The Story Exchange

The Independent Life – Ileaa Swift

Ileaa Swift launched her travel agency, Swift Travel Deals, so people could see the world on their own terms. Since 2012, she and her team have found customers budget-friendly deals on trips to their dream destinations. What she didn’t anticipate was how entrepreneurship would give her the opportunity to help other women.

After we wrote about Swift on our Forbes channel, she received an outpouring of support from women inspired by her startup story. The letters and emails that came in “changed the whole trajectory of everything,” she says. While she continues to grow her company — Swift happily reports clients on six continents and her nomination for an Arkansas Businesses of the Year Award — she is also working on a second venture “that will help women with branding and building a business from the ground up.”

Moreover, Swift has become more open about a sensitive part of her startup story: She has stage 3 endometriosis. In fact, part of the reason she turned to entrepreneurship was so she could work remotely, as needed. Recently, she has been making an effort to connect other women with the disorder to flexible, stable employment opportunities at her firm.

Swift says that the freedom she has found through entrepreneurship — freedom that allows her to lift up others, take care of her health and care for her family — is invaluable. Best of all, she has been living out a passion for helping people realize both their professional and travel dreams. “Every day, getting up and building this, it doesn’t feel like work.”