For this week’s LADIES WE LOVE post I had the pleasure of interviewing the dynamic duo behind Geelong’s latest event hire and styling company, Love.Light.Letters. Both recently hitched, Eve and Jess are two gorgeous best friends who decided to turn a love of planning and styling – plus some seriously good taste – into an already incredibly in-demand and successful business. And at this stage it’s only a hobby as both girls work full-time as well!
Read on to find out how the business was born (like most great ideas – over a glass of vino), how the girls’ own weddings influenced their plans, how their husbands have been involved and most importantly, how they juggle it all!
Tell us about Love.Light.Letters… What do you guys do, how do you do it?
EVE: We are an event hire and styling duo and we hire all things love, lights and letters! We hire locally to Geelong; we love local! However we do travel to the surrounds of Melbourne also. It’s just the two of us (occasionally the husbands) and we deliver, set up and pack down all of our products personally. We love meeting our brides, engaged couples and other hirers so we can give a really personal touch to each event. This is was makes us tick; we are ‘people’ people!
JESS: We specialise in prop hire and event styling for anything and everything… Big or small! Eve and I are the team, with our husbands’ assistance along the way. We have a beautiful range of letters, lighting, timbers and endless ideas for the perfect wedding day, engagement party, baby shower, special birthday, anniversary, corporate event, product launch or even the big proposal. We are here to work with our clients to achieve something memorable! We deliver, set up, pack down and insure our items to ensure that our clients events are just perfect.
Where did the idea come from? How did it all happen? I’m willing to bet my house it was over a glass of wine!
EVE: Well… That was a pretty safe bet Carly! We don’t mind a glass or 2 together, especially when brainstorming. LLL started one sunny evening on our deck, glass in one hand, notepad in the other. Once we get on a roll, we really roll and before we know we have saved all the problems of the world in one night! The idea did originally start with our besties’ wedding last November; we wanted to surprise her with the big letters but couldn’t get them in time from anywhere, nor were we able to source them for our own weddings. And then the idea of building our own giant LOVE letters was our sole focus in the beginning… We were onto something as far as we were concerned at this point! We operate as a team always in anything we do and we were just warming up!
JESS: YES… you can be assured that your house is safe, of course it started over a glass, or perhaps a bottle of wine! It has been over many years that the joke of ‘how cool would it be’ has happened, but late last year, we had both been married for over a year and we just couldn’t stop thinking about the possibilities and the items we could offer to Geelong and surrounds that would be ‘something different’.
Throughout our wedding planning process, I REALLY wanted the giant LOVE letters; I searched high and low, spoke to people I didn’t even really know on Facebook to try and source them but I had no luck! Eve went all the way to Noosa and still couldn’t find them, so that’s really where the ‘idea’ to launch LLL came from as we tried again last year to find them/source them/make them for our best friends wedding, and couldn’t! She kicked off the inspiration and the need for us to make this happen.
You officially launched Love.Light.Letters on Valentines Day… Tell us about the launch!
EVE: The launch was such a hit, a beautiful sunny day spent at Jack Rabbit Vineyard. Being Valentines Day, JR was super busy which was great as we had plenty of enquiries and people generally interested and taking photos with our giant LOVE! We had lots of fun and we had an amazing response which was really exciting for us.
JESS: Our Launch event was amazing! There was no better day to share the LOVE than on Valentines Day and to be honest, it got all the boys who came to support us with their partners and wives off the hook for organising something themselves.
We chose Jack Rabbit Winery (Portarlington) for our Launch and we just knew it would be the perfect spot! The views are breathtaking and we could see our giant LOVE fitting in just perfectly. We took over ‘The Shed’ with all of our other products and we had The Flower Dispensary supply the most beautiful blooms to accompany them! Kirsten from Kirsten Keast Photography did an amazing job of capturing the day and giving us the shots to really kick off our website!
We were surrounded by our best friends, our husbands and our new little business and we couldn’t have been happier…. Of course the delicious champagne, lunch and fun on the hill helped too.
