Becky I’Anson – Faerie Godmothers Event and Wedding Stylists
This weeks Success Story interview is with Becky from Faerie Godmothers Event & Wedding Services.
Suzannah (S): Hi Becky, if you could first of all introduce yourself…
Becky (B) : Hi I’m Becky I’Anson, I am a partner in Faerie Godmothers Event and Wedding Stylists based in Cheshire. I’ve ran the business with my best friend Dawn since 2007. We both have children, my little boy Edward is 2 years old and Dawn has Harry who’s nearly 7 and Isabelle who’s 10 months old. I’m married to Phil who is my rock and I don’t know where I would be without him and have 2 spaniels who I love to bits.
S. How did you first come up with the idea – was it something you planned together?
B. I originally come from a background in hospitality as does Dawn, but gave it all up in 2005 to pursue my dream of becoming a florist, so when to Reaseheath college to study full time in advance floristry. I qualified as a florist in 2006 and started running my own shop, Dawn gave birth to Harry and wanted to work around family life so we joined forces and decided to direct all of our efforts into wedding and events. 7 years down the line we are still here and as busy as ever. I gave the shop up and we started working from my garage.
S. That’s great to hear it has been successful for you both, but has working together ever had a detrimental effect on your friendship?
B. No not at all, we were very aware at the start that this was not to affect our very long and strong friendship, I’ll admit as would Dawn that there have been a few chosen words but if anything it has made us even closer. When we are not at work we are off out together with the children, we switch off when it’s family time as we are both of the understanding that family comes first. My sister started working for us in 2011 part time and she is still with us too.
S. Yes, I agree family time is really important.
S. How do you stand out from your competitors?
B. I’d say the reason for us to stand out is firstly we are very down to earth and want to help people when they are getting married to have the look that they want. We are easy to approach and get on with. Also I have a real passion for all things quirky and like to keep up with the trends so I research all of the time and come up with what we class as unique styles and don’t follow suit. We’ve just held our second showcase which we organised ourselves and was a great success
S. That’s a good idea – it always pays to be ahead of the game and have the confidence to let your creativity show.
S. What would you say has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
B. I’d say the economic crisis for starters it changed the way in which our customers shopped for their weddings which meant us having to change the way in which we worked. Going VAT registered was not the best as it meant us having to adjust our prices to still be in the market working around poorly children and our husbands shift work
S. The economy has sadly affected so many businesses, but it’s good that you have managed to come out the other side.
B. I know, it’s something we are really proud of.
S. What have been the best and worst things that have happened over the past 7 years?
B. I couldn’t pin point one exact best moment as we are very lucky to have quite a few, but getting the contracts to work for the local hotels, seeing weddings come alive with the services we have provided. I am especially proud of the Bridal Party Showcase that I started last year.
B. The worst…again there’s only a few, but they are all really regarding events beyond my control. In 2010 I had 2 miscarriages and found it very hard to pull myself out of a very dark place at times plus I had to come straight back to work so it was a tough time. The other was only last year, I severed the disc in my back and went from back pain to being paralysed, I had an emergency spinal operation and luckily I am almost back to normal. I still have pain but from what it was I am lots better.
S. So sorry to hear about your losses and recent back problems. It’s really hard when you run your own business as there isn’t anyone to cover for you and you don’t get sick pay etc. On the plus side I think diving back into work can act as a good distraction.
B. Oh gosh yes, work has been a god send, plus I’m a better mum to Edward because I love spending time with him on our days off.
S. Tell me a bit more about the Bridal party showcase?
B. I had an idea that instead of organising a wedding fayre like the norm I would get a group of suppliers together who had the same passion as myself and create a wedding showcase, where couples could come along and the suppliers worked together to create a wedding type event, funnily enough it was last year and half way through organising it I was hit with the back problem however, Dawn who was still on maternity leave stepped in, along with some of the other suppliers and from my hospital bed we organised it. I came out of hospital on the tuesday and was hosting the party on the Sunday! it was hard going but something that I’ll be so proud of for a long long time. The comments we had from it were fantastic and along with the fellow suppliers, many who are working mums, we made a big difference in the way wedding fayres so to speak were hosted
S. It really is a great idea. Couples getting married can really see how everything comes together – it must be really reassuring for them.
S. If you could go back in time, would you change anything?
B. I would only change minor things because I believe everything has been a stepping stone to where we are now. We have just opened a new wedding venue on site along with the owner of the estate, it’s really early days but we hope that it works. Nothing like a challenge!
S. Indeed! I hope that works out for you.
B. People who know me think I’m very funny as one minute I’m organising site visits and weddings and within an hour I’m out with my family including the dogs on a long walk in the country. Life never stands still which is the way I like it.
S. How do you fit in running your business with your family? Childcare arrangements etc.What about weekend work in your line of business?
b. Childcare was a bit of an issue as neither of our parents live nearby, I would do some of my work at the start of having Ed at night. from 9 months he went to nursery twice a week, he’s litterally only just started an extra day this month on a Thursday as we have lots of friday weddings so I need to be at work, Between myself and Dawn we act as a creche so if my husband is working on a Saturday, Dawn has Edward and vice versa. We’re not a 9-5 family so we grab all of the time that we can when we get the chance. In all honestly we spend a great deal of time together and it works perfectly.
S. And the added bonus is that you can be there for all those important nursery/school events that take place during the day
B. Yes we both make sure we don’t miss a thing
S. What 3 words would you use to describe your ‘business self’
B. Creative, Open minded, Determined
S. What advice would you give to to anyone wanting to start a business?
B. Do your homework, but go for it and don’t be afraid of being different.
S. Great advice.
S. Who do you look up to business wise? Do you have a business idol?
B. Sarah Beeney always! She’s great and a bit weird.
S. She’s fab – love her programmes and she is a true entrepreneur.
B. Oh heck yes!
Thank you to Becky for being so honest and open in our interview – inspiring stuff! You can find out more about Becky and her businesses below:
Faerie Godmothers Wedding & Event Services
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