For those who know my company, I decided to take a leap and re-brand three years ago with the expert help and guidance of Vicky Perry Design. Vicky and I met on the wedding circuit five years ago when she was a stationer and we stayed in touch ever since. She since made the leap into branding and now has helped loads of business owners and companies like mine find their niche and look fantastic. Vicky's ethos is to help small businesses find themselves and design successful brands which have a reason to stay.
This is a chat we had recently which I thought I'd share.
I am thrilled to shine a spotlight on Sally Gallis, an accomplished creative director, planner, stylist and coordinator. Sally has been running her small business, beautifully titled, Luna and The Lane, for over five years. I was brimming with excitement when Sally asked me to come on board and help her with her new business chapter in re-branding to Luna and The Lane. Having seen her beautiful work first hand, I knew this brand would benefit enormously with a fresh take on it’s strategy and design. But having been running with her re-brand for three years, how does Sally feel about her business now?
In true elevator pitch fashion, how would you describe your business and what you do?
Luna And The Lane is a one-stop-shop for couples looking for inspiration and practical help to create a contemporary and style-led wedding or event. We work with a variety of clients from those starting their planning journey, to those looking for on the day assistance. We are a company who is inspired by trends and new ideas, and therefore we can be stimulated, but not re-invent weddings, making what we do one-off and personal. Being design-led means that no wedding will be the same. We love making new traditions and creating beautiful spaces and memories. Being able to offer a variety of services and products means that clients do not need to outsource to others, often being able to save money and, in the process, work with us for a longer period of time. The outcome of this is that couples feel that they know us and trust us to make their day best fit their vision.
We first met as suppliers in the wedding industry and I got to see first hand the amazing impact you have on your clients wedding day. What is it that first drew you to working in the event space?
I have always worked in events in some capacity. I did a drama teaching degree starting my career in Youth Theatre producing and directing plays. I then went into mainstream teaching heading up Drama departments and putting on plays at least three times a year. Although I loved working with young people, and continued to do so for 20 years, my passion was always creating theatre, from the design to the direction and all sorts of producing in between. I love seeing something go from an idea to something bigger which has an impact on people. I got re-married in 2013 and loved planning that. When I got to the point of wanting to change career, I thought, “What could culminate all of these skills and interests without having to do exam marking!
We created your brand together in 2020 and it's fair to say the world has changed a
lot since then, more specifically the wedding industry surviving those harsh pandemic lock downs. Have you felt a shift in your services and business since you started?
It certainly has, and through the lockdown I’m pretty sure we all worried for our livelihoods and wondered what events were going to look like post-pandemic. There has definitely been a shift in my services. I knew that I wanted to be able to offer more than one thing because the pandemic and the time that followed proved that events and weddings were going to be different – some clients want big parties as a celebration of being together, others relish a more intimate and private get- togther which has been inspired by micro-‘dos. Therefore, what I offer now is more bespoke, design-led and much more away from what I call the ‘Wedding Supermarket’. People are looking for choice, variation, and a way to create their own traditions and I hope that I am able to offer that.
What made you feel you needed to work with a designer on your brand? And how has this impacted the way you run your business?
What was really important for me during the lockdowns was to be reflective and try to come out of that time stronger and ready for whatever challenges I was going to face. Part of this time of analysis was to re-brand and focus hard on who I was and what I wanted to be moving forward. Having a fresh design and a more honed brand was imperative for me and gave me confidence to come out shining and strong. The
brand I created at the start of my time in the industry didn’t feel like me. If you are a sole business owner, I do think you need to live in your brand for a while before you can really be certain of all its elements, its ethos and values. I knew I needed help to create this and perhaps I was too close to it to be able to be fully critical and reflective, therefore working with you was a no-brainer. I had worked with you previously and loved your wedding stationery, so I knew I could trust you and that you would be able to inspire and challenge me to think reflectively. Now, I am certain of who and what Luna And The Lane is, what it offers and what its USP is. I am proud of its brand, what it stands for and believe that it holds its own in the wedding industry.
You recently celebrated five years in business which is an amazing achievement! What has been your favourite memory of your brand over these past few years?
I think getting my signage up on the studio and opening the doors. This to me was a moment where I felt incredibly proud of what I had achieved. The studio is what I call the HQ: it’s a space which IS Luna And The Lane. It welcomes clients, it is a part of a supportive community and a lovely place to work from. Not only that, but it also looks beautiful.
You have your very own shopfront and studio space for you to welcome clients into. How important is this space for you in projecting your brand into the local community?
Having a high street presence for a wedding planner is unusual, but this was something that we felt quite passionately about. We bought the space during lockdown 1 – a brave move, but we saw the location of the studio and the potential to have hundreds of cars and pedestrians seeing it per day and went for it. As the branding is colourful and botanic, it really is eye-catching and (I think) the prettiest in the road. Lots of clients have said that they saw the studio and got in touch, so it must work. Having a space to welcome clients has been fantastic. Not only can we meet informally (which is one of the most important things I insist on to build a relationship), but it allows us the opportunity to mock up designs with the clients so
that they can visualise what they are going to get. It has definitely made us more present to the locals and wider community.
If you had to pick just one which would be your favourite event you've worked on?
That’s a hard question! All our events are dear to me because they are all so bespoke and personal. I think there would be a couple of weddings which are particularly emotive and stick in my mind. The clients were very different and certainly put their own stamp on their day, but these types of weddings would
probably be my favourites because of the way they embraced their cultures, their interests and had an equal amount of focus on the clients as individuals as well as joining together as a couple. They took traditions and made their own, they thought out of the box and were completely open to suggestions and new ideas. They included their heritage through food, music and design and so created memorable
and thoughtful experiences for them and their guests.
Now that your brand has been around for a good few years, how do you feel about your brand design 3 years on?
I love it. It feels right. It has made a positive impact on so many levels and made me as a business owner more confident and therefore more successful. I have been able to implement initiatives to push the business forward in this short time, far more than I would have done pre-re-brand. I adore the colours and the imagery.
Being a small and independent business in the UK is hard right now. What would be the one thing that keeps your motivation and energy going on those days where it all feels too much?
Taking time out. This year I have been lucky enough to have taken on another pair of hands and so this has meant that I have been able to delegate and share some of the load. Having someone to bounce ideas off and hopefully inspire has naturally allowed me to keep energised and enthusiastic. That and tea. Lots of tea.
In your opinion, what makes a good event?
I think one of the most important factors and reasons why an event is successful is your investment into it. I would much rather work on events and with clients who I feel a genuine affiliation with. The type of services I provide must be worked on over a period of time in order to make them effective, memorable and meaningful, and so it goes without saying that this means that you have to form a collaborative and positive relationship with every client. Luna And The Lane’s ethos is to make weddings personal and bespoke. You can’t do this without investing in the people.
With most of us being self employed and working by ourselves, music and podcasts are what keeps us going during our working hours. What have you been listening to lately in your workspace and any recommendations we should know about!?
One of my main interests outside of work is going to concerts with my husband, so when I am on my own, I love re-visiting bands and enjoying playlists that Spotify creates for me. At the moment I am switching between the likes of Mumford and Sons, Yebba, RY X and the very naughty Dear Joan and Jericha.
Lastly, what does being a small business mean to you?
Being a small business makes me immensely proud. It has allowed me to make genuine connections with people. I love being able to support and be supported by others; to raise people up and celebrate small and large achievements that we make.
This interview was published on 20/11/23 by www.vickyperrydesign.com Thoughtful brand design for small businesses.