When the Hive was started two and a half years ago, Louise’s vision was to create a supportive and inclusive community where like-minded wedding pros could come together to learn and grow. After seeing this come to successful fruition, with the HiveTribe firmly established in London, we’re so excited to be expanding to two new locations across the UK this year! Our followers have been crying out for a Northern branch, and we couldn’t be more excited to let you know it’s happening! We’re delighted to announce that HiveNorth officially launches in Manchester on 2 March 2019. And there’s so much to tell you! So without further ado, let us introduce you to HiveNorth Ambassador, Elle Winsor-Grime. As one of the UK’s leading planners and stylists at The Artful Events Co., Elle has recently relocated from Cornwall to Manchester (and North Wales – more on that later!), and is bringing her ten years’ experience in the wedding industry to share with you.
Hi Elle! How did you get started in the wedding industry?
Hi everyone , and thank you for having me! I’m Elle and I’m a wedding designer and a stylist. I started out in the wedding industry nearly ten years ago. I came from sales background, with a short spell in retail management. My husband and I moved to Cornwall and my job at the time meant I was away from home a lot. We had moved for a better work-life balance, and to live near the coast, but I was never there to enjoy it. So I started to think about working for myself. At the same time, all of my friends were getting married. We were renovating a house, and I had no money, so I offered to create their wedding flowers and decorations as wedding presents.
At various weddings, people kept saying to me: “you are so good at this, you should do it for a job,” but it wasn’t until I was pondering how I could be my own boss that the seed really started to grow into a real idea. I spent a long time researching the wedding market, and found that in the South West at that time it was really hard to find suppliers of any of the things you saw in the glossy wedding magazines. So I decided to set up Inspire Hire, a design-led wedding hire company. It took only eight months before it became so successful that it was too tough to continue working full time for someone else and also run the business I had created. I took the plunge and went all-in. The rest, as they say, is history!
Where are you now in your wedding industry career?
The hire company naturally led onto styling (I had done lots of merchandising in previous roles) and the styling led to complete wedding planning and design. In 2018, my husband and I took the plunge to pursue a long-held dream of finding a property to create a wedding venue, moving from our beloved Cornwall to the North West, and ultimately North Wales. I’m handing the hire side of things over to somebody new, and Ive just re-launched the planning and styling side of the business. The Artful Event Co will focus my attention on a handful of weddings a year. I will also be working with creative businesses, offering brand styling and creative direction. (Oh, and a three-year project as we set up our venue on the beautiful Llyn Peninsular!)
What is your role at Hive North and what will you be offering your members?
I hope that my role at Hive North will be that of a business big sister. I feel like I’ve been around the block a little, and I love helping new and existing entrepreneurs learn and grow. Along the way, I have made a fair few mistakes, and learned lots of valuable lessons. It’s my hope that I can help other people leapfrog some of the potholes and jump right on in to having wildly successful businesses.
Where will HiveNorth be located?
Our Manchester home will be at Leaf, in a fabulous location right in the centre of the city. It will be the venue for our monthly co-working days, and some great networking events. ‘Tea, music and good times’ is the strap line on the Leaf website, and if you read my bio you will know that tea pretty much makes my world go round. As they say on their About page: “you can’t buy happiness but you can buy tea”. Anyone with this ethic gets a huge thumbs up in my book! (Of course I’ve checked, and the coffee and cakes are pretty good too!)
Leaf is situated on Portland Street, a short stroll across Piccadilly Gardens from Piccadilly Station. Based inside the former Riba & Cube Gallery, it’s a great space, offering lovely food – and, of course, the best tea!
How will Hive North help the local wedding community?
Hive North will be at its heart a place to meet, share and learn. As wedding entrepreneurs, we often lead a solitary life, toiling away on our own. One of the things that has helped me most over my years in business is having other business friends who understand the industry, whom I can bounce ideas off, and ask for advice. The BLoved Hive is just this kind of community. HiveNorth will be a way of connecting in real life with other like-minded business people to learn from them, and support each other.
About 5 years ago, after working with Louise on a shoot, she invited me to a networking and training event that she was running. I had been in business for nearly five years, but this was the first time I had been to this type of thing. It was November, and I was feeling close to burn-out at the end of a long, busy season. The event revived me in many ways, with what I learnt but possibly more importantly who I met. The speakers and fellow business owners that I met on that day have become invaluable contacts, firm friends, confidants, advisors and business buddies. They and Louise have been some of the most valuable connections I have made in my time in business, and I hope that HiveNorth can help foster some similar invaluable relationships for you.
What can members expect at HiveNorth?
HiveNorth will be hosting monthly co-working days, and seasonal networking events. We will start each co-working day with a training session from some exciting and inspirational business people, who will share what they know with us. With the optional yummy Leaf lunch, and a relaxed co-working afternoon, you can make a day of it, working out of your normal environment in a supportive community of like-minded people.
We will also be organising seasonal networking events. This will be an exciting opportunity to put your glad rags on, and meet some fellow industry friends in a lovely environment!
You’ll still get access to all of the training resources, offers and events that are available to HiveLondon members. Plus you’ll receive an invite to our friendly HiveTribe Facebook Group, where you can get support 24/7.
What aspect of HiveNorth are you most excited about?
I can’t wait to have a solid monthly date in my diary to meet up with other business owners. Getting out of my own space and into a fabulous, creative environment always provides me with such inspiration and renewed vigour. Having some supportive industry friends to share ideas and knowledge with is just the icing on the cake! I can’t wait for us to create a Northern Hive Collective!
Tell us about the launch on 2 March?
We will start the day at 10.30am with a training session hosted by Louise herself. In a most timely fashion, it will focus on planning for the year ahead. Then we’ll relax and chat to each other over a yummy Leaf lunch. The early afternoon will be spent bouncing ideas off one another, picking the brains of Louise or myself, or simply working away on a launch strategy or client proposal while enjoying some time away from the kitchen table.
From 3pm, as a special launch day treat, we will be hosting a networking event , so time for a cocktail or two before you head home! The perfect chance to have a little pre-wedding season get together and make some new industry friends.
We asked our members what they most wanted to know about the new HiveNorth!
Will HiveNorth members be able to attend co-working days in other locations?
Will you be hosting joint events with the HiveTribe in London?
Watch this space!
When is the first event?
Our launch and first networking event will be on 2 March 2019.
And most importantly, what’s the coffee like?!
Great coffee and even better tea!
MORE ABOUT ELLE
I’m a tea drinker and a gin lover. I am creative, and artistic, probably taking after my mum who is an artist and sculptress. I am addicted to magazines, real magazines with pages to turn… Oh and I love cushions. I really love cushions. I don’t believe you can ever have enough cushions.
My happy place is by the sea. I live to be by the sea and I love to live by the sea.
With a background in sales and marketing I launched my first company, ‘Inspire Hire’ and started styling weddings and editorial shoots back in 2011. Since then I have worked on hundreds of weddings. I have had work featured in a host of national UK wedding magazines and regional publications, alongside countless wedding blogs. My interior styling has featured in magazines such as ’25 Beautiful Homes’. I work with creative and hospitality businesses to build their brands through wildly beautiful imagery.