Mother’s Day At Open Jaw – Carol Baldwin & Rhian Torontow
These 2 are more than just mother and daughter: Meet Carol Baldwin and Rhian Torontow, travel agents – and business partners.
With Mother’s Day around the corner, a lot of us are thinking about our moms. But not too many of us get to spend time with our own pretty much every day. Unless, of course, you are business partners.
That’s how it works with Carol Baldwin and Rhian Torontow, both Travel Agent Next Door agents in Oshawa. Their office is in Carol’s home, and Rhian makes the 3 min. drive there each day.
Before she got into the business, Carol was a stay-at-home mom – a full-time job when you have a travelling husband in the army. She got into the business in 2011 and her daughter joined her the next year.
“We travelled a lot when I was growing up,” recalls Rhian. “Because we were based in northern England, Europe was very accessible, and we also when to the States, to Asia and Australia.” She went on to study biotechnology and biology at university, but when her mom – up until then the family’s travel planner – became an independent agent she decided to join her : “It just sounded right for me.”
And yes they do travel together, on a big family trip each year and also just the 2 of them, such as when they took a Disney cruise together last October, or to attend the TAND conference recently in Cuba. Do they talk shop when they’re together? Yes, they both laugh. “We try not to but we can’t help it!”
They have built up a specialty in family travel but are now looking to broaden their horizons to include group travel, primarily businesses hosting important clients.
“Working as a duo really works for us,” Rhian explains. “I do the marketing and a lot of the content creations, while Carol handles research and invoicing. We always bounce ideas off each other – we really are a team.” Neither, she adds, has ever been interested in working as agency employees in a bricks-and-mortar setting, preferring to set their own hours.
And what will happen when Carol eventually retires? That’s an option that’s already been considered; Rhian says her husband may join her in the business.
Clearly this is one clan that likes to… keep it in the family!