Women to Watch: Topaz Smith
En-Noble, a travel tech company focused on authentic cultural immersions that blend popular tourist attractions with lesser-known cultures, is the brainchild of our woman to watch and Peace Corps alum, Topaz Smith.
Topaz, the founder, built this product after living in Rome and the village of Positano on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. She attended an international middle school and high school where she visited a different country annually and learned its history, language, and culture. During her stay in Italy, she was headed to Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, and needed a place to do her hair.
She looked online for African beauty salons but could not find any options in central Rome or in Italy. She ended up on a bus headed to Rome Termini and walked off with a black female and asked her if she could direct her to the closest African beauty salon. Turns out the African woman was Nigerian-Italian and was a native of Rome.
The woman walked Topaz to a Nigerian-Italian hair salon and barber shop in a basement packed with Africans from the global diaspora and of course a Nigerian grandmother selling fufu and other Nigerian foods. She felt like she was back in NYC and realized that this salon brought immense joy.
"At that moment, I realized that I can bring the same joy and experience that the salon brought me to other travelers looking for services and attractions that can’t be found online."
She wanted to create a service that gave subcultures the opportunity to showcase their resources and the value they bring to society. She also wanted to shine the spotlight on subcultures that many are not aware of and those that are not broadly marketed in the larger travel and tourism industry.
Thus, EN-NOBLE was born, to amplify the voices of subculture communities globally, granting them access to travelers interested in authentic cultural nuanced experiences.
“At EN-NOBLE, we serve travelers who are frustrated by underwhelming mass market tourism options, who are looking for travel experiences that your typical traveler drives past on a tour bus. We curate authentic and immersive experiences that blend popular tourist attractions with lesser-known cultures. We pledge that 1% of our revenue goes back to be reinvested with our local vendors to build their capacity and travel products.”
One of EN-NOBLE's local tourism initiatives is Peru in NYC! Join them on this adventure showcasing cultural social spaces that highlight authentic elements of Peru. This is a taste and see experiment that will give you an opportunity to explore this country within the five boroughs. Visit their website to book this experience today!