Today we’re delighted to introduce Clara Mealing, a talented modern wedding planner in London and Surrey, and HiveTribe member. Clara officially launched her business, Styled for Love, earlier this year, focusing on weddings that combine romance and elegance with colour, fashion, and fun! We took the opportunity to chat to her about life as a new wedding business owner, what she’s learned so far, and next steps.
How did you get started in the wedding industry?
After a decade working in the interior design industry, I decided to refocus my creativity and embrace my passion for weddings. As well as having a design-led background and being able to visualise concepts, my love of logistical planning was highlighted during time spent coordinating new fabric collection photoshoots, implementing trade exhibitions and organising showroom events, all of which made the change of direction a natural pivot for me.
I have always been captivated by people’s love stories and the world of weddings, but after designing my own wedding and being featured on Love My Dress I was completely hooked! I decided to retrain with The Wedding Academy to gain an industry diploma and started assisting experienced planners with on the day coordination, which filled me with so much joy and ambition.
I feel very fortunate that I have turned my passion into a business and love that I am able to help couples share their love story by curating personal and memorable celebrations.
What mistakes have you made, and what did you learn from them?
Not setting goals! Time goes by so quickly and I have learnt that without setting goals that you want to achieve within a certain timeframe and then breaking them down into realistic actions, it all becomes a little overwhelming.
What advice would you give someone about to make the leap to being a full-time wedding pro?
I am still working on my business part-time while working a 9–5, but hope to be able to make the leap in the not too distant future. I think it’s important to feel confident that you can support yourself in your venture.
What support and advice have you discovered, and how has it changed your business?
The business section of my training was invaluable. Not only did I learn to write a business plan, but was also educated on understanding my ideal client before launching my company. This really helped me get my branding right and know which direction I wanted to take.
Do you think women can ‘have it all’ when it comes to running a successful business and having a fulfilling personal life?
I like to think so; it’s just about learning how to achieve the right balance, which takes time when your business is new.
How do you find a work/life balance?
I believe it’s about prioritising. It’s so easy to immerse yourself in your work and let those who support you take a back seat. Time block your week to make sure you achieve your important tasks and allocate sufficient time with your loved ones – just make sure it’s quality time and you’re not still working on the side!
What’s your definition of success?
On a business level, success to me is to love my job, believe in myself, and create events to be proud of every single time, while personally it’s about feeling content and supporting my family.
What’s your number one tip for new wedding pros?
Gaining work experience is a wonderful idea; it’s a great way to start meeting industry professionals and will give you a true insight as to whether this is the right career for you.
What’s next for you and your business?
Having launched earlier this year I am planning some styled shoots to grow my portfolio, looking forward to industry collaborations and super excited to be working with my first client!
Have you been dreaming about starting your own wedding business? The HiveTribe is the best launching pad for your new career, with all the support, advice, connections, and resources you could need in this exciting new chapter of your professional life. Find out about membership HERE.