Lauren worked for several years in Financial Services recruitment. She loved the busy and fun environment but when she became a mum she really wanted to do something she could work around her daughters’ school and the holidays. And that’s when her passion for decorating beautiful parties became her business.
We met Lauren for a Skinny Cappuccino and found out why she became an Excel expert and how a digital detox routine and keeping sports events in the diary helps her achieving a good balance in life.
Why a party business?
I am passionate about parties! I have always loved making tables look amazing with simple and elegant touches and gorgeous decorations. My first real interest in fine partyware started many years ago when I got married. At the time there wasn’t much choice and the quality wasn’t what I wanted. This then moved on to when I had my daughter.
To be decorating beautiful parties, I wanted to have superior quality plates, napkins, and cups that were appealing to children and adults. I found myself sourcing different things from separate places which was quite annoying and time consuming. I created Precisely Parties so that my customers could have access to several brands and mix and match and have everything arrive in one delivery.
Tell us more about your own background prior to this venture
My background after graduating was Financial Services recruitment which I loved for many years. I loved the social element and networking. There was always something happening and I thrive in a busy and fun environment.
What was your biggest challenge when you first started your own business?
For me, it was about having the confidence to give something a go and I really wanted to do something for myself that I could work around my daughters’ school and the holidays which is tough for lots of parents.
I had loads of ideas and I knew exactly what I wanted to stock as many of them were things I had bought over the years either for myself or for my daughter’s parties. I already knew the quality was high and the overall look would be stunning. However, putting this into practice and being realistic was something else altogether! I have become very good at Excel which I was not to start with!
Is London a good environment for starting a business?
Absolutely! Its buzzing and vibrant and people in London like to host fantastic parties and have fun!
What is your biggest achievement so far?
When I got my first ever order from someone who wasn’t a friend, friend of a friend or one of my very supportive family members. I literally squealed and did a mini fist pump! In fact, I still do that now. I absolutely love what I do!
Who are your customers?
Anyone who likes decorating beautiful parties. We literally have something for everyone from Children’s parties, adult parties and specific events such as Halloween, Christmas, Baby showers and Afternoon tea parties.
How do you maintain your work/ life balance?
I always try to have a digital detox at least 1 hour before I go to bed and I love running and obstacle course races so I try to have some sporting events in the diary to keep me motivated to train which also helps to keep my head clear when I am working. I always take my daughter to school and collect her which I love to do and she often helps me choose new ranges for us to stock.
What has been your most successful marketing technique?
I attend networking events and always keep in touch with party planners and event organisers and I have found out about events through Instagram. I absolutely love it! I can showcase our products on there and often chat with my customers about their parties and what would suit them and their budgets. You must post regularly however which can be time consuming but so worth it in the fast-paced world we live in.
Any advice you would give to a fellow entrepreneur?
My advice would be to talk to people. Tell your friends, families, colleagues, school mums…anyone who will listen about your business or ideas. Feedback has been the way forward for me.
What are your favourite hangout places?
We are quite an outdoor family so we often head out for walks. We love Wisley Gardens, Painshill Park, Richmond and Bushy Park to see the deer and cycling by the river. We also love going to the theatre – so many wonderful productions in London for families.
What are your future plans?
To grow organically and become the Uk’s first choice for partyware! Watch out, Pippa! ?
What is your choice drink in a coffee shop?
Skinny Cappuccino with Chocolate on top – that’s the best bit! I am a chocoholic!