Posts Tagged ‘chairs’

How long have you been involved in the wedding industry?

As a supplier, I have been involved since April 2010.  However, as one of my daughters was married in July of this year, I feel as if I have been involved for much longer because of all the planning that went into her wedding!  I have a background of event management which has helped me a great deal with understanding the importance of planning and delivery. 

What services do you provide to brides to be?

I provide advice, decorations and catering in the form of afternoon tea parties, vintage china, lanterns, candelabra and I will try to source anything a couple want to make their day perfect for them. I can also provide chair covers, linen and top table swags to set the scene perfectly. 

What made you decide to provide lanterns, birdcages etc as wedding decorations?

Candle light is so lovely, especially when we light the whole venue garden in summer but lanterns can be very expensive and what do you do with them and other decor items when your day is over?  Every couple are individual and I like to try and provide different decor items to make the day unique. 

Vintage china is very ‘on trend at the moment, but again can be expensive to source good quality.  I have enough to provide place settings for over 100 guests and there is no washing up!  

A very exciting development for 2011 is the start of the ‘Celebrations’ part of my company that means we can now provide everything to decorate the venue from candelabra to table swags.  I know there has been a debate recently over chair covers, but I do believe that they finish a room off perfectly, as long, of course, as you get really good quality ones that fit and are pristine.

We also have access to a range of other quality and trusted suppliers for venues, catering, flowers and photography …. everything, in fact for the whole day. 

What makes you different from the competition?

I believe so strongly that when suppliers hear the word ‘wedding’ the cash registers should not go ‘kerching!’.  Every couple, regardless of budget deserves the best they can possibly have and I do my upmost to deliver that standard. 

Weddings are such special occasions and I genuinely care about every detail from the quality of the china to the selection of goodies on my sweetie tables. You don’t have to pay the earth to feel you have touched the stars! 

And now with ‘Celebrations’ there is a one stop shop to help take the strain of organising the day.  When couples pay a supplier, part of the price is that the supplier does any worrying so that you can sit back and enjoy!

 What inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by the happiness of my couples and making sure that they get what they want rather than what other suppliers think they should have.  I like to follow current trends and make sure that my products are the best they can be. Although I just love pretty things and my main theme is vintage it must be chic and smart, not ‘Granny’s tea party!’. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love the people that I meet, both couples  and other suppliers and the wonderful venues I get to work in.  To be surrounded by beautiful  things and romance bringing happiness to people.  What more could anyone want?

What have been your main achievements?

My main achievement has been starting my business and making it work.  It is not easy for anyone in these economic times to kick out on your own, but if you are confident and deliver a consistent high level of service you can make it happen. 

To be in my first year of business and to be working in such prestigious venues as The Old Bishop’s Palace, Lincoln and to have been chosen to do the settings for the Epic Centre, Lincolnshire Showground’s civic wedding venue  publicity photographs is just fabulous.

 Can you describe a typical day?

When I am setting up at a venue, I always get there as early in the morning as I can to give myself plenty of time. If I am supplying vintage china I ensure that is delivered the day before so that the caterer can set up, if I am not supplying the tea time treats!  

I am up early doing a final check of everything I need, especially making sure I have spares.   At the venue I liaise with the wedding coordinator so they know I am on site and also to check for any last minute plan changes. 

I will then set up any outside lanterns, double checking if battery tea lights are used. Moving to inside I set up candelabra, chair covers, that all have to be pressed again on site, and other decor items finishing with the sweetie table, laying out the vintage linen and sweeties at the last moment I possibly can. 

When I am not setting up a venue I may be trawling antique shops for special bits and pieces, answering emails, contacting venues and other suppliers or planning my next wedding fair.

 Can you provide a price guide for your services?

My sweetie tables start at £75.00, much cheaper than buying favours for guests, lanterns cost from £3.50 each for outside bronze lanterns on hooks and a candelabra from £15.00. Chair covers are £3.50 with double sashes if wanted and I can also provide linen and top table swags.  I like to provide a bespoke package for each couple and am always happy to give a price without obligation.

 How can our readers get in touch with you?

My email address is admin@lincolnshirelanterns.com and I can be contacted on my mobile 07884472117.  I love weddings and am always ready to chat through with couples ideas to make their day perfect.


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Simplicity is key to Success

Two years ago, Sarah Pittenburgh turned redundancy into opportunity when she set up her own business. Simply Bows and Chair Covers is now thriving.

After nearly two years in business, the chair cover and table linen specialist has grown to incorporate six franchises, covering the whole of the North East, plus Yorkshire and Cumbria. Further franchises are on the way, with a total of 30 forecast to be up and running by the end of 2012.

Sarah puts the company’s impressive development down to its integral high standards of both product and service. She explains:

I used to be a brand manager for Land Rover and Jaguar and then worked in event management. When we hired linen, it didn’t seem to matter where we went, the quality was poor and the service was very underwhelming.

There was a definite gap in the market, so when I lost my job in 2008, I thought I would grasp the opportunity and set up my own business.

We’ve become the preferred supplier to many of the key wedding venues in the North East and I would hope it is because we provide the whole package: it’s a quality product, at an affordable price, supported by an exceptional standard of customer service.

The business took off thanks to Sarah’s determination and strong work ethic, as she recalls

I took the product to market myself – I sat down with wedding co-ordinators and general managers, and asked for feedback about the product. They loved it and we took notice of their comments and requirements.

I set the company up in January 2009, and by September I couldn’t cope with the amount of enquiries we were getting.

The resulting decision to franchise the company was clearly a smart move, but it wasn’t an easy option.

To hand over the brand to franchisees is quite a daunting task, so I spend quite a good deal of time selecting suitable individuals who demonstrate creative flair, exude enthusiasm to develop the brand and are completely customer focused. I’ve turned people down as I didn’t feel their motivation for joining the brand was right.

Simply Bows and Chair Covers has certainly grown, but the simplicity of its offering remains at the core of the business, as Sarah points out

We stick to what we do best – high quality chair covers with matching table linen – but we work with recommended partners who take care of any other requirements our clients might have, such as florists and stationers, allowing us to offer clients the full package, prepared by specialists in each field.

When it comes to keeping their own products fresh, the Simply Bows team has a creative approach.

We are constantly coming up with new ideas. We might take inspiration from the catwalk and manipulate that to accessorise a chair, as well as seasonal trends in colours and accessories.

We create bespoke events that make the most of the client’s budget – we don’t do anything off-the-shelf.

The company has also expanded its services for the corporate market in recent months.

Napkins and chairs can now be branded with a logo and we’ve also got an extensive range of coloured linen, so a client can tie their corporate colours into the look for an awards ceremony or a product launch.

For those who like the idea of pursuing their own entrepreneurial venture, Sarah has some advice:

I think the key thing is to fully research and understand the market you are about to enter. Because I had ten  years’ experience in events, I had a lot of contacts and experience in that field, which helped me to get the business off the ground quickly.

If you’re passionate and you believe in your product, you’ve got to give it a go because if you don’t, it will always be a ‘what if’.

For more information, log into www.simplybowsandchaircovers.co.uk

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