What do Elegant Living Tampa Bay, Sheltair Aviation, SpeedBird, and Florida Yacht Life and Florida Beach Houses have in common? They are luxury-brand companies owned and operated by women. So, it comes as no surprise to them that wealthy businesses and investment portfolios are shifting into women’s hands at record pace, with women controlling one third of total U.S. household financial assets.
These four family-run businesses cater to women of wealth and collaborating made perfect sense in their quest to grow and reach even more high net-worth women.
The seeds for partnership were planted when Elegant Living Tampa Bay began curating VIP Wine, Women & Wealth events at high-end venues including private aviation FBOs (fixed base of operations), exotic car dealerships and exclusive yachts where women participated in luxury experiences and had the opportunity to discuss portfolio diversification and other financial topics with experienced wealth experts.
Sky’s the Limit with Sheltair Aviation
Seeking to support the Women of Wealth initiative, Sheltair Aviation became Elegant Living Tampa Bay’s first luxury partner. Led by President Lisa Holland, Sheltair is family owned and is the largest private aviation network in the country. By hosting Wine, Women & Wealth events at its FBOs in various cities around Florida, Sheltair showed the flexibility and freedom that flying private offers women as they juggle life’s many demands.
Lisa believes women with financial means deserve the same attention men have enjoyed for decades. She has seen the number of women purchasing planes and flying private continue to rise as they experience the benefits of private aviation.
Over the last year Sheltair Aviation has been expanding, opening its first Texas FBO just outside Dallas, acquiring 280,000 square feet of aviation real estate, including an executive FBO terminal, 12 corporate hangers and 42 T-Hangers. Sheltair also moved into the Atlanta area with its newest FBO location at Gwinnett County Airport, where it will redevelop almost 220,000 square feet of hanger space to include a new FBO and restaurant/office facility. A second operation in Georgia, at the Savannah International Airport, includes a state-of-the-art, 30,000-square-foot hanger.
In Colorado, Sheltair added a second, cabin-size hanger in Denver, and had a ground-breaking ceremony for three additional hangers at the Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.
In April, Lisa hosted an event with Elegant Living at the Tampa Sheltair FBO to celebrate Sheltair’s two new hangers there, which will be operational later this month.
And in a passion-driven project led by Lisa, Sheltair relocated its corporate headquarters from Oakland Park to the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport to have a corporate presence at the airport. The fully renovated, two-story, 20,000-square-foot facility will accommodate Sheltair’s growing staff.
Take Off with SpeedBird
SpeedBird Private Plane charter company also has seen tremendous growth over the last year, as Katie Bull, chief strategy officer and co-founder, joined forces with Elegant Living Tampa Bay. SpeedBird became a luxury partner following an event at Sheltair’s FBO in Orlando.
In December, SpeedBird announced the acquisition of six aircrafts — four Cessna CJ3+3s and two Bombardier Challenger 605s — bringing the total number of planes in its fleet to 14. This milestone underscores SpeedBird’s vision to be a symbol of excellence in the industry, and the only choice for those seeking the best in private air travel.
In addition, SpeedBird has joined forces with Northern Jet Management of Grand Rapids, MI. With this merger, the company expects to generate annual revenues of $110 million with a fleet of 37 aircraft and 209 employees, including 98 pilots. This will make SpeedBird one of the top 20 private jet operators in the U.S.
As Katie’s husband Chris takes the helm of CEO, SpeedBird expects to add two Learjets and a Challenger 604 and 605 to its fleet in the coming months.
Private aviation is looking bright and in demand.
Luxury on the High Seas…and on the Beach
Aviation isn’t the only luxury travel seeing an increase in demand. According to Vogue Business in a February 28, 2023, article, “In an effort to reach high-value customers, luxury brands are targeting states like Florida and Texas.”
There is no better example of that than Florida Yacht Life, which partnered with Elegant Living Tampa Bay last fall and has seen growth in both private yacht charters and luxury coastal beach rentals since coming to Florida seven years ago.
Monica Ruth and her husband Tony moved to the sunshine state from Ohio and bought their first vacation rental on Indian Rocks Beach in 2016. Over the years the couple added more vacation rentals as demand increased, and now own 12 beautiful properties through Florida Beach Houses.
In 2017, they started a yacht charter business with the acquisition of “Magic Moment,” a 75-foot, motor yacht based in Tampa Bay. This year they added a second yacht, a 120-foot, motor yacht “Star Sapphire,” the only “super yacht” available for private charters in the Tampa Bay area.
Affluent travelers looking for luxurious experiences can work with Monica to curate a complete luxury vacation — from a beach house property in Indian Rocks to booking a yacht charter, complete with food prepared by private chefs and wine experiences.
What makes the business unique is the couple’s hands-on approach and attention to detail. Most charter companies manage boats for absentee owners. Monica and Tony focus on curating the ultimate luxury vacation for their guests and take this role to heart.
“The most rewarding part of owning Florida Yacht Life and Florida Beach Houses is having the opportunity to make unforgettable memories for our guests and their loved ones,” Monica said.
Elegant Living Throughout Florida
Elegant Living Tampa Bay has believed in creating unforgettable experiences since founder Tracey Serebin hosted the first VIP Wine, Women & Wealth event in Tampa in 2022 at the Pendry Hotel & Residences sales office before it opened to the public. Since then, similar events have been held across the state in Sarasota, Orlando, Ocala and Daytona Beach, and soon will be expanding to Naples, West Palm Beach and into the Northeast.
Based on feedback from attendees, Tracey launched a Women of Wealth membership program, “Cuvee Femme Voyage ~ The Best Wine and Wealth Adventure for Women.”
Tracey is listening to what affluent women are looking for to add value to their lives. She is delivering unique, intimate experiences for them to enjoy the best luxury brands and explore ways to expand their portfolios…all while enjoying delicious wines. “The best wine and wealth adventures for women keep unveiling new surprises as the membership grows statewide and beyond,” Tracey said
These four companies are at the top of their industries, providing excellent customer service and continually striving to elevate the experiences of their discerning clientele. When the collective energy of these powerhouse women owners came together to mutually support one another, each company flourished, as did the women they serve.