Travel Site Boston Voyager featured Trademark Tours founder Daniel Andrew on their site this week. The interview profiles the origins of the company, the privileges and challenges of running a business and details about just what Trademark offers today.
Check out an excerpt below or Read the full piece here!
Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Andrew.
Daniel, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I had the great fortune to attend Harvard as an undergrad from 2003-2007. As a student I fell in love with the history of Harvard and developed a passion for giving tours of the school. As a tour guide it came to my attention that Harvard was not only of interest to perspective students – it was actually a tourist attraction! When I realized that Harvard offered no tours during peak tourism season I decided to start a business giving tours of Harvard for tourists and visitors. In the summer of 2006 I set out with nothing more than my voice, a few paper brochures printed in my dorm and a hunger to give visitors the ultimate Harvard experience.
The trouble started almost immediately. Harvard tried to shut down the business citing trademark law governing use of the Harvard name. So I changed the name of the tour to “The Unofficial Hahvahd Tour” (poking fun at the University’s stuffy reputation) and took the fight to the press. The quality of the tour received favorable coverage in the local student newspaper, and the story was quickly picked up by national news outlets including the Boston Globe, NBC, NRP and the New York Times. By the end of the summer I had made peace with Harvard and was allowed to continue operating as the first student-owned business to be allowed to operate at Harvard during term-time.
Thus began what has become an eleven year journey in the tourism and travel business sector. The company has become a thriving force in the local economy serving Harvard, MIT and the Boston tourism market. There were many micro successes and failures along the way, but the most important key to success has been the support I’ve received from the community. This community includes the Harvard Square Business Association, The City of Cambridge, the Boston Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Boston Concierge Association, local banks like Cambridge Trust and Eastern Bank, and of course the hundreds of dedicated staff and tour guides who have passed through our ranks.
As we look to the future the challenges we face are different, but the mission is the same: Provide the ultimate Harvard experience.