Kelly Smith, 29
Like all good storytellers, Kelly Smith shares untold tales of people and places most haven’t heard of. She began her career reporting and doing features for television news before she left her successful career in a top 20 market to follow her passion for travel.
She’s now a storyteller for her clients at SmartFlyer, a Virtuoso affiliate, sharing fantastic details of her trips on her blog, kellyktravel.com. She says she promotes Caribbean trips, especially St. Barth’s, Turks and Caicos, and Puerto Rico through hotel reviews and stories, and like a good TV reporter, pictures and video as well. “Travel has always brought me so much joy and fulfillment to my life,” she says, “and now I’m excited to share that with others.”
Two years in, Smith has continued her success as a travel agent. Since joining SmartFlyer St. Louis in December 2015, she has doubled her referral rate and increased sales nearly 50 percent and has also helped contribute to her team at SmartFlyer St. Louis' production, which just hit 20 million. Smith is now based in Chicago.
One of her favorite stories to tell clients is of a meal she had in Stokkseyri, Iceland — about 45 minutes from Reykjavik. It’s been months since she ate at Fjorubordid, the seaside lobster shack known for its langoustine soup and garlic butter tails, but memories still make her mouth water. “This place is definitely off the beaten path, but worth the stop if you’re road tripping through the raw and rugged landscape of Southern Iceland,” she notes.
Smith works directly under Rob Merlin who says that “her personal approach and concern for perfection have allowed her to quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the travel industry.”