Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Wellspring Manor and Spa
Meet The Owners Of Maryland's Newest Black-Owned Luxury Bed And Breakfast
Lisa and Kevin Alexander recently opened Wellspring Manor and Spa in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, a luxury bed and breakfast.
We spoke with them about their new business venture.
TN: How and when did you get into the hospitality industry?
Lisa: We got into the hospitality industry only this year with the opening of Wellspring Manor & Spa. Neither of us as owners have worked in this space before. I’m the CEO of a management consulting firm. Kevin was a Managing Director with a commercial insurance company.
TN: Tell us about your vision for Wellspring Manor and Spa?
Lisa: Our vision for Wellspring Manor & Spa is that it will serve as a luxury destination where discerning travelers seeking a diverse, high-quality experience will enjoy relaxation, restoration, and rejuvenation. We believe that luxury is the intersection of simplicity and elegance. We also believe that diverse, luxury travelers are yearning for travel options that reflect their culinary, entertainment and cultural experiences. Wellspring meets those desires.
TN: What can guests expect during a stay here?
Lisa: Luxury, elegance, quality, and comfort — consistently.
TN: As black business owners, how easy or hard was it to get this business up and running?
Lisa: Fortunately, Kevin and I have over 50 years of business experience between the two of us. We know the importance of financial projections, solid financing, marketing, and consistent, well-delivered customer service. Using these principles of success, we did our research about the luxury travel and B&B markets, wrote a solid business plan and took the plunge.
The process wasn’t as much hard as it was intense. From purchasing the property to standing up the business, it took us about a year. We were focused and had an amazing group of partners on our side. From our real estate agent to our architect to our contractors, we worked with consummate professionals who respected time and money. The entire process was both tiring and invigorating at the same time!
TN: Are there any plans to open additional properties in the future?
Lisa: Whew! Not right now. That said, we’ll never say never. Stay tuned, you never know!
TN: Can you offer any advice for aspiring black business owners looking to break into this industry?
Lisa: Our best advice is to do your research. Understand your local market and county/state regulations governing short-term rentals and bed & breakfasts. Look for gaps in service or options and shoot to fill unmet needs. Perhaps your city or region offers more or less of a certain type of destination (luxury, historic, etc.). Go for what hasn’t been done before. Find your niche and work it. Only do things that will reinforce your brand. Don’t try to be all things to all people. Specialization and focus is the name of the game.