The public took photos, sat on, sat in, and played around the letters all day so I actually think they impacted everyones Valentines Day just the way we’d hoped.
You were both recently married. Tell us how your own weddings influenced LLL? Did they bring out your inner stylist / wedding planner? Would you change anything about your weddings now, in hindsight?
EVE: Being a planner by nature, my wedding certainly enhanced this inner being and bought out a creative side that I really had no idea existed! We were married in Noosa on the foreshore, followed by reception at Bistro C which is right on the beachfront in Noosa, I styled with large driftwood centre pieces with beautiful greenery, glass tealight votives throughout and lots of romantic lighting.
What would I have changed… We didn’t get a videographer, huge mistake. I have no idea what I was thinking!
JESS: I would love nothing more than to do it all again! I think any girl would say that though, right? I’d probably change a million things, but only because the options have grown so much locally in 18 months its crazy. I had to go to Melbourne to find a stylist that I loved to assist me in the set up as I couldn’t do it myself, and working with her most definitely inspired me to see how much fun it was, and how the options were truly endless!
Our big day was in Barwon Heads at a private property lined by magnificent trees and a flower arch I’ll never forget. We had a lemonade stand, vintage bikes and wine barrels as part of the set up, and a beautiful timber welcome sign for the front fence that we are going to be offering at LLL very soon.
Reception followed at At The Heads restaurant by the water and it was all about timber centrepieces, mixed vases, ENDLESS flowers and light blue accents to tie in with the ocean. So much fun!
I’ve always been a planner so that isn’t anything new for me; my love of lists is ridiculous but they keep most definitely keep me sane! Studying and practising interior design and deco I have always loved being creative and playing with different colours/textures/ideas… So the events and weddings are really just the next level on all of that as you’re working for a client who needs you to deliver perfection on their special day. I love it!
How did you get the business up-and-running? Were there any significant hurdles? Who was your biggest mentor / inspiration / help? How involved have your husbands been?
EVE: So far we have been lucky, no hurdles to date. The husbands have been so supportive and helpful, theres been a lot of things we couldn’t have done without their help and advice. They even lend us their utes to tow the letters around! They are both really handy too, happy to build new things and help us create our visions as we come up with them. They are great.
Inspo = The Stylco. They are the height of the industry and amaze us every day with what they create, come up with and design. We are really looking forward to doing a workshop with them early next year.
JESS: Hands down, the husbands have saved the day… Pretty much from day 0 to current! We couldn’t have done it without them and we tell them all the time (in the hope they’ll keep helping!)
No real significant hurdles I don’t think… It was really just taking the wine convo to reality and making the leap of faith, knowing your making the right call – and we know now, we really did! We’re learning a lot as we go along in relation to owning your own business, but that’s all been really interesting. As far as the love for events, planning and creating go… The inspiration would have to be our own weddings, our friend’s recent weddings and all the very talented local people out there providing Geelong with high end events and styling options these days. We’re so excited to be a part of it.
Biggest inspiration is Style Co without a doubt; they are absolute perfection, every time! We are hanging out to be a part of their workshop in 2016.
Is this just a hobby, something you both love, or do you plan to turn it into something full-time? How are you balancing Love.Light.Letters with your regular jobs… Seems like you’re working pretty much 24/7?
EVE: For now it is a weekend hobby that we love, a lot. We work at night from our laptops, replying to enquiries, emailing each other ideas, Pinterest-ing and working on what’s next! Unless it’s something urgent we made a rule not talk about LLL during our full time job hours as we both have Monday to Friday jobs that we love and have been at for a long time. This is how we’ve created our balance and line between the two. In saying this, we often meet for lunch and have an hour of power to get things off our chest if we need to!
JESS: Working 24/7 actually excites me! (Crazy much?) I’ve always done the Saturday job thing, or the additional course just for something to do to have as another option as an extra interest/hobby/challenge.
We had promised each other at the beginning of all of this that we don’t talk LLL during business hours at our other jobs. We both love what we do and we’ve been in our Monday to Friday jobs for a long time so it all works for both of us!
