Expat Round-up: Promoting expat businesses

expatroundupOne of the reasons I love doing the expat roundup is the opportunity to support fellow expats. I do this to help them but also because I think what they have to offer is of genuine interest for the rest of the expat community and beyond. Today I’m supporting a travel writer, a network developer, a photographer and an author of a very unique how-to book. Expats are great at networking and building links across the globe and one of the best things that we have to use is the internet–almost as if it were made for us! Click on the links below to build your network of expat entrepreneurs.

Toni Hargis, author of the entertaining Rules, Britannia, has published the extensively researched, sharply written The Stress-Free Guide to Studying in the States, a very useful guide for Americans overseas who want to return to study in the States or foreign nationals who would like to study there. For my review of Toni’s book, click on Studying in the United States. To ‘meet the author’ and see what else she’s up to, click on Expat Mum.

Jen is not only one of the founders of BritMums, and former blogger for the Times, but also a travel writer on her blog, Jenography. As expats, our opportunities for travel are fantastic as we’re usually in a location far from home that we can use as a new base to more easily visit nearby places that would have been difficult from home. But in this piece, Returning to Taos, Jen revisits a place from her childhood, and I couldn’t resist a link because it is also a favourite destination from my childhood. Taos is slightly off the beaten track for most foreign visitors to the States but one I would highly recommend.

Some expats have wisely taken advantage of their unique perspective to build businesses and brands, while others have simply done what they would have done anywhere and recognised a gap in the market then used their skills to fill it. Susanna from A Modern Mother, the other founder of BritMums did just that when she started an online networking group for expat mothers that quickly developed into BritMums. As one of the founders behind BritMums Susanna leads the very influential conversation of parent bloggers in the UK and as a result receives invitations to places like Number 10. You can read about her visit in My Trip to Number 10.

Julia Boggio is an example of an expat who has taken her expertise and her unique position as an expat to inject fresh ideas into a marketplace, creating her own niche and doing so exceptionally well. As a portrait photographer she creates strikingly beautiful images, always following her own rule that “everybody looks great in my photographs!” Julia is an internationally renowned photographer, and a popular speaker at conferences, both within her industry and in the blogging community. She writes her own blog at I Carried a Watermelon. To see her beautiful work and some fun, behind the scenes videos, click on Boggio Studios, but my favourite brand of hers is Home by Midnight, created for women just like me, looking for the magic of high-quality, glamorous portraiture.

Over to you readers–have you published a book, started a business, recognised a gap in the market as a result of being overseas? I’d love to hear from you and would very much enjoy highlighting your work in upcoming round-ups!

Leave a link below to your post or tell us about your work in the comments…

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About Michelle Garrett

Michelle Garrett is the author of The American Resident, where she blogs about making a life overseas, raising a blended family, herding cats, chasing chickens and attempting the Good Life in Essex. Michelle is a freelance writer.


  1. 16 August 2013 / 14:53

    Michelle, thanks for including me and the post about Taos. You’ve pointed out something I’ve noticed as well from living in the UK and in France: expats are a special breed: they’re excited about the prospect of living far away from their home country, happy to work at fitting in in their new home country and — frankly — not put off by looking stupid, ill-informed or ridiculous. I remember the moment when I was living in Paris and I realised I was the least interesting person at a dinner party of Parisians. I had to work hard to understand the conversations buzzing about and despite a decade of study, I still spoke like a child with frequent mistakes. When I tried to join in, the conversation ground to halt and everyone listened, waiting for me to get it all out. Ah well. Humbling but significant!

    • 16 August 2013 / 15:03

      Ha, oh dear, well at least they were patient (were they?). But wow, at least you could be a part of the conversation. I’d be as interesting as a piece of furniture with my two years of French, making you look quite good! Yes, the expat life offers many humbling experiences and yes, the emotionally resilient expats just soldier on, knowing that it all makes us that much stronger…

  2. 16 August 2013 / 15:16

    Hi Mich, Thanks for the shout out. I would say to every expat (and every person) if you have a book idea or any other business idea, go for it. The secret is you have to get off your A and do it. No one is going to come to you and offer to do it for you. It’s a lot of work, but if it’s what you want to do…

  3. 23 October 2013 / 15:17

    Sorry to come so late to the party [blush] – it must be almost time for the next roundup by now…. but I wanted to second Toni’s advice to “just do it” 🙂 I have always thought that being an expat (especially a transient one) is like permanently being in your first week at University, but without the embarrassing sexual experiences & a better class of alcohol…..
    [shameless plug alert] my own two expat projects are http://expatafrica.net, helping expats relocating to sub-Saharan Africa, & http://areyouanexpatwife.com, my upcoming web resource & blog for all things accompanying partner. Do pop by & say hello!