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Meet Jill Carter of Fly Mommy Chronicles in Playa Vista

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Carter.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always been into travel. As a little girl growing up in St. Louis with my mom, I would go visit my dad in Los Angeles every summer, Christmas and spring break. My mom and I would travel over the summers too. So growing up, travel was important to me. My world opened up even more when I took my first international trip in high school. Up until I finished law school, most of my travel was domestic. But after, I began doing more and more international travel. It started as one trip a year and really grew from there.

When my husband and I were dating, we learned that we both really loved travel and began doing a lot of traveling together. Since then, we’ve really prioritized travel for ourselves and our kids. It’s as important that they see as much of the world as possible too.

Once we started really traveling, it occurred to me that I wanted to blog about it. I had blogs before, but none of them really stuck because I wasn’t nearly as committed to the topics. But this was different. I literally think about travel all the time, so it was super simple to start writing about it. I’ve loved it. After I started blogging and growing my social media presence, I began getting a lot of questions about travel and even traveling with me. So, it was only natural that group travel became a part of my business.

This past February I hosted my first group travel experience in Cartagena, Colombia with 24 women. The trip was phenomenal and exceeded all of my expectations. The feedback I got was amazing and although I had other group travel experiences planned for the year, Covid-19 obviously changed those plans. But, it’s shown me that I’m really good at curating unforgettable travel experiences for other people and that wasn’t even my plan when I began.

Has it been a smooth road?
It certainly hasn’t been all smooth sailing getting to this place, and with so much farther to go, I know new challenges will continue to pop up.

Two major challenges I’ve had with growing a travel brand have involved my kids and my work.

Traveling more often over the last couple of years has given me the much-needed content to blog and post about on social media platforms, but all of that travel is not without its challenges. Much of my travel takes place off season because it’s easier for me to slip away when my kids are in school and also because I like to get the best prices and less crowds. But when I go, there’s a lot to do to make sure that everything is easily laid out for my kids.

When I leave, my husband and my mom really step up and hold everything down. I try to make everything super simple for them by anticipating all of the things my girls (Elle – 12 and Campbelle – 3) will need. I let teachers know when I’ll be gone, lay out clothes for school or events while I’m away, make sure that sitters are lined up if they’re needed while I’m away, etc. But none of this takes away from the fact that it can take an emotional toll on my girls and myself when I’m gone. We try to combat this by talking, texting and FaceTiming. I also leave notes and little treats and gifts for them and of course bring back souvenirs.

I am an attorney in private practice so luckily I can manage my own schedule. That said, I rarely do last minute travel because I need time to get my calendar in order. I’m usually pretty booked with work about six weeks out, so I usually plan my travel well in advance, anywhere from 2-6 months out. This helps me to make sure that I’m not missing anything and that I have plenty of time to plan and get things taken care of before I leave. I also have great reinforcements to help when little unexpected things come up.

Another challenge involves lack of representation. While travel is becoming very diverse as far as other races emerging on the travel scene, travel – as far as representation with top brands, television and other opportunities remains a nondiverse industry. I think this is why it’s necessary to create our own niches and our own lanes to force diversity. This is why I built my entire platform around black women, moms in particular, because I know we’re not a demographic that’s really highlighted elsewhere. Opening doors, even breaking down doors is really necessary in order to get that exposure that’s so important. Our messaging needs to be heard and understood.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fly Mommy Chronicles – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Fly Mommy Chronicles primarily functions as a travel blog with many other moving parts. My blog and social media platforms focus on inspiring black moms to have incredible travel experiences. I share information on travel tips and hacks, family travel, solo, group or romantic travel tips, destinations, travel fashion, etc. I am known for my “Fly Mommy Fridays” where I highlight other traveling moms on social media.

I’ve written my first book as well as an e-book and both will be released later this year. When travel resumes, I have more group trips and I’ve also offered my services to help moms curate their own travel experiences, particularly for their family travel. I also offer a variety of travel products.

I’m proud of sticking to my niche and my mission help other moms have incredible travel experiences. These travel experiences can be with their families, friends, couples, solo or group. No matter what aspect of travel these moms are looking for, I can provide either a service, product or a referral. It’s so important to me that I encourage more black women to get out and explore the world because it’s important that we see women who look like us spanning the globe. It’s also important that people around the world SEE US!

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Los Angeles has so many interesting and unique neighborhoods! Since the quarantine and travel restrictions eliminated our summer travel plans, we had to get creative. In addition to a couple of road trips, we are planning to spend the summer neighborhood hopping. We’ll visit different neighborhoods and explore everything from street art, cafes and various eateries, shops, outdoor fun, etc. But what I love about L.A. is when I sat down to start the list… went on and on. There’s no shortage of outdoor fun either. This summer, my kids and I will have plenty of free time and not too many solid plans. I can’t wait to see what kinds of outdoor fun we can get into.

I love the diversity of L.A. too. I love that we have so many cultures in our city and we’re able to go to different areas and learn more about them.

Of course, I hate the traffic. It’s been eery driving around in the last few months not experiencing the usual traffic, but it’s slowly creeping back up. I also dislike the extreme socioeconomic disparities between various zip codes. I know this is often common in big cities like Los Angeles but it’s still one of the things I like least about our city.

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Image Credit:
Marina Maldonado

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