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Ashley Isaacs Ganz

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Ashley Isaacs Ganz is an entrepreneur from Philadelphia, and founder of luxury travel company Artisans of Leisure. She received her undergraduate degree from Hobart & William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York. She then earned a Master’s in sociology and historical studies at the New School for Social Research in New York City. While determined to find her purpose in the academic world, Ganz was working in the travel industry scheduling trips for clients to exotic locations.

Prior to moving to New York City, Ganz spent two years living in Japan under the Japanese Ministry of Education’s JET program. She traveled to a handful of countries thereafter, ranging anywhere from China, to Morocco, to Iceland. Her experience and attention to detail yielded a high personal standard for the quality of luxury travel services. She often found herself feeling it could be done better, and soon decided she could make it happen. Ganz was attending the London School of Economics with the goal of earning her PhD, and had been working on her thesis—a sociological study of the history of luxury travel—for several years. Instead, she chose to devote herself full-time to Artisans of Leisure, and has been immensely successful in her endeavor.

She is now a leader in the travel industry, and has made Artisans of Leisure an award-winning travel company. Their services have received accolades from several travel publications, as well as the likes of The New York Times and Forbes. Specializing in catering to well-traveled and sophisticated clients, they focus on providing culturally in-depth experiences rich in local gems Ganz and her team have discovered.

Companies and Investments

Artisans of Leisure (Founder, CEO), The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (Teacher)

Lessons Learned

I was abundant in experience with the travel industry, and I saw a niche where I was confident I could deliver a better package. I genuinely feel traveling should be about enlightening experiences, but it should also be fun. I love researching, learning and teaching on a daily basis as it provides me with something I can pass on to our clients—hidden gems that make each journey particularly special. I learned that people really appreciate the small details, and how making these experiences unique is key to unlocking their potential for the individual.

Inspiring Quotes

Ashley Isaacs Ganz's Quotes

I didn’t want to just write about the industry; I wanted to be involved in a much more hands-on way.

Ashley Isaacs Ganz

I never tire of Istanbul. It’s one of the great cities of the world: layers and layers of history, one of the world’s best dining scenes, great shopping, great people, and fantastic hotels.

Ashley Isaacs Ganz

Influential Books