We are two friends, female entrepreneurs, and fellow FAMUANs working together to elevate our businesses and impact people around the world.
4.) What is your favorite FAMU memory?
Grant: My favorite FAMU memory was graduation! I felt so accomplished and PROUD to be representing a lineage of Rattlers who’d gone into the world and upheld our legacy. It confirmed my devotion to the contributing to the future of FAMUans after me financially and with my time.
Jones: I’m the first college graduate in my family. During the summer of 2002, I decided to drop out of college. I was pretty miserable and wasn’t doing well in my classes, so I figured I would leave, regroup, and make another plan. I had a job lined up as a customer service representative with a mobile phone company in Orlando. Then I found out I was pregnant. From my point of view, my only choice was to finish college and set the bar for my daughter as well as my nieces, nephews, and cousins. Walking across the stage and receiving my diploma with my daughter and my family in the audience was something I will never forget. Later this month, I’ll be returning to FAMU to watch my niece do the same. I started a legacy and I couldn’t be more proud of that accomplishment.