Tell me about Gemma?
Hello! I am a mummy of two beautiful boys aged 5 and 2 who are the cutest little people (but then I am biased!). I have been married for 7 years now and been with my husband for around 12 years. I am a creative person who loves thinking of new ideas and putting them into practice. I studied English Literature and Communication Studies at Chester University and still love reading (when I get the time!). I used to be a Programme Manager for a regional European funding programme but decided to take voluntary redundancy to spend time with the boys whilst they were small. I love curry, beer, prawns, football, Hollyoaks and terrible TV like Love Island!
Tell me about your business?
Little Star Events hosts unique and bespoke wedding fayres for a range of venues in Surrey and Hampshire. I work hard to theme each event so that no two events are the same as I think it is important to keep things current with what the latest wedding trends are and also you can appeal to the couples who are more interested in that theme, or give them ideas about themes that they had not yet thought about. I love to create a really relaxed atmosphere at the fayres, I want our couples coming in to come and enjoy the experience, to be excited and to have fun planning their day, not feel pressured.
How did you get into the wedding business?
I initially bought a sweet cart when my second son was literally a month old. I think I was missing working and needed something else and I researched and found a gap in the market where we lived. I worked hard to build a really successful sweet cart business, expanding into favours, vintage dresser displays and a large sweet ferris wheel. I loved the networking, meeting new suppliers at weddings. I created such a great network and built some great relationships with venues and it was actually a wedding supplier that suggested that I do it. I used to do a lot of events work in my previous roles so knew that I would love doing it. I also find it so incredibly rewarding working with wedding suppliers, wedding venues and of course helping out the lovely couples who are needing ideas, inspiration and guidance.
What was your inspiration for Little Star Events?
Having started the sweet cart business, I knew I wanted to do more and to have a business that I could fit around my boys. I decided to call the business Little Star Events as it was a nod to my boys (our surname is Star and they are my little stars) who I feel had spurred me on to do this. As much as I love being a mummy, I wanted something to make me feel like me again.
I felt there was a real gap for there to be themed and unique wedding fayres and wanted to pursue this route.
I also love the feeling of helping businesses becoming more exposed including the venues. A lot of them have such great potential to be booked up but have just not had the right people coming through the door and we work to enhance each of the venues to make sure the fayre showcases them and the exhibitors in the best possible way.
What makes your business special and/or unique?
I work really hard to make sure that the fayres are unique and this means a lot of extra work in terms of finding the right suppliers for each event, the right themes for each venue and the right marketing and branding for each of the fayres but this is what makes our events different. I wanted to create a creative wedding fayre business where we are helping couples with their ideas and inspiration and also inspiring the wedding suppliers to adapt their displays to fit the themes.
I have worked hard to trial lots of new ideas at fayres including pop up bridal boutiques, a groom’s room with tasters of local ale, vintage quarters and lots more.
I also work on a number of styled photoshoots for the venues in order help create an image of the venue and to help couples imagine how to it could look.
How do you manage quality time with family and running a successful events business?
It is becoming harder to fit in quality time and me and my husband are often like tag team with the children, but I don’t think this is uncommon. I love being able to take my boys to school and pick them up at the end of the day and if that means I have to work every evening aswell then that is fine.
My family are very supportive and my sons love spotting the yellow wedding fayre signs to be taken down after each event!
Tell me a little about your business?
The business grew so much faster than I could ever imagine and we are now approaching the Autumn season with 7 fayres after having 5 in the Spring.
What is your vision for Little Star Event for the next years?
I am looking forward to exploring more themes for our 2017 wedding fayres and seeing how we can be creative around them. I am also looking forward to brainstorming new ideas about how we can make the fayres more unique and implementing these. I am being approached by more venues and are looking forward to seeing where it takes us. I would love to work with a barn and do a Wedding Festival so I will hopefully get to do that in the future and definitely do more styled photo shoots with Jennifer Sinclair of course!