“So I wouldn’t say I’ve always been creative…. I’d say creativity is part of who I am. It’s what lights me up and makes me, me!”
Time for another Creative Business feature… the ever so talented, caring, and stylish, Lauren Goodman of Bluebird Creative Events. Lauren is one of the most inspiring people I know. Watching her navigate 2020 with style and integrity has been amazing. As a Surrey wedding planner, coordinator, and stylist, the last year has been (understandably) challenging, but has that stopped Lauren from creating unforgettable experiences? Not in the slightest. In fact, she’s managed to come up with a ‘pivot’ so perfect for her brand, by offering at home services and products involving food and creativity… I mean, what’s not to love?!
I first got to know Lauren on social media, back when I was making cakes in the wedding industry. Little did I know at the time (but very soon realised), she lives just a five minute walk from my studio. Going to a local café for a good chat was starting to become a very enjoyable habit before Covid… and I’m so looking forward to a time when we can talk all things creativity and business again. In the mean time, let’s get to know more about the wonderful woman behind the business…
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity to me is a place and a feeling. Which then usually produces an outcome. That probably sounds a little woo woo and weird. But creativity doesn’t have to always end in a wonderful piece of art and can just be a moment were you are totally in a creative space.
To me it’s my happy place and a form of therapy. If I feel stressed, I’ve learnt that amongst a few others things, I can turn to a creative activity to help ease my mind and stresses.
Have you always been creative?
100% yes! I can’t remember a time I wasn’t creative to be honest. My dad was a great drawer and I used to love sitting with him and learning to draw. I was always colouring as a kid or making clothes for my Barbies or bracelets for friends.
My GCSE choices were Art, Performing Arts, Textiles and PE. So all pretty much creative.
Even my ice skating which I competed at a National level for and then coached was creative. Choreography became my strength and listening to music and feeling how that can translate to music lit me up.
And then now, I get to be creative in so many different avenues.
So I wouldn’t say I’ve always been creative…. I’d say creativity is part of who I am. It’s what lights me up and makes me, me!
What first got you interested in your field?
So I didn’t start my business until 2016, however I actually entertained the idea back in 2007. I set up a company name (it was terrible, but I was just 21), did some market research and created a load of packages. Then let imposter syndrome get the better of me. Told myself I knew nothing about weddings and left the dream to collect dust!
However in 2016, myself and my husband got the conversation rolling again whilst I was pregnant with our first child. He worked in events in sound and production and we both knew I had the right skills for the industry. We wanted flexibility for when we became parents and so started to explore the idea again.
I think I always knew it was a direction I wanted to head in, but I needed a little age on my side to allow me the confidence to go for it.
Why did you decide to start your own business?
As well as creativity I think entrepreneurship has always been something I’ve been drawn to!
As a kid I had a mini business doing those holiday braids on kids hair on the road. You know with the coloured thread!?
In 2010 I set up a dance school with a friend. The company is still running to this day, but 2 years in I realised it wasn’t the direction that I wanted. I learnt ALOT. Mainly what not to do, but that is still a great lesson.
I think I have always been seeking out business opportunities, which is probably why I’ve been able to pivot in recent times. My brain is constantly ticking. I just couldn’t settle into employment. I’ve never really been employed.
What is your favourite thing about your work?
Well if we’re talking weddings, then without a doubt it is seeing my couples get married on their wedding day and having the best days of their life. I get all the emotions! Being able to be part of the biggest day of their lives is never ever lost on me and being able to help pull it all together is so special.
When it comes to Bluebird At Home, it’s the hands on styling. If lockdown has taught me anything, it’s how much styling lights me up. Making things look beautiful and pulling everything together sets my soul alight. I think pulling in incredible suppliers over the years for weddings, has made me doubt my own skills at times. I’m usually the ideas generator and then I have wonderful professionals each use their wonderful skills to pull my picture together. But I’ve been reminded that I love being hands on as well and that it calms me and makes me almost feel ‘at home’ when I’m being hands on and making.
What is a ‘reality’ of your work that other people don’t realise?
A reality is that it’s just me. Which means I’m wearing all the hats. Which is not always fun. I’m the ideas generator, the social media guru, the cameraman for my YouTube, the video editor, customer service manager, number cruncher, website designer and so on. It’s all me.
I’m hoping to expand my team next year, but right now I’m wearing a lot of hats. So it’s not all fun and games. There’s also a lot of hours involved and you don’t work conventional hours. I work a lot of evenings, whether that’s taking calls with clients or just my general work load, because I have 2 children as well. I choose not to work everyday, so that I can have time with my 2 year old before he grows up and goes to school. So I have to be willing to be flexible with using my evenings for work. But that works for me.
How do you handle creative ‘blocks’ in work?
Don’t push it. For me if something isn’t happening, pause. Take a breathe and come back to it. Take a little time out to clear your mind or just take a step back. It will come.
For me going for a run is a great way to clear my head. When I’m stressed my creativity levels can be effected, so running really helps. However funnily enough creativity can also lower my stress levels. Sounds like a catch 22, but what I mean is that perhaps do a creative activity just for fun. Just for the enjoyment, not for the end product. You may then find you can pick up with whatever you were working on and push past your blocks.
It’s never a bad thing to take a step back and breathe.
Do you have any other creative interests?
I love dancing and choreography for ice skating. In fact I really miss being able to do that on a regular basis like I used to! But times change and I’m not skating at the moment. When I was in labour with my son, I was listening to Ludivico Einaudi who is my favourite composer (I have very eclectic taste in music from indie rock bands to classical) and my mind kept taking me to choreographing a skating routine every time I had a contraction, it was the most bizarre thing! I think it was the music though. Music inspires me hugely.
I started learning calligraphy this year. I’m not great but that’s been fun to dabble in a little.
What one thing would you say to someone dreaming of starting their own creative business?
If it lights you up, do it!
Everyone should feel alive with what they do for a living. We spend the majority of our lives working, so we should enjoy what we do. I absolutely love work, I wake up excited on a Monday morning to get on with my to do list. So if that’s not you but you have an idea that you’ve researched and has legs and will make you happy, then now is the time.
I would also say that it will never feel like the right time to do anything. But I can assure you the time is now. It’s never tomorrow.
Aw, that was so nice… it almost felt like we were having one of our catch ups again. I hope you enjoyed finding out more about Lauren too. Be sure to go and check her out on Instagram to keep up to date on everything Bluebird is offering at the moment (the Christmas wreath kit looks particularly fun!).
Now, it’s time for Lauren’s self-portrait. I’m very grateful to each of the Creative Business features for entertaining this idea… I know, as busy business owners, it’s not easy to come up with a self-portrait, but they do. It’s such a lighthearted way to see a glimpse into their creativity and personality. I knew Lauren has had a great response to her Christmas shop and was putting together lots of orders when writing this piece, so I wasn’t expecting much. However, the self-portrait she sent through blew me away. It’s definitely up there in my top three for this year… possibly even since I started this series!
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up to my email list (and select business, or business and lifestyle) to receive the ‘Creative Business Edit’ which includes further insight from the Creative Business features, as well as guest experts giving tips on the other side of creative business – such as visibility, accounting, and tech.