Doesn’t every girl just love a wedding? Whether it’s romance galore or themed, weddings are a romantic time for even the most cynical of souls. Wouldn’t it just be a dream to write about weddings all day long and not remotely tire? Well, Lottie Dainton does exactly that. From quitting her full-time job to now having an assistant, the 24-year-old from Taunton breaks down exactly how she got there.
Lottie: When I describe my job the majority of people say: “Wow, that’s a dream job!” and it really is. I work in a fun, inspiring and creative role in the swoon-worthy wedding industry and I get to my own #girlboss. What’s not to love? I have always wanted to work for myself – as a small child I would create business after business from my bedroom, and I just knew that the 9 – 5 office life wasn’t for me. Taking the leap to be self-employed and start my own business was the best thing I ever did.
Smart Girl Tribe: Did you always want to work in the wedding industry?
L: Growing up, I filled every notepad with an idea and knew as soon as I landed myself an online editor role at a national wedding magazine that I had found the perfect career. I took the plunge to become a freelance copywriter on an impulse decision – and probably quite an irresponsible one but it was worth the risk. I have been self-employed for almost three years and wake up every day loving my job.
S: How did you fund going self-employed at the start?
L: I actually didn’t need to invest a huge amount into my business to start it from scratch. I had a laptop, a free Wix website and created a portfolio of work from my time at the national magazine. Shortly after, I created social media for my business and started from there. Quitting with no job to pay the bills – now there is motivation to succeed. A year on I had saved enough to be able to pay for my website to be done professionally.
“It really is a dream job. I genuinely can’t imagine working in any other industry!”
S: As a freelancer how do you go about getting jobs? It must be really tough.
Social media but a lot through word-of-mouth as well. My first client was Coco Wedding Venues, who I still work with. Once I had a few businesses under my belt, it was a snowball effect. I always ask for reviews as it’s vital that businesses trust you. A lot of clients are one-man bands and they are investing in me, so I want them to feel they can trust me.
S: What is the best and worst thing about your job?
L: There are so many amazing things about my job, I could write lists as long as my arm. I absolutely love working for myself – creating new ideas, reading my work on websites and having to be the sole motivator. At the same time, this can be incredibly stressful and it can often be quite isolating not having colleagues. However, I often work from coffee shops or co-working spaces and the wedding industry is so friendly, it almost feels like you’re a family.
L: It’s pivotal for my business and it has allowed me to get me where I am today. I have lots of enquiries come through Facebook and Instagram, where people can view my work and get an idea of my style. Instagram in particular is a great way to reach businesses, interact and engage. It’s a chance to showcase my work to potential clients and network with wedding professionals.
S: What is your best career advice you would tell others for this industry?
L: The below is an excerpt from Sophia Amoruso’s book and for me this encompasses exactly what I would tell all women wanting to start a business.
“I think that you can only truly know what you’re made of when you’re in charge of your days, how you use that time and the work you put in, and it teaches you so much about who you are and what you can become. But when the stakes are high sometimes you just have to jump… screaming the whole way. I don’t know if there is any greater feeling than proving that you are your own biggest advocate.”
S: What is a myth or something few people actually know about the wedding industry?
L: The majority of suppliers are a one-man band and they’re all incredible for doing that. So many women (and men) have children, part-time jobs and have a dream to work in the wedding industry.
S: What are three traits every self-starter needs?
L: You need the confidence to take a risk and the belief that you can make it work. Find something that you are passionate about– it will only ever be successful if you LOVE what you do.
S: You are doing so much right now, what is next?
L: I have just hired my first part-time team member to assist with everything. I’d love to further expand into a PR & Marketing Agency with a number of employees and would also like to offer wedding consultancy.
S: That’s fantastic advice. What would you tell your younger self?
L: You don’t have to follow the crowd to be successful. I never went to university as I just felt it wasn’t part of my journey and I always worried I had made the wrong decision. So, trust your instincts, do what you want to do and don’t let anyone get in the way of that!
Fashion- As a freelancer what does your everyday outfit look like? If I’m working from a coffee shop, you’ll find me in jeans, a simple jumper and a suede jacket. If I’m working from home, it’s usually joggers teamed with a hoody.
Books- One entrepreneurial book you would recommend? Sophia Amoruso – Girl Boss. The Netflix Series is also a fun watch.
Wedding Etiquette- What is one rule wedding guests should abide by? Don’t wear white obviously.
Travelling- When working is there a particular beauty product that you swear by? Lip balm, I can’t live without it.
On celebrity weddings- What wedding dress has been your favourite? Olivia Palermo’s aisle style was exquisite. It was so different and stylish.