COCO BUSINESS INSPIRATION: SARAH HUXLEY AT BLACK DIAMOND WEDDINGS
Sarah Huxley is a modern day #girlboss who knows how to juggle life as mum, business and everything in between. She is a wedding planner based in Hampshire providing luxury planning services for every couple, specialising in events for the Rock/Metal/Goth/Boho/LGBT and unique couples in the UK. Literally the most fun job in the world if you ask us!
We just had to hunt this fun loving girl down to find out more. Here’s what she had to tell us…
Tell us a bit about your journey to getting where you are today?
I started off as a florist about 12 years ago. I loved the world of flowers and weddings. The excitement of helping couples choose their flowers and décor based on their interests and personalities kept me motivated. But sadly the wage of a florist wasn’t helping much with mortgage payments, so I entered the world of Retail Management.
Fast forward 10 years, I’m now a full time mother and was missing the beautiful world of weddings. After a lot of online research I came across the UK Academy of Wedding & Event Planning. They are the only online Wedding/Event Planning Academy to offer official NVQ’s and Diplomas. After two years of hard work with them I qualified Spring last year!
As a wedding planner you must witness love everyday. What’s the most romantic thing anybody has ever done for you?
My boyfriend surprised me with a night away in the New Forest for our anniversary. No work, technology, or distractions. Just us and nature. It was perfect.
What has been your highlight since launching the brand?
Being asked to exhibit at The National Wedding Show this September in London. I’m very proud to say I will be in the exclusive Rock n Roll Bride Collection area! Come say hi at stand G27 opposite the Designer Flower Market.
Clearly you are well travelled, where is your favourite place in the world?
Venice is the most beautiful and magical place I have been to. I hope to one day plan a wedding for someone there!
Tell us what a typical day in your life looks like?
Every day is so different because my job is so varied, but I can ensure you a lot of paperwork and emails are involved. My three year old son James takes center stage in my life, so if he’s not in pre-school then the work has to wait till my partner is home from his work. On days where James is at school then it’s mostly chasing things up, meetings with suppliers, clients and somewhere in amongst all that there’s the usual housework, cooking and general running of the home. So a typical day in my life as a wedding planner is very busy!
It can be hard to juggle personal life and business, what do you do to switch off from work?
The only time I really switch off is on a Sunday. I have to have a break one day a week to focus on my family and re-charge so I’m ready for the next lot of challenges.
Who/what inspires you?
Strong independent women, nature, interior design, music and my son.
You are obviously very creative, what do you do to get inspired?
Take time out for myself and take a breather now and then. Then I throw myself into Rock n Roll Bride blogs, up and coming wedding trends, Fashion and interior design trends. I love making online moodboards and I also enjoy making real moodboards with different fabrics, paints, textures etc. My office is full of them at the moment!
Are there any sources you go for support with running your business?
The Wedding Planners Lounge is a great place of like minded people and is full of useful and inspiring information. The UKAWEP are great mentors and are the guys behind #WedBizHour on Twitter every Tuesday 8-9pm. My old tutor Zoe is the person usually hosting the Twitter hour and she is amazing!
What are your plans for the brand in 2016?
To be THE planner for unique weddings in the UK.
Did you always know that one day you would be a working artist?
Yes. Art and English were the only subjects I was any good at in school, well I should say the only subjects I actually took an interest in. I applied for Art College in Oxford (which is where I grew up) but my portfolio went missing! A whole years worth of work! I was devastated. But luckily for me the College saw my talent in the one and only picture I took with me for my interview! And I was accepted into the College.
For people aspiring to run their own company, what advice would you give?
Research every avenue open to you and add yourself to social media groups of like minded people. Having mentors will be incredibly valuable! Also start your marketing early on. Don’t wait till you feel confident enough. Throw yourself straight in there and have fun with it! You make the decisions now [☺]