Coco Business Inspiration : Catherine Harrington

Catherine is a #girlboss that likes to have fun, something we can never get enough of at House of Coco. Lost Vegas is her brainchild, an events company that brings the fun to you. Go large or go home is what this brand is all about and they guarantee to turn up and make sure all your guests have a glam night to remember.

Here, we spent some time with Catherine to find out more about her brand, juggling life as a mum and her plans for the future…

Tell us a bit about your journey to getting Lost Vegas where it is today?
I have built up my fun casino party hire company focusing on providing quality equipment, a professional reliable specialist service and we have gained a reputation that creates lots of repeat business and recommendations.   Networking with other suppliers and exhibiting at wedding fairs is something I tend to do a lot of.  I spend a lot of time and creativity on marketing my brand to make sure Lost Vegas stands out in the entertainment industry.  We have successfully entertained at weddings, themed nights, corporate events, private parties, Christmas parties, exhibitions, product launches and charity casino nights.

What has been your highlight since launching the brand?
So many highlights – The stunning venues we have been privileged to work in, the friendships I’ve made through Lost Vegas, the celebrities I’ve met along the way. The one that stands out is when I met Bond Girl Honor Blackman (Pussy Galore) whilst working on a very successful charity event and not to mention the experience of working on the Downton Abbey set advising the crew and cast on a poker scene.  As well as appearing in Vogue.

Describe the brand in 3 words?
Fun, Glamorous, Interactive Entertainment

We love everything about Vegas. What place would be a dream come true if you were to get to visit?
I will have to have a bus man’s holiday lol and say Vegas!! Although I have heard it is not far to fly to Hawaii from there so it would be great to do both in one trip!

Who is involved in the brand?
It started as a family business, my dad is still very involved and mainly my lovely team of dedicated professional casino trained and experienced Croupiers – especially my top croupier Steve – you know who you are!

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Tell us what a typical day in your life looks like?
No day is typical in the events industry, you could be planning a small family party or a big gala ball or setting up in a hotel one day a village hall the next.  I do all of my admin, emails, quotes, invoicing, banking, booking staff, marketing, SEO from home in, in between doing school runs.   There is a lot of preparation work before every event, it’s not all play!  If I have an event I will be loading and unloading the van with equipment, glamming up and getting into my black dress to entertain the crowds.

Before you launched the brand, what did you do on the work front?
I worked as a professional croupier in the Grosvenor Victoria Club in London, various luxury cruise ships in the Caribbean, USA and Mexico.  When I had my family I started working part time for events companies doing fun casino nights when I realised that with our background and expertise we could specialise and do it better and more authentically ourselves.

It can be hard to juggle life and business, what do you do to switch off from work?
Spend time with my loved ones, I love to be around my family and friends relaxing. Although, as a business owner its like being a parent and you never fully switch off – I probably bore my friends talking about work .

Who/what inspires you?
My children inspire me to keep going as I need to support them and would like to show them a good example of how a bit of vision and hard work can provide a great lifestyle.

Are there any sources you go for support with running your business?
I talk to other business owners in the events industry for ideas and support. Also we are members of the Professional Fun Casino Association and exchange ideas and advise each other within the group.  I also read a lot, there are often good articles on social media that give me ideas.

What are your plans for the brand in 2016?
My plans are to continue with the brand and retain our specialism. However, we also will be complimenting the fun casino party’s with theming for Vegas, James Bond, Great Gatsby, Hollywood and Oscars props alongside the casino. So watch this space!

Honor blackman

Did you always know that one day you would be a #Girlboss?
I didn’t know what I wanted to be!  However my mum always told me that I was born to be a croupier as she was playing poker when she went into labour!

If there’s one #Girlboss activity you could get better at, what would it be?
Getting my head around finances!  Picking up the phone and approaching customers – I tend to wait for them to come to us!

For women aspiring to run their own company, what advice would you give?
If you have a vision go for it, write down a plan with action steps on how to get there.

However good you are at what you do you must learn marketing and selling – the key to any business success.

Do your market research but be different from your competitors – let your personality shine through your brand, find your unique selling point. Most importantly,  be yourself – its true that people buy from people so integrity is key.

Build up relationships with your clients, your team of staff and other businesses who can support you and you can recommend and refer each other.

Time management is important: To do lists work well but also make time for yourself to relax and have fun so you can come back to your business with a new perspective and a fresh approach.

In a nutshell – Dream Big, Work Hard, Stay focused and surround yourself with good people.

Follow Catherine and her adventures with Lost Vegas…

www.lost-vegas.co.uk

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