Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Introducing our 4th guest judge

How have you been readers? Have you been riddled with colds and coughs like nearly everyone I speak with? Well the good news is that we're half way through winter. To brighten up your day, I thought I would introduce you to our 4th guest judge for the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition. I know you will recognise her from her styled dessert tables which have been beamed across the internet so many times.

Linda Harper is our 4th judge in the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition. Linda and her husband Andrew are the owners and founders of Harper Event Design, a vibrant event styling company based in Melbourne that specialises in exclusive weddings, parties, corporate events and gatherings. They also have an online store and if you haven't had a browse yet, I strongly encourage you to!

They not only stock party accessories but kids decor and some very gorgeous and original items for your bedroom and living areas.

Linda describes herself as a wife to her wonderful husband Andrew and a mother to 12 month old Grace. She has formal qualifications in Psychology, Marketing and Business Management. Linda grew up in Queanbeyan, NSW and moved to Melbourne 4 years ago. Linda's husband Andrew used to work for an event company in London for 7 years before they met which is where their love for starting an event styling company first seeded.

Linda's favourite styled event so far is her daughter Grace's Christening  - Linda had so much fun styling this event and I know many of you would have seen it featured on Amy Atlas Designs. I love the fact that Grace wore the same Christening gown that Linda first wore at her own Christening... I'm sure it made the event so special.


As most of you would have seen, Linda's most recently styled table 'Babushka Party' was featured on Marabous - Australia's Leading Source for Stylish Events.  So I was interested to know what theme Linda would love to style - Linda's response? Her clients have given her the most inspiration when it comes to themes and the freedom to create 'magical' masterpieces for them... well looking at her work, I know why!

Linda's 'must have' party products include a ruffle tablecloth, milk glass cake stands and great buffet labels to name a few...

As for her party tips? Be organised! Planning parties should be fun and not stressful. The more time you give yourself to organise the party, the more details you can incorporate.

Linda's advice for the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table participants is to do lots of research before creating something. She suggests grabbing ideas and then tweaking them to make them your own. But always remember that 'less is more'....Good advice!!

So what's next for Harper Event Design?  Well they are getting busier and busier! And therefore constantly trying to balance their work/life commitments (can we all relate?). Harper Event Design is now one of the preferred suppliers for some great venues in Melbourne and so they are moving towards building their corporate partnerships. As for each day? Linda tries to take each event as it comes and create something new for her client each time.

It was so lovely to interview Linda from Harper Event Design. I hope you got lots of ideas and inspiration from her beautiful styled tables.

We have one more guest judge to tell you about but in the meantime, I hope you're surviving winter and it won't be long now until your entries are due for the Sweet Little Birdy Party Table competition, so get that planning started!

Yours in blogging


Friday, July 6, 2012

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined."
Henry David Thoreau

Table Decorations by TLC Design and Events

Live the life you have imagined.... are you? I found myself sitting amongst a group of very successful women who had gathered together for the The Little Birdy Nook Networking Evening (A Sweet Little Birdy Event) last Friday. Tara from Sweet Little Birdy had organised a Winter wonderland themed night with sparkly snowflakes on the table and wintery desserts... with a touch of pink of course!

Cake Topper by Milkk Money and cake by Cupcake Couture

If you have attended one of The Little Birdy Nook Networking Evenings before then you will know it is a night where like minded people gather together to showcase their business, build new business relationships and generate business opportunities.

We were very fortunate to have Adro Sarnelli present to us on the night. Many of you may know him as the Biggest Loser Australia Season 1 (2006) winner.

The New Me Obesity Rehabilitation Facility

Adro is now a qualified personal trainer who is the owner and founder of 'The New Me', an obesity rehabilitation facility.  He spent the evening chatting with us about where we were currently at in our business and where we wanted to be. He challenged us to re-think about the word 'motivation' and view it as if we were 'pulled' or 'pushed' by motivation.

I found this new concept a bit challenging at first to grasp but with Adro's practical examples, the idea became a bit clearer. Basically if you are being 'pushed' then motivation is work (i.e. you have to force yourself to do it - tax statements anyone?) but if you are being 'pulled', then your dedication and inspiration to your work is what drives you (i.e. what made you start your business in the first place), so it's not work anymore but something that you love doing.

Sarah from Style Me Gorgeous

He encouraged us to strive to 'be pulled' by our work and if it wasn't pulling us anymore, then we needed to re-evaluate what was standing in our way, which could be as simple as getting someone else to do your tax statements, book keeping etc and then using the time that you saved to put back into your business.

So focus on the things you like to do and do it well and as for the other things that you don't like or find challenging, pay someone else to do it because it is likely that if they are doing it as a job themselves (ie an accountant), they will probably do a better job and do it faster. But if you are the percentage that need constant motivation to do your job, then perhaps it's time to re-evaluate what you are doing and if you should be in that line of business in the first place.

Although I can think of lots of 'ifs' and 'buts', I know the bottom line of Adro's message was spot on - stay true to yourself, love what you do and you will love doing it.

Dessert Bar styled by Sweet Little Birdy

Lauren from Little Red Door Photography

After a little break and some more delicious food, we then had lovely Lucy from Mary Kay present. Her message was clear and simple - look after yourself, you are the image of your business and as much as we hate to admit it, first impressions count. Spending that time on your dress, skin care and make up will not only help you look good but more importantly, feel good too.

Lucy from Mary Kay

Ticket anyone, ticket? What's a night without lucky door prizes! Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to the very generous donations by local businesses.
Lucky Door Prizes

After some more sweets and business networking, it was time to wrap up. I know I left with a lot of new business cards that I will put to good use. After chatting with a few participants, it became evident that not only were new business links formed, new friendships were made with like-minded and inspirational business women.

Thank you Tara and Damo for a very successful and enjoyable night. The talks were inspiring and thought provoking, the food was delicious and the company fantastic.
Tara and Damo from Sweet Little Birdy

So tell me readers, what did you gain from the night? Are you 'pushed' or 'pulled' by motivation? And if you didn't attend, what are your thoughts on motivation vs inspiration?

Yours in blogging