Travel career began with her journey on a bus
It is not every day that a $5 bus ticket can change a life, but it did in the case of Gladys Edmunds.
And not everyone can take an idea and, with determination, turn it into a successful business. But that is exactly what Edmunds did.
Growing up in Homewood, Edmunds' career path was not easy. As a 15-year-old single mother, she developed a flair for sales, selling everything from fried chicken to fire extinguishers. Later, that talent would bring her and her travel company great success and profits. How she got started in the travel business is an example of her ability to focus her energies.
While traveling to Waterford, W.Va., on a bus, Edmunds came up with a great idea. She had paid $5 for her ticket. Why not buy the tickets from the bus company and then sell them herself?
That was the beginning of Edmunds Travel Consultants, operated from a card table in her living room.
Edmunds worked hard and her business prospered. Realizing that not everyone wants a package tour with a set itinerary, she decided to cater to the individual traveler's needs. She worked with her clients, finding out their likes and what they were looking for in a vacation.
Today Edmunds is exploring a new career opportunity. She has turned her travel business over to her daughter Sharon and her daughter's partner and is promoting a series of audiotapes, ''No Business Like Your Own Business.'' The tapes, which she uses in business workshops, are a mixture of business savvy and Edmunds' own story.
Over the years Edmunds has received many awards, appeared on television and had her story featured in numerous publications.
Still, she sees more good opportunities coming in her life. Her desire to share her experiences as an entrepreneur and to see others reach for their dreams should keep her going for years to come.
-- By Lizabeth Gray