Looking to decorate your venue? Brilliant, that’s really exciting, especially if you have a blank canvas and a free reign to bring in your own props and staging to really personalise your big day celebrations. However, it can also be a little daunting at the outset, as where do you start?
Checking out Pintrest boards is great and can provide you with plenty of inspiration, but how do you find a supplier for your props, what are the practicalities regarding transporting them to your venue and setting up, if necessary, and how much does everything cost?
Step forward The Hire Supplier, based in Bristol & serving the surrounding area they specialise in 5ft illuminated LOVE light up marquee letters, candy carts and other vintage venue props. We give them full credit too, for their easy to access transparent pricing policy, which means that right from the outset, just by checking out their site, you know where you stand regarding the cost of each item.
Oh and did we mention that many of the items, such as the mega illuminated LOVE letters are handmade? With so much more to tell you, we’ll hand you straight over to Shannon who runs this unique business with her husband Tom.
Tell us a little about yourself and your business
I am Shannon, the loud and motivated, quirky and straight to the point Australian and owner of The Hire Supplier, a wedding and Event supply & hire company.
I am a little one man band (with some extra helping hands from my husband, Tom) based in the South West, servicing all of Bristol and surrounding areas.
We hire out items for weddings and events including marquee letters, candy carts and other large pieces. We are a work in progress with big ambitions for our little baby business, all good things take time and nurturing!
What motivated you to start your business?
I was a stay at home Mum for 3 years, I kept busy bringing up babies and planning my own wedding in Cyprus for 2016. Once the day had been and gone I was devastated I had no more wedding planning to carry on with and thus begun The Hire Supplier.
I wanted to take everything that I’d done with my wedding and make it better and I wanted to take all the things I’d wanted at my wedding but couldn’t find/source, make them exactly as I had imagined and offer them to everyone else.
Tell us a little more about the day to day activities of your business
We’re a little laid back company not too crazy about popularity or out doing everyone else in the same game, but more focused on being individual, a business with some quirky flair rather than same old, off the shelves stock standard – because nobody wants standard, we all want something different!
Our working week is usually made up of a lot of online hours: advertising, researching and connecting with other businesses, contacts and potential clients. Spare time is used to actually manufacture all of our items.
We make everything we hire out in our workshop. We don’t buy ready made and we don’t buy items to then re-sell or hire under our name, all the items we have are handmade so that part of the business is the most time-consuming.
From sparking an idea, to designing it, sourcing materials, building it and then getting it ready for advertising and hire could be months – so we don’t focus so much on flooding the market with new things to show off but rather a steady trickle of cool ideas that we put together exactly as we wanted.
Weekends are when we get to go out, meet our clients, the current brides and grooms of the south west, set up our items and let them be the centre of attention for someone’s special day.
If our readers were to order from you, what can they expect?
We pride ourselves on being a laid back, easy to deal with local company. Our hiring and booking process is simple and quick. All of our costs are upfront, there are no hidden costs or extras and we display all our charges on all of our advertising – none of this “Contact for Prices” or “Price on Application”.
We like to offer all our clients the best package to suit them, budget wise and venue wise, we don’t try to upsell or continue to throw more offers at anyone. Once there is a hire agreement in place, the rest of the details are left to us. We organise delivery, collection and placement of any hired items directly with your wedding venue – any important details are normally discussed at the time of booking.
Our clients know what they want and we can cater to custom orders for anyone wanting something totally unique.
How can couples judge if a company is the right fit for their wedding?
Having been a Bride myself, it can be really hard to find exactly what it is you want on your day and it can also be difficult to pick from a sometimes huge pile of suppliers wanting your business. I found that cheapest does not mean the best or the easiest to come by and in fact, items with a higher price tag were some much better in quality and service than those with a cheap and easy price tag.
I think an honest supplier with a friendly attitude rather than a business attitude should come first when picking someone to supply your wedding. I am always excited that someone is getting married and getting to experience that wedding day feeling, it totally over rides any thought that I even do this to earn money.
A client should be comfortable to ask for what they want and know the person they are asking has actually been in their shoes at some point rather than feel like they are talking to a business bank account who only sees another sale.
What are your favourite moments from previous weddings you’ve been involved with?
My all time favourite moment in every wedding we’ve hired too is getting the photo of the newly wedded bride and groom stood by our LOVE letters, all glowing by the dancefloor, its such a huge statement to make at a wedding and the letters really are a centrepiece.
It’s hard not to walk in and see them lit up and think, “wow how good do those LOVE letters look?!” I feel that every time we set them up, and the venues aren’t even in full swing at that point! We’re focussed on big, centrepiece type of items and we look forward to many more moments with our upcoming items.
The bigger picture – does your business offer goods/services outside of the wedding world? Tell us more
We believe all of our items can be hired for any event, they’re not just for the wedding scene. We cater to themes, we take on custom orders and our items can be personalised to suit the event.
We don’t brand our items with “Mr & Mrs” or “I Do” and we like to think they would look just as good at a 40th, a birthday or a baby shower as they do on a wedding day.
What have you got planned for 2017?
2017 is really our first proper full year of business. We spent 2016 building up a little taster and we plan to spend 2017 really ramping it up with some new items, currently in the workshop!
We have just released our cinema light box and our “Your day in lights” package, we have another 2 items we hope to release this Summer and a further 2 towards the end of the year. Slow and steady however, The Hire Supplier is a new venture and we have all the time in the world to let it grow, after all, there is always going to be people getting married!
And finally, what or who inspires you and why?
I am inspired by my Husband, he is the backbone of our company, he works damn hard to manufacture everything to such perfection and he never disappoints! Going in to see the newest item he’s made for me is like waking up on Christmas morning!
His input and opinions help grow the business and push it in the right direction and without him we would have never been able to get The Hire Supplier off the ground! We are a business team with a lifetime contract and it’s only getting better from here!
All images courtesy of The Hire Supplier