It’s not often that we get to stop, and reflect. We can so often be focused on our future, our goals and where we want to be in 12 months time, 5 years time...
But one month into lock down, everything has slowed, settled and many of use find ourselves in a place where we can in fact, reflect.
So on that, I thought it would be nice to share our story right from the start. From humble beginnings to a wonderful place I couldn’t be more proud of.
So I am Lara, the owner of Honey Lane.
I am also the founder, however I was not the only founder! In fact, I started the business with one of my best friends - Samantha Morris. But let's rewind quickly. Before that, I spent 11 years working in Corporate Marketing & Events for one of Australia's largest Telco. I learnt a lot, was given amazing opportunities and had access to resources only available to large corporates. It was my foundation...my base. Something I could not have done without however I always knew it would not be my end game.
I was born knowing I would one day own my own business. Fact. The only problem was that I could never put my finger on what exactly that business would be. Until I planned my own wedding over in beautiful Bali 9 years ago. And when I say planned, I mean I handed the planning over to my fabulous wedding planner. Why? Well because I wanted to enjoy the process, but also as it was a requirement for getting married in Bali! The whole process was fun, enjoyable and one that I wished I could do over and over!
Back in Sydney, my friends started getting married after me and in Sydney, where a wedding planner was not a requirement, most went it alone. That's when I could see the 'other' side to wedding planning - the side without a wedding planner! The stress, the discomfort, the overwhelm.
On many occasions, I jumped in to help. It made me sad seeing my friends not having the wonderful engagement experience that I did. I wanted them to enjoy the lead up, not hate on it. Samantha was doing this also...and before long, we were drinking champagne and decided - we would start Honey Lane together.
All good things start with champagne right?
That moment was about 8 years ago now - we spent the next 12 months working on the business launch. Back then, it was just Samantha and I. We didn't have a team, a studio, storage space - not even a van! I remember the days of filling our garages and storage spaces under our houses with our styling items. And then on event day, much to our husband's dismay, we would pack all of our styling items into both of our 4WDs. By this time, I had my first born, Jordy, and I had officially moved from the corporate world over to business ownership. The timing was perfect, the businesses was growing and everything was falling into place.
It was tough though. Starting a business is tough.
You wear all of the hats. Without the support of a team, Samantha and I were doing everything from client meetings, to social media to blog post writing to candle cleaning to bump ins and late night bump outs. It was a juggle with our young families but we loved it and that kept us going.
Samantha and I then fell pregnant with babies at the same time - it was my second, and Samantha's 1st. One of my funniest (probably not so funny at the time!) was when I had to set up a wedding in a park, just 7 days after Lexie was born. Samantha had given birth just a day before this particular wedding so she was definitely out of action. Again, tough, but I did it, and I did it with love.
A few years into running the business, Samantha decided wanted to focus on her family and her corporate travel job and I found myself the solo owner of Honey Lane. it was sad not having my buddy to run the businesses with, but it also allowed me to take the reins and run with it.
I eventually got a van, storage space and wait for it...a team! I believe Honey Lane's first employee (aside from event day help) was a Social Media Assistance employed for the grand ol' time of 1 day per week! ooooohhhhhh!!!! Nevertheless, it was a big step for me and the business, as it is for many start up businesses!
From there our team grew - and so did my family.
I am now the proud mumma of 3 beautiful children - Jordy who is 7, Lexie who is 6 and Billie who is 4. Life is pretty wild at our Northern Beaches home - when we are not working, we love to entertain and the children often have crazier social calendars than we do.
I am also so proud of the Honey Lane team. Heidi is our Senior Wedding Planner, Alannah is our Event Stylist and Karen is our Business & Marketing Manager. We then have an incredible crew of event assistants that help us on event day. We all work together beautifully, share the same vision and passion and I know they love Honey Lane as much as I do!
So that's that...and when I look back I believe the biggest achievement is growing a business literally from scratch. On day one there were no systems, no branding, no workflows. To where we are today - a beautifully run business where our even more beautiful clients remain the centre of what we do. We have executed hundreds of weddings and events now that have taken us to wonderful places in Australia, and have allowed us to work with the industry's best.
And with that - I have to say a huge thank you - to my current team, to those who have been apart of our growth, to our amazing industry partners that have supported us...and last but absolutely not least - are incredible clients - many of whom we are still friends with to this day.
We love you all!