LLL for us is most definitely our little baby and I have just loved getting it off the ground and putting all the background into it. Eve and I need to be busy, all the time. So the hours of a night time spent discussing our responses to our new clients, or making our Facebook and Instagram page look just right, endless hours on Pinterest and Etsy, or doing the budgets, it is all enjoyable time spent.
Our events are all weekend based and our Sunday arvos were always spent with a glass of wine yapping anyways, so now we just yap about this, do our filing and do photoshoots which are so much fun so its been easy, no juggle at all!
When (if) you get some free time, what things do you like to do?
EVE: We have horses and dogs! So when we aren’t riding our horses, we are walking the dogs !They are our furkids and take up most of our spare time, and of course wine and eating good food. We gym it together every morning, that balances out the fact that we are also BIG lovers of great food, we especially love all the new and upcoming local cafes and restaurants that are appearing in and around Geelong. New week, new café to try!
JESS: It’s going to sound like Eve and I live together and have kicked our husbands out, but I assure you – we haven’t… Just yet. LOL!
We gym it every day, we walk our dogs, we ride our horses, we eat lots of amazing food and always end any of these activities with delicious wine. Waaa la!
Tell us about some of your current products / services available? What geographical areas do you service?
EVE: At present we have….
Giant 6ft L O V E letters
A full alphabet of Marquee Letter Lights – we can spell anything requested!
60 – 80cm foam lettering that can spell any word or any numbers for milestone birthdays and occasions
Wine barrels & bar top
Silver drink tubs and stands
Concrete Letters and Table Numbers
A variety of timber products coming very soon – stay tuned!
JESS: And on top of that, we would love to do some custom jobs and literally create/source exactly what it is our clients want! We are basically up for any mission, and any distance… But unfortunately the travel costs included may make it a bit harder for us to do a significantly wide area. Basically as a rule, anywhere in the radius of Torquay/Drysdale/Lara is free delivery for all of our products, and further than this incurs a fee.
What sets you apart from other similar businesses?
EVE: We really do love what we are doing, our hire items are something that Geelong hasn’t really been exposed to yet and we think our items bring something really unique to each event. Our props are a wow factor, no matter where they are in a room or outside space they catch your eye and create a fun backdrop and photo prop.
JESS: We just wanted to be able to offer something locally that we couldn’t find when we were getting married and believe our products are different to what people have had access to locally before and it’s exciting!
What was been your favourite wedding (or other event) you have been involved in so far?
EVE: We were really lucky to have been a part of an exquisite wedding at Clyde Park in Bannockburn last weekend. J & J hired our giant LOVE letters and had our festoons draping from the wine barrels behind their bridal table. It looked incredible, was a fun set up and we were so happy to be a part of this wedding.
JESS: Yes! The weekend just gone !! We were so so lucky to be a part of an absolutely stunning wedding at Clyde Park. Joe and Jess had the most amazing ideas and they came together just beautifully at such a great venue. We had our giant LOVE letters out on the terrace, and hanging festoons behind the bridal table on the wine barrels. We had so much fun doing this event, and the photos we’ve already seen are just the best!
What are 5 things that every wedding should have?
EVE: Beautiful lighting, timber, concrete, copper, beautiful blooms.
JESS: Amazing lighting, beautiful blooms, raw timbers, copper/gold accents and individuality!
What are you 5 favourite Instagram accounts to follow?
EVE: GT Magazine, Geelong Bride, Ivory Tribe, The Stylco, The Lane.
JESS: The Style Co, Hello May, GT Magazine, Ivory Tribe, The Lane.
We have been so thankful for all the interest we’ve had already and the opportunities that we’ve been given. We were part of a showcase evening at Truffleduck in March, have a column in the Elevator section of the local Business News and have some exciting things coming up in the fabulous Geelong Magazine ‘Ruby’ that are all about girls in business!
For more information you can visit the LLL website at www.lovelightletters.com.au and follow them on social media @lovelightletters.