A Day in the Life of Saving Grace Events Founder Rebecca Hartley
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to run an events agency? In this blog, Founder of Saving Grace Events and Tatton Park Pop Up Festival Rebecca Hartley gives the lowdown on what a typical working day is like for her…
How do you start your day?
I’m a bit of a night owl and seem to get a second wind at about 10pm, so I usually end up working until the early hours. My day starts with a strong coffee as I’m tired from too little sleep, but I never learn! Then, it’s into mum mode, getting a teenager up and out for school!
What do you do when you get to the office?
If I haven’t already managed to do it at home with a coffee, I always try to start the day with my gratitude book and setting my intentions for the day. After this, I almost always make myself another coffee. I’m a big fan of Davina Taylor’s Keto powder, and I have Nespresso makers on each floor of the office, as well as at home (not sure if this means I have a problem!). Cup of coffee in hand, I set my mind to writing a to-do list. If I don’t have a to do list, I liken my day to being on a rollercoaster… anything could happen! It can also be nice to reflect on what I’ve achieved at the end of the day, with a personal “ta-da” list.
What does your morning involve?
My role is very varied, especially because I have three businesses to manage! As well as Saving Grace Events and Tatton Park Pop Up Festival, I have also recently become a Partner at The Barlaston Estate, so I have to split my time between them. Generally, I wear many hats: the MD, Creative Director, Sales Director, Finance Director, Marketing Director and Operations Director. As all three businesses are in their infancy, it’s important to be flexible and adaptable in the areas I get involved with.
What tasks do you complete?
I have a lot of meetings! Being the lead on two businesses and a director of the third means a lot of my time is spent making decisions. I also have a lot of reporting lines, which is something I’m trying to remodel slightly, but it does mean a lot of people need a lot of my time. Being a dreamer, I love thinking about ‘the art of the possible’ and am at my happiest in creative meetings or when designing an event. However, I’m also practical and thrive when transforming visions into reality. One of the best parts of my role is taking a client or a colleague on this journey and selling that dream to them. It’s so rewarding when they love the ideas too, and we can bring them to fruition!
Talk through a typical afternoon?
More of the same: creative design, proposals, business development, finance calls, team meetings, client meetings and strategy meetings. At the end of a Friday afternoon, we always make sure we update the team ’ta-da’ board and have an end-of-week drink in the office bar!
How do you unwind after work?
Unwinding – what’s that? I really do struggle to relax because my mind is ridiculously active all the time. If I’m not working or busy being a single mum to my son Zach, I’m usually thinking about what I should be doing. But I do love a spa day, a holiday, or even a fitness session, as you literally have to switch off for an hour then. I also like to zone out to reality TV because it takes no brain power at all- Made in Chelsea is my favourite. I also love a good book!
What do you like most about your job and also running your own business?
I love the freedom that running your own business brings. That’s not to say you have more time- as anyone will tell you, you definitely don’t! But I do spend my time on what I choose to, and that’s freedom to me. Before I had my own businesses, I worked for some organisations that were very aligned to my values and others that weren’t. Having my own business is my chance to do things my way and to create the type of working environment and culture I would want to be part of. You also get to choose the clients you want to work with and the types of work you take on.
What’s the most challenging thing about your job?
Time! There is never enough of it. I wish there were more hours in the day! Also, responsibility. With a growing business comes a lot of pressure, like having to pay wages, overheads, and keep bringing in revenue. As the owner, you are the only person carrying this pressure. On The Barlaston Estate, I am one of three directors, and that’s lovely because we all share decisions and the responsibility for making it a success.
Best event you’ve ever worked on so far this year?
Tatton Park Pop Up Festival comprised of 35 events across seven weeks this year, which is pretty special. However, my all-time favourite is by far the reward and recognition event we deliver for Five Guys each year, for 500 of their General Managers. This is my favourite event to work on because we can get super creative. Plus, Five Guys are fun, innovative and people driven, so they’re happy to run with our ideas and create something incredible for their managers. So far, we have been to Budapest and Dubrovnik, and we are planning a very special location this year that I cannot disclose yet! Not only do I love working on these events, but my team love them to, and that’s a lovely thing.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in events?
You have to love it! The hours can be unsociable, the stress to get things right for a client or your business is a lot, but if you love getting creative and creating unforgettable memories as we do, there is no better and more rewarding place. Be prepared to put in the hours, be flexible, adaptable, and thrive on working as part of a team with a common goal, and you will go far.
Would you like to find out more about the events we deliver? Read our latest blog, Planning a Festival: Tatton Park Pop Up, One Year On.
If you’d like help organising your next in-person or virtual employee engagement event, get in touch with us.