Black Creators: Travel Noire Founder Zim Flores Talks New Beginnings
Courtesy of @zimism via Instagram

Black Creators is a special series highlighting some of the amazing Black women and men who’ve successfully used their passion and platform to unite our community.

Did you know that Black people spend over $60 billion on travel annually? That is one of the reasons why Zim Flores founded Travel Noire: “to make international travel more inclusive and representative for explorers of color.”

Travel Noire (TN) is a digital media company serving millennials of the African Diaspora. As they note, “through inspired content, [they] help discerning travelers, discover, plan and experience new destinations.”

ESSENCE caught up with Zim Flores, Founder & CEO Emeritus of Travel Noire. On her creation of the award-winning boutique travel company, Flores says, “Travel Noire was born out of the time that I spent living in India. I wondered why the Black people in travel magazines were always traveled to but never the traveler. I thought about a world where the definition of the international traveler was transformed.”

Flores continued, “I grew up always wanting to see more people who looked like me doing unconventional things. I think that is what Travel Noire [does] for other people. We were constantly overlooked industry-wise but we stayed true to our audience, and I think that was the key to our success — that we stayed laser focused on who we were meant to serve.”

The well-traveled TN team helps travelers discover, plan, and experience new destinations through their robust social media presence and community app. Travel Noire works with Black-owned hotels and brands to bring its community the best deals, opportunities, content, and journeys around the world. 

Now, Travel Noire is a part of an even bigger family — in 2017, it became a part of Blavity, Inc. Flores now focuses her energy on a multitude of businesses and projects including a travel education brand, a distribution company, an accessories brand, and a few others that are in development. One of these is Italicist, of which Flores is the founder. 

“I’ve had a lot of success with building hyper niche brands — first with Travel Noire and the Black traveler and now with Italicist and the modest woman,” Flores says. 

“Italicist analyzes the fashion you love — and with your price & modesty preferences in hand, presents intuitive, personalized fashion selections that ship [quickly].”

On her new beginnings, Flores told ESSENCE, “I really loved building Travel Noire, letting it go was bittersweet, but is something that I detail extensively in my new book about starting over.”

“Though I sold Travel Noire in 2017, I know that the mission that we set out to accomplish in the beginning still lives on,” Flores concluded.

You can follow Travel Noire at travelnoire.com.com, and find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @TravelNoire. You can keep up with Zim and all of her new endeavors at @zimism across social media channels and join.zimisim.com, where she shares lessons on business, faith, and life.

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