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Opening Doors – Talking Luxury Travel with Blackbook Concierge CEO Betsy Cox

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In NewsWhistle’s fashionable question-and-answer series, Clara Morgan speaks with some of her favorite influencers and finds out more about their lives and careers.

Betsy Cox is a leader in the lifestyle management space as CEO of the premier facilitator of luxury services, Blackbook Concierge. While Betsy’s endearing personality attracts clients, it’s her sophisticated and discrete service that keeps them.

An attentive team of the best lifestyle managers, Blackbook Concierge can retain impossible-to-get dinner reservations and inaccessible tee times using her worldwide network of multilingual professionals with in-depth local knowledge. From finding the perfect yacht charter in Saint-Tropez to directing clients to top-rated physicians, realtors or school districts, Blackbook Concierge is a full-service lifestyle management agency with a worldwide network.

Blackbook Concierge is a 24-hour business, servicing clients all over the globe. Betsy attributes her talents and network to traveling the world throughout her life. Growing up, she spent time between Providence, Rhode Island, Palm Beach, Florida, and Europe. When her parents bought a home near Rome, she visited Italy every summer where her father’s office resided. Betsy speaks two languages fluently, Italian and French, but also understands German, which is her favorite language. Cox is also well-versed in Middle Eastern and Arab cultures because early in her career she worked at a bank headquartered in Bahrain.

As an added feature, Blackbook Concierge now offers Divorce Concierge, which provides primary care and assistance during the end of a marriage.  The new offering has caught the attention of entertainment executives in Beverly Hills and they will pilot a show based on the business, The Divorce Concierge, by the end of 2018.

For more information on Blackbook Concierge, please visit: www.blackbooknewyork.com/

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Betsy Cox; Portrait by Frankie Cappello

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1. How and when did you first realize you wanted to work in your current industry?

I worked at an Arab Bank called Investcorp where I was head of events.  I realized the majority of my time was spent as a personal concierge to our partners, clients, and investors. It only made sense to start my own business with the talents I gained and loved performing!

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2. What is your biggest career highlight to date?

I would say the most unexpected career highlight would be that I am in development for a scripted TV show based on my business.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be characterized in a TV show, but then again, I would definitely watch my life and business on Netflix regularly!

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3. Any celebrity clients or memorable stories related to your business that you want to share?

I would love to share but it’s in the best interests of my business and clients that those stories remain private. Confidentiality is what my clients come to me for. Watch my show and you will get a glimpse of some highlights from my business.

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4. How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is classic chic.  My uniform is a blazer, jeans, and a “So Kate” Christian Louboutin 5-inch pump.  You will never see me in flats!

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5. What is a typical day in your life like?

-I wake up to three phones to check my emails, texts, etc. from my pillow.

-Correspond with my staff and clients in the AM to learn the outlook of my day which is everchanging!

-At 12pm EST, I start connecting with LA for my TV show.  Eat, Sleep, Repeat!

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6. What are three never-miss events on your calendar?

  • The Central Park Conservancy Hat Luncheon.
  • New Years in Gstaad.
  • July in St Tropez.

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Betsy Cox at Bagatelle, St Tropez, Photo by Frankie Cappello

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7. Currently, what are the three most popular luxury travel destinations?

  • Greece is overcoming its financial upheaval and it’s the number one destination back on the map for the summer.
  • Poland is the most sought after Eastern European destination for summer as it offers the same history and beauty as the others with better value.
  • Egypt is back on the map as well and one of my favorite places in the world!

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8. What off-the-beaten track luxury travel destination should people consider?

  • Syros in Greece. Similar to Mykonos and Santorini with fewer tourists and better value!
  • Brunei is a small country in East Asia full of cultural history and certainly off the beaten track. It has the world’s largest water villages, rainforests, and amazing food.
  • San Blas Islands of Panama has over 300 tiny islands off the coast. The beaches are pristine with no crowding. The locals are friendly, and the culture and cuisines are interesting. Be sure to bring your own cash because there are no ATMs.

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9. What are your three favorite locations in the city you reside in?

  • Soho, where I live!
  • Upper East Side, where I spent the majority of my life.
  • St Patrick’s Cathedral – I enjoyed viewing the immaculate Virgin Mary which stands in the back. I used to visit the chapel once a month because I lived and worked in the area.

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10. What are your three favorite restaurants?

  • Indochine – My favorite dish is the Vietnamese ravioli.
  • Emilio’s Ballato – Has the best meatballs!
  • Via Carota – The Cacio e Pepe is creamy and delicious.

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11. What about your three favorite bars?

  • Omar’s – because of Omar; The owner is a friend.
  • Peninsula Rooftop – It is the ultimate Gotham city equivalent. You feel like you are on top of the world.
  • Jimmy at the James Hotel– It is a cool, downtown bar. It’s intimate, but I can still enjoy my rosé outdoors on the rooftop deck.

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12. What has been your best New York moment? What about the worst?

Best New York moment was driving after college into the city knowing I was going to live in the Big Apple! Two aspirations of mine, growing up, was attend school in Paris and live in NYC. The person I wanted to become and the business I wanted to go into was all right here. If there is anywhere you’re going to make it, New York City is the place to be.

There is no worst moment for me in NYC. There is nothing that can’t be solved or overcome, and it’s basically my job to assure that.

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13. Name your go-to: 

a. Outfit: Balmain Blazer and jeans and a crisp shirt.

b. Fragrance: Portrait of a Lady by Frédéric Malle.

c. Movie: Sound of Music…I often want to make some dresses out of my curtains!

d. Book: Emily Post Etiquette…can never have enough good manners!

e. TV show: Scandal and Billions…as I can relate!

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14. Name your favorite vacation spot, and the hotel you stay at while there. What makes these spots special?

I have traveled all over the world, and I can honestly say that the Beverly Hills hotel in California is by far the best hotel and my favorite spot.  The hospitality service is perfect, hotel is amazing, and the staff is excellent plus attentive.  The more time I spend in LA for my TV show the more I love it.

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15. What are your three most played songs?

To be honest most of the day I need to concentrate so I don’t listen to much music even though I do love it!

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16. What are three items you couldn’t live without?

  • Neutrogena facial wipes
  • My Audemars Picguet
  • My son and mother

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17. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be and why?

It’s a toss-up between the real Dolly Levi and Mary Poppins.  They are basically the old school lifestyle managers!  I possibly could learn some old tricks to reinvent.

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18. What is something people might not know about you?

I’m quite shy, but never in business! Networking is an extremely important skill. I have to always be on and speaking to people to propel my business forward. You have to be aggressive and persevere because you are your own advocate. There is no one else that can take accountability for you.

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Betsy Cox with clients at Octoberfest Munich 1
Betsy Cox with clients at Munich’s Octoberfest; Photograph by Frankie Cappello

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19. When did you feel like you had “made it” professionally?

When my New York Times article, Unhitching? The Divorce Concierge Is at Your Service was published. It was a wild feeling to make it in the publication. TV producers started calling before the article even hit.

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20. Do you have any advice for those aspiring to work in your industry?

It’s all about who you know! Network, network, network! Be as visible as possible. You must constantly market yourself to build your business. Your client base is who you are going to meet but you must also network on behalf of your clients – keeping in mind their needs and interests.

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21. What changes do you think your industry will undergo in the next 5-10 years?

I think my industry has already been through a major upheaval due to the economy.  I think there will be fewer lifestyle managers and the cream will remain at the top.  Being I am the first Divorce Concierge, I think we will see a rise in others doing the same.

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Landscape; Photo by Frankie Cappello

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Images Courtesy of Betsy Cox; Photographs by Frankie Cappello