This Entrepreneurial Couple Used Tech, Food + Hustle To Become The First Crowdfunded B&B In The World.

Chef Kalisa Martin and tech entrepreneur, Jeff Belizaire, left their lives as marketing executives in NYC and moved to Jamaica to open up a luxury bed and breakfast. Sounds like a romantic comedy, right?

Opening a B&B was a dream that Martin and Belizaire both shared. After experiencing a bad New York winter snow storm, the couple had all of the motivation they needed to take the plunge.
Within 6 months of moving to Jamaica, the couple announced their B&B project on Kickstarter and pre-sold $46,000 of reservations and perks within 45 days. They used the funds to design, renovate and decorate the property and open in November 2015.

"[2015 was] a busy year for us at The Runaway. Between rum punches and all-nighters, we accomplished more than we could have imagined"
Check out everything this entrepreneurial couple was able to accomplish in just one year:

JANUARY - After 3 months of living and researching in Jamaica we closed the deal on a property for The B&B.

FEBRUARY - We assembled a #team of rockstars and began planning our Kickstarter campaign.

MARCH - Our campaign launched, was named a Kickstarter Staff Pick, and received overwhelming support.

APRIL - Our campaign ended and we officially became the 1st successfully funded B&B on Kickstarter.

MAY - We drove the entire coast of Jamaica (in the name of research and fun times), began our furniture build and created and launched TheRunawayJamaica.com.

JUNE - Construction began on the interior renovations and rooftop design and we secured partnership deals with some awesome brands.

JULY / AUGUST / SEPTEMBER / OCTOBER - We overcame surprise termites, leaky roofs and other unexpected expenses, partnered with artisans and local businesses, sourced materials, managed contractors and tested a lot of recipes (and gained a few pounds to prove it!).

NOVEMBER - We opened for business and excitedly welcomed, fed and entertained guests from Florida, DC, New York, Texas and New Jersey.
The Runaway Jamaica is the first successfully funded B&B in Kickstarter history. They are also launching a furniture collection and cookbook in the fall. The bed and breakfast is not just a home but a showcase of handcrafted, Jamaican products that highlight the island and the rich culture. Their 5 pillars are Food, Design, Sustainability, Community, and Culture.
Make sure to keep up with The Runaway Experience on Instagram and book them for your next vacation!

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