Coupang News


The secret to running a perfect guesthouse in Jeju

Jan 4, 2023

Tae-yeon Kim, who was born and raised in Jeju, spent over 10 years building her career as a resort manager on the island. She would leave her three children with her mother-in-law and go to work valiantly each day, but as is often the unfortunate case with women in Korea, she felt the constant pressure of feeling like she had to choose between her career or her children. 

Instead of giving into societal expectations, Tae-yeon took the entrepreneurial route and decided to run a guesthouse. Her dream was to build a facility big enough to house her family and mother-in-law, allowing her to work and raise her children in one place. But as her dream guesthouse was being built, her mother-in-law passed away. In honor of her late mother-in-law, Tae-yeon opened her guesthouse in 2016 and named it Casa del Mama 223, using the Spanish phrase for “mother’s house” plus the date of her mother-in-law’s birthday. 

 Tae-yeon was determined to make Casa del Mama 223 a success. But managing someone else’s resort and getting her own business up and running were two very different things. In addition, Tae-yeon no longer had her mother-in-law to help raise her children. 

“When I was just starting the guesthouse, my youngest was just two-years-old and in diapers,” said Tae-yeon. “It’s not easy to go to the grocery while raising three kids.” Fortunately for Tae-yeon, Coupang’s arrival in Jeju proved to be an immense source of support as she raised her kids while simultaneously running her business. “I received a lot of help from Coupang, including school supplies and baby items such as diapers, wet wipes, and powdered milk.”

Even her business saw a huge boost through Coupang. After inquiring with Coupang Travel about listing her guesthouse, she received personal consultations on how to set up her store, establish room rates, and keep up with the latest guesthouse management trends. In three months, she saw her reservation rate nearly double from 50% to 98%. Tae-yeon was also vigilant about responding to customer feedback, earning perfect five-star ratings for her attentiveness in ensuring that customers could enjoy a great stay.

“Coupang is not only a sales channel for me, but also a community where I can connect with my customers and their stories,” said Tae-yeon. “We currently have 450 customer reviews on Coupang, and their feedback gave me the courage to continue welcoming customers sincerely.”

Casa del Mama 223 caters specifically to families with children as the main customer base, and as a mother herself, Tae-yeon strives to create a perfect experience for them. She prepares breakfast for guests so that they can relax in the morning, and stocks everything from organic baby shampoos and lotions to children’s bathtubs and baby chairs to provide parents with young children peace of mind, removing the hassle of having to bring tons of extra luggage. Tae-yeon can always count on Rocket Delivery to run her guesthouse, ordering whatever her customers need to be delivered the next day.

“It’s so rewarding to hear from customers that they were able to relax as if they were staying at their own mother’s house when they check out,” said Tae-yeon. “I’m so grateful that I can do my job while raising three children. It would have been difficult without Coupang—I think it was a great decision to trust and choose Coupang from the beginning.”

Thanks to the success of her guesthouse, Tae-yeon’s new goal is to open a second Casa del Mama location, and she hopes to continue growing with Coupang in the future.

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