THE Unique and edgy bar and styling company in Norfork talk with me about there past, present and future concepts

So you guys both have a history in events and bar tending?

Aaron: Funnily enough I actually started off as a mechanic studying engineering which has certainly helped with the bespoke building part of our business, however for the last 10 years I have been managing events venues and most recently working for the national cocktail company Be At One, specialising in knowing over 250 cocktails. Alongside this I also work with Norfolk Event Services installing and running sound stages at music events and this is where my love for events really started.

 

Daisy: I actually first went to university in London to be a graphic designer, but after working in cocktail bars there realised I loved events and scrapped that first degree and came back to study a Hospitality, Leisure and Events degree with UEA and City College Norwich. I sent out probably in the region of 20,000 emails in those 3 years self generating work experience placements at events such as Glastonbury, Latitude and London Fashion Week, whilst also doing PR, Marketing and events for a local nightclub and was then head hunted fresh from Uni to also work for Be At One Cocktail Bars in a sales & events capacity. So I’ve definitely been about a bit...

 

Did you find that what you’ve learnt in those positions has helped you shape your business model today into something thats unique and different from other companies as most people start out with no previous experience and you both see to have so much experience in cocktail making, working for a big company and a real understanding of event management.

 

Daisy: I think so yes. After working for so many different companies you definitely see what you like and don’t like about their business models and what can be improved. I actually once did a Ski Season working for a luxury Ski provider and their ethos was ‘nothing is too much trouble’ and that definitely stuck with me. As much as my degree helped shape my understanding of event management, the variety of different events I’ve worked on, my understanding of leisure & hospitality principles (very important!), & the managers I’ve worked with along the way has definitely streamlined our model into what it is today, definitely.

 

Aaron: Being in the industry this long you are always going to pick up things along the way, wether it’s negative or positive, you will always learn something from it. Myself & Daisy worked together in 2 venues before starting the 2 brands we have now and we both agreed that what we offered as a team was always customer centric and bespoke, so this then went on to shape our business model into the bespoke ‘packages’ we offer now. I think that’s our unique selling point, the fact that we don’t particularly offer packages like the places that we worked before, we learned that we wanted to offer something interesting and out of the ordinary.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok, So getting into the wedding world, Did you see a hole in the market for the type of service you provide or was it something else?

 

Aaron: Even though we have entered the wedding world I still refer to ourselves to our clients as events managers, I make that really clear to them & they love it! Because we can give them so much more than they expect we can and it’s all due to working on so many different types of events. I think this is another one of our USPs and is why certain couples would book us and where there was a hole in the market for what we do. Some couples may not require services such as on the day management so may not need us, but some definitely do & also like the peace of mind! We really wanted to be a part of the Wedding world as you can create some amazing events, so this is where we’ve put our different spin on it by being bespoke, having multiple bases covered and bringing multiple parts of the process together.

 

Daisy: I agree, we definitely noticed a gap too for a company that can offer you most things you need under one roof and then in addition to that also to then make each part bespoke to each couple. I’m an events manager and at times I can even struggle to juggle multiple suppliers, timings etc etc. I cannot imagine how hard it would be as a couple to do all that on top of having to do your own jobs and never having done it before! That has been a real reason that couples have booked us because we can offer a lot of what they need in one place, with one person who is dealing with everything, has a lot of the gear required and has a lot of answers & knowledge. RE the bespoke side, I also really struggle with being told this is your package of what your having for your day. It’s your big day, surely you should be able to have whatever you want & not be stuck with an option because ‘it’s part of the package’ so we decided we’d do it differently! It may not be for some people & I totally understand and appreciate the need for it, but there are definitely those who it’s just not for & are looking for someone to help them to not have to have this! I basically always think ‘now what would I want…?’ and go from there!

 

ok and when you meet a client, do you have certain things in mind as to what you ask or do you treat each client as a real individual and get an idea of there vision and then create a style and set up around them which will compliment there ideas?

 

Daisy: Me & Aaron will definitely answer different on this one, and it’s always been why we work so well together. I go in with visuals, inspirations, colours etc. and create a vision from that. However Aaron is the operations and goes through a checklist of specifications and what not. I think that’s where you can definitely tell apart our marketing/events and operations backgrounds. Me & the client will be like ‘Aaron here are the ideas’ and he’ll be like ‘Okay here’s how we’ll make them happen’ or ‘that won’t work but this will…’.

 

Aaron: Daisy definitely goes in with the off the wall ideas treating everyone as an individual making it as bespoke as possible and then streamlines it down from there yes. Whereas I work the other way and have a set of answers I require and build upwards. It tends to work well as everyone ends up bouncing ideas off of each other and if it is a bespoke wedding you want then we do try to make your ideas happen.

 

So you would call your selves a bespoke company in that you create a theme around the bride and grooms needs and wants rather than a one trick pony, off the shelf company?

 

Daisy: Absolutely. Aaron even does bespoke builds!

 

Aaron: That’s where that engineering experience comes back in. For both of our brands I do a lot of bespoke building. I’ve built custom bars to fit in with themes, props, prosecco/champagne/cocktail walls, basically if you have a vision of your perfect day, it’s possible and we have the means to do it, then why not have it?! If you’ve ever tried to tell Daisy no you’ll find that she’ll just go around you to find a way to make it happen, so I can imagine there are others out there who are just looking for someone to help them make that something happen…

 

Daisy: I believe anything is possible yes haha!

 

So tell me more about the bar set up and the other bits and bobs, what you offer, what you can do and how its presented.

 

Aaron: Bar wise again it’s all about being bespoke. Bespoke cocktail menus with your own names, cocktail garnishes that match your colour scheme and different drinks for different times of the day.

 

Daisy: I’ve also been known to pull out the graphic design skills and brainstorm with people to design their own cocktail menu visuals and design logos to go onto cups for festival style weddings! Drinks are very important to us...it’s not a party without a great bar! It’s fantastic additional content to an event which we also do with our corporate clients a lot too. Find out in advance what most people love to drink and make some real theatre around it, something that engages people & is also very instagrammable. It’s those little details people really appreciate and remember.

 

And you guys are happy to travel pretty far right? 

 

Aaron: Yepp! We’re off to Yorkshire soon, however we are yet to leave the UK. Anyone wanting to do an abroad Wedding, hit, us, up!

 

What would you say you prefer, summer or winter weddings

 

Aaron: Summer. Festival style! Music, sun and Summer cocktails!

 

Daisy: It’s Winter for me! It’s more about the smaller details and making a statement with the bigger pieces, keeping everyone together and taking them through a journey.

 

What do you guys have on the horizon for the business, as you also provide event production and management. Is there anything else your looking to provide for your future bride and grooms?

 

Daisy: We’re starting to cross over a little with our other business Curious Club that provides interesting experiences and events and the content is starting to cross over. The events industry is starting to see people look for quality experiences over a sole quality product and we’re starting to see that couples and guests are now interested in tying in more engaging content to make their day an experience not just a wedding.

 

Aaron: Being a company that provides bespoke everything means that this could go anywhere...and I’m excited to see where it goes!

 

Instagram: @smokeandwildwood

www.smokeandwildwood.co.uk

 

Instagram: @curious_club

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CuriousClubHQ

www.curiousclub.co.uk

 

Email us at: hello@curiousclub.co.uk

CURIOUS CLUB

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