Meet Andrea Soueidan, entrepreneur, mother of two and founder of Montreal’s elite lifestyle management brand, Altitude Connections. What started off as a hobby, quickly evolved into a successful business venture and now almost six years later, keeps growing with more services to offer their busy clientele. Soueidan proves that anything is possible, if you stay focused , positive and give excellent service. Find out the story behind this #girl boss.
Tell me about yourself. Did you always know you would start your own business?
I graduated with a business degree and left Montreal shortly after. I lived between Chicago and Dubai for the last 20 years, after my divorce I came back to Montreal six year ago. I was fortunate to be able to raise my kids and not to work until my return to Montreal. I decided to follow my dreams and make my hobby turn into a business model.
I got inspired starting Altitude Connections by servicing people around me. I somehow always knew where to buy flowers, where to hang out, the latest restaurants, lounges, the latest trends and more in every city that I lived in. It was simply part of who I am having the knowledge. Even my relatives and friends around me always asked me; “Andrea, where should we go?” “What’s the latest Restaurant in town?” “Any ideas for a gift?”
Until one day, a dear friend suggested that I start it as a business. I took it as a compliment and went for it, thinking what do I have nothing to lose! Especially that I have noticed nowadays everyone is busy. No one has time to buy a card or think of planning a dinner and more…I have strong values, I commit to requests, make them happen and make the impossible happen in a positive way. We must believe in faith and that anything can happen, including magic!
What inspires you ?
My main inspiration comes from my children. I want to show them that you can have goals, you can vision, you can achieve, you can dream and make them happen. Also, I enjoy meeting creative people every day (as suppliers) in our hospitality industry. It’s nice to share services, to trade services, we all have added value somehow and we are gifted in our own way. A mix of each ingredient, makes a perfect recipe!
Another inspiration is having such nice people around me with many years of business expertise in the business world. They directed me in my week points and thanks to them, I extended my knowledge, vision, goals and integrity at work and daily life.
Can you tell me a specific challenge that you surmounted in the beginning of opening your company ?
Acceptance in a very competitive industry, judgement in the business industry, building a strong network with suppliers, building confidence and trust in my customer data base, promoting the company by a word of mouth. Naturally thru great accomplishments, leaving great memories!
What do you credit to your success in the industry?
The ability to multi task, being organized , transparent and clear, my drive to perfection and details. I see beautiful, the half glass full, perseverance is one of my strengths, following up and consistently building my network while diversifying and always finding new areas to grow. Not to forget; customer service is my main strength and always being at the reach of my clients. Making clients happy is not a challenge!
Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
A growing brand, reputable “Lifestyle management Service”, continuous growth and added value on the Altitude Connection team. Building a business of exchange , meaning collaborating sometimes with competitors in order to deliver the best product possible for the clients.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you first started in the business?
How to say no :)…while delivering an excellent product and excellent service. Not second guessing, which will result in a mediocre product, the willingness to be patient while providing the up most best customer service and satisfaction in a reasonable timely frame.
Who is the ideal client for Altitude Connections?
My target is young professionals or simply busy people that have no time to think, shop and execute in order to have requests done on time and done to perfection. We want to manage their lifestyle and help organize their daily tasks in order for them to be productive in their daily journey and routine. Most of the time, I become friends with the clients and they include me in their personal life and I meet their families. Which I’m very blessed and grateful for as I get to know them better and suggest some changes in their Lifestyle! We end up building a trust and they confide in me.
What does success represent to you ?
Growing, moving forward to design my own life plan. Knowing exactly what I don’t want on my path. Your experience gives you a chance to learn everyday something new. I turned a hobby into a business and it never feels like work. I look forward to Monday mornings to start a fresh week! Even though Sundays are sacred to my family, I’m capable of balancing my work and have quality time with family which include my parents, my children, loved ones. I love hosting at home, entertaining, to keep traditions and passing them on to the younger generation.
What advice can you give women entrepreneurs starting a business venture ?
You must be willing to devote many hours, odd hours, be patient, keep smiling, be open to failure and learn from your own mistakes. I definitely couldn’t run this company if my children were much younger! Women entrepreneurs must learn to detach themselves from the outcome, especially a negative experience, since the positive ones, outweigh by far the negative ones. The real failure is not trying at all or not learning from mistakes. Being open to suggestions from others and from the Universe and positive energy will come your way!
To book your next concierge service visit Altitude Connections.