I am Alexandra Stead and I cover the Harrogate Area, My venues include, Rudding Park, Wood Hall, Goldsborough Hall, Allerton Castle, and all the Harrogate Town Centre Hotels.
I was trained in Hotel Catering and Institutional Management and worked in hotels at home and abroad. I always enjoyed dealing with the customers and the fact that no two days were the same. Latterly I worked in a variety of small businesses being involved closely in the day to day running of the operation.
I had known Sarah a number of years and was a huge admirer of her drive and enthusiasm as well as her business acumen. She told me of her idea when she started the company and always said she would like to have me on board. I had seen the company grow and when I was made redundant in 2011 due to the recession I did not need asking twice.
I have never been someone who leaves the job when I leave the office. I would follow things up in my own time if it was necessary. As I worked for small companies I had always managed to make the job suit my lifestyle. Working for myself is not a whole lot different but the rewards and credits are mine not someone else’s.
It can be quite lonely working for yourself, with the franchise it is the best of both worlds as the support and back up from the rest of the team is second to none. Our marketing and website is something that would be hard to achieve as a sole trader, and Sarah has initially sourced some fantastic suppliers which ensures the quality of the brand.
Where do I see my business in a years time? In a years time I see the franchise having grown about 100% in the volume of orders and venues that are using our service. I also see myself having dressed some prestigious events. In three years I hope that this growth has continued and we have 2 or 3 teams out dressing events regularly. I would like to think that we will be the primary supplier in the Harrogate Area due to the quality of our product and the efficiency of our service.
The last two years have been exciting and fun. I am constantly learning things about my business and even about myself. The wedding industry is a fun and vibrant one to be involved in and I have met some lovely people. I would recommended it to anyone!