2020 Round up! Part 2

Co-founders + married-to-one-anothers, Kate and Dave with their small human Remy + soon-to-be even smaller human (Kate is pregnant), photographed by Gold + Grit Photography at our Christmas Photo session.

A look back at 2020!

Silver linings from the Year of the Turd,
plus a bunch of complaints

For the past couple years, we’ve written a recap of our year to share with you.

You can read those on our blog here:
2019 – Part 1  | 2019 – Part 2 | 2018 – Part 1 | 2018 – Part 2

This is a two-part series.  See part one HERE

SILVER LININGS

Rest and heaps of naps (how good are naps tho?)

Events are not known for their chill nature and relaxing pace. “I had such an easy day at work today”, said absolutely no one who has ever worked events. In fact, it’s ranked in the top five most stressful jobs, along with military, police and firefighters, and pilots. 

So after 5.5 years of living this full on events life, a forced slow down was in fact a massive gift. It took a while to wind down to the much slower pace, but soon I was working less, taking naps and enjoying all the extra time with my lil family. How nice is that? 

Now, I wonder how I did so much and remembered so much and kicked ass the way I did. For I am now a person who double books myself, gets stuff a bit wrong quite a lot, and who can’t remember what I was doing five mins ago or a day ago. But it’s OK. The wheels are turning and things are happening, and turns out you don’t have to be hyper-alert and aware all the time to have a good biz. You can just be a fallible human who is a bit slow sometimes and a bit forgetful.     

 

Lockdown 1.0 vibes

Lockdown 2.0 no quite so cheery, but def more rested 🤷‍♀️

Time to think about how we want to go forward

All this rest and slowed pace led to… realisations! As such a tiny team, we’d been trying to do too much. It wasn’t and isn’t sustainable if we want to have job and life satisfaction, good health and a positive work culture.

So, we’re saying no lots more and changing things to create a better business. Changes include:

  • No more free work or shoots. 
  • Sticking to what we’re best at (hire, styling + design, graphics, headshots). 
  • Capping the amount of jobs we do in one weekend (so book in early so you don’t miss out). 
  • Giving ourselves a huge break on all fronts. 

Maybe it will be the end of us, but I doubt it. I expect it will instead be the end of the shitty cycle of burnout, which is rife in events and double-rife (because that’s a thing) as a small biz owner.

Hire

Carnival set up at a wedding

Styling

Neon signs and lights hanging on white wall as a backdrop to eclectic vintage lounge area

Design

Graphics

Head Shots

No more broken furniture

A very bad run of furniture being broken, damaged and destroyed ended with the ceasing of events in mid-March. We’d had a shocker in Jan, Feb and early March with some bad luck as well as a couple of people not taking care of our stuff. In one case, causing so much damage it bordered on vandalism; it took two people four days to clean mud off a literal truck load of our precious furniture. Stuff was left in the rain overnight. Couches were squashed by half a dozen people piling on. Argh it hurt our hearts!

So, it was actually the fkn best to not have to subject our stuff to any more punishment, and in fact, fix, paint and maintain a bunch of stuff that needed love.

In conclusion, if you are planning to trash the furniture at your wedding, don’t get in touch with us. Go buy stuff of your own to destroy if that’s truly what you want your wedding to be about 🤷‍♀️. 

 

People became more real

Did you notice people talking way more openly about how they were really feeling, and making connections between their behaviours and their emotions? No one was immune from the effects of this year, and it was really quite powerful to know that we were all experiencing similar feelings and for the most part, able to share those feels without feeling like a big dumb loser. 

As we began working from home, we started daily video calls to organise and manage our work, but mostly to connect. It became a diagnosis of who was coping well and who wasn’t and providing support to that person (ie, Today, you’re in charge Mel, cos Stevie + I feel like rubbish). We also did Fucking Hoorays each day, which if you are a My Favourite Murder fan, you’ll be familiar with. Sometimes they were big exciting things (Mel, our studio manager sold her apartment), other times they were slightly odd (Mel and I loved seeing Stevie’s mid-century doll house renovation progress), and often the things we said fucking hooray about were not things we would’ve celebrated pre-COVID; got dressed, went for a walk, didn’t cry today etc were def things to be celebrated and connected over.  

Instagram stopped being such a fake shiny place too, which I kinda enjoyed. There was less of ‘isn’t everything just amazing, perfect, wonderful’ ra ra stuff, and a bit more unpolished realness. A good change!    

All the croissants we ate

The only time I’d ever really been jazzed by croissants was when I went to Paris in 2001. Served with black coffee, butter and jam, I thought it was the greatest breakfast I’d ever eaten (and it was QUITE a bit better than those supermarket croy-sants my mum would buy at Xmas!). 

But during lockdown, my far more mature taste buds decided they wanted croissants, and I ate every type available in my 5km radius; regular, almond, almond + choc, coconut, pistachio + raspberry, cherry ripe. Many, many times over. Phase two of croissant-down was telling any and all people I happened upon on my daily walks about croissants, providing them with detailed and lengthy information on flavours, retailers, matching hot drinks, and that time I had them in Paris.  

I’d like to be able to say this was the weirdest thing I did and said during lockdown, but there was the day I brought up Victoria’s rising Syphilis cases with a childcare mum I hardly knew, while out on a walk. Please tell me you were weird too.     

 

Look at these croissants by Lune Croissants

Things we hope to never do/see again

Say No To Pressers

Thanks Dan, we think you did an amazing job, but may we never need to watch your pressers ever again. EVER! Our Studio Manager Mel has been pondering getting rid of her Northface jacket, even though it is so warm, because it brings back too many bad memories. What should Mel do? IT’S DEAD TO YOU LADY.

EDIT: of course we’re already back to this, but let it be a small outbreak 🙏

Rescheduling hell

Moving people’s weddings dates one, two even three times was gruelling. It was heartbreaking for our couples, and pretty demoralising for us seeing events disappear daily. It was also administrative hell, with a side serving of anxiety about getting new dates wrong. For the first few years running this biz, I had semi-reg nightmares that I got wedding dates wrong and buggered up people’s weddings! The ‘mares passed eventually (processes + care to ensure this was never an issue worked) but now those dreams are back. If we ask you repeatedly to confirm your wedding date, please be gentle with us, we are fragile and we had a bad dream ok. 

A perfectly clean + ordered warehouse

Anyone who knows me even a smidge, will probably have heard me crap on about our warehouse, and how hard it is to get it right and my levels of wildly inappropriate rage when staff don’t put things away properly/clean.

What we learned is it is possible to have an orderly, organised warehouse, but to get it you have to stop doing events. Wahhhhhhhhh! Heartbreaker was that realisation. Everytime I saw our warehouse looking schmick it made me so sad. A clear case of ‘be careful what you wish for’.

To sum up…

Overall, whilst at times it’s felt so emotionally uncomfortable, was filled with worry and indecision, and many times felt like the perfect purgatory hellscape, here we are writing a listicle about it. Thus, essentially we are fine, we’re healthy, our loved ones are safe, the business has survived, when many have not (which is so shitty for couples and the industry). You supported us through this, and cheered us on. And we tried to do the same right back at you. We’re looking to 2021 with hope, and setting simple expectations for a low key, uneventful year (but with a few events pretty please), where we’re all safe and healthy, can work and see our loved ones.

 

Lots of love,
Kate