The pandemic confronted the hospitality industry with an unprecedented challenge. It sparked a year of uncertainty and disruption. The key to surviving the crisis was resilience, and like many in the industry, Amanda Sheridan, owner of BagValet, had to dig deep.
According to CBS News, 35% of small businesses in operation pre-pandemic are still closed after more than a year. Even without the threat of a pandemic, 20% of small businesses fail in their first year and 30% fail in their second year, according to fundera.com. Despite these statistics, BagValet celebrated its second anniversary in June 2021.
BagValet has an empowering origin story. Our CEO and Founder, Amanda, was previously a stay-at-home mom until she began working as a rideshare driver in Charleston. On her drives, she became aware of an ongoing problem that was not only inconveniencing Charleston’s visitors, but also putting a burden on its local small businesses.
Amanda Sheridan, Founder
Amanda's mission with BagValet is to provide travelers an alternative to the luggage struggle in order to allow hassle-free exploration pre/post accommodations. With quality service at the forefront of our business, BagValet aims to bring convenience to travelers in Charleston so they can enjoy their stay without the baggage, literally!
BagValet started out 2 years ago as one woman and a van and has grown into the valuable and reliable business you know it to be. Amanda began her entrepreneurial journey promoting her idea to her rideshare passengers who had been experiencing this problem. From there, BagValet began working with bachelorette groups and itinerary planners, spreading brand awareness through word of mouth.
The business took off when BagValet established partnerships with local vacation rental properties. Amanda approached the properties that she was often dropping off to about the luggage issue that they were experiencing first-hand. Amanda describes her journey to success as “putting a puzzle together” as more partnerships developed. Now, BagValet is partnered with 73% of Charleston’s vacation rental market.
Despite being closed for 3 months because of lockdown and then experiencing a shortage of travel to Charleston in the following 9 months of the pandemic, BagValet is bigger and busier than ever.