Essentialist, which became one of the most sought-after services in the industry after launching in 2017, stopped issuing new memberships in September after growing five times more than expected last year. But, to expand beyond their hubs such as New York, London, Paris, and Singapore, they’ve decided to make more memberships available to expand their global community.
“We’re not recruiting numbers,” said Joan Roca, founder and CEO of Essentialist. “But, we’ve understood how growing our membership base to new territories is also contributing to enhancing the unique differentiation we bring to our members’ travels. And although we have so far prioritized referrals as our natural way to grow, we have also been working really hard to generate the extra capacity to expand our community beyond our current growth hubs.”
Currently, about 50 percent of the available spots will be dedicated to referrals from existing members and from the waiting list. But, there will be a select number of memberships available to new applicants who must go through a vetting process to be accepted.
“We interview each member personally before any trip is planned,” said Roca. “When our membership director interviews or meets with applicants, it is a two-way match we are looking for. We want to make sure the potential member will benefit our services, but we are also looking for someone who is excited to contribute and connect to our community.”
So, why is Essentialist so in demand? Well, unlike other companies, they use a magazine-style approach by tapping into their network of over 75 top-notch local editors to curate bespoke itineraries. Another alluring element is that for an annual fee of $1,400 per household, you get unlimited travel planning.
And this membership news comes as the company plans to offer more unique experiences for its elite clientele. In March, Essentialist will debut “Sessions by Essentialist,” a series of intimate, one-on-one gatherings with renowned tastemakers and connoisseurs. The special meet-and-greets allow members to collect behind-the-scenes knowledge, tips, tricks, and rare insider perspectives related to their passions, from winemaking to contemporary art. For example, art-enthused members will have the chance to sit alongside painter, printmaker, and sculptor, Roberto Turnbull at his Mexico City studio.
“Essentialist isn’t so much in the business of selling a product as much as it aims to provide bespoke service and memories, by getting under the skin of our members,” said Roca. “Sessions further enhances our itineraries with one-of-a-kind moments that allow real travelers to explore their passions outside of their everyday lives, and get inside the heads of the people they greatly admire.”
Want to apply? Head to Essentialist.com and click “apply” in the right-hand corner. You will be prompted to enter your information and will then hear from the company with further instructions.