Podcast Episode 1: This is Cluck

Filed in Podcast  /  November 22, 2022 /

The first episode of this podcast is with Sam, Chloe and Emily. These 3 friends are the women behind This is Cluck. A hen party planning company based in London – researching, organising, and taking all the stress out of hen party planning with a vast array of gorgeous, luxurious and classy hotels, restaurants and events at their fingertips – all the stress of timings, transport, and chasing payments from the hens taken away. I couldn’t think of a better business for a first episode on building a business with a friend than a business that celebrates female friendship!

Listen to the episode here: https://spotifyanchor-web.app.link/e/AF6K8Sqsavb

Find out more about This is Cluck on their instagram or website.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/cluckhenparties

Website: www.thisiscluck.com

Episode Transcript

Susannah: Hello everyone. So this is our first proper interview episode on Friend Business and I’m so excited to share this with you. So today’s conversation is with the wonderful trio from This is Cluck. Sam, Chloe and Emily. And I thought this was the perfect group of friends to chat with on the podcast because certainly to me, opening a business where you research gorgeous places to stay, eat fun activities to do with your girly friends and organize this, sounds absolutely amazing. And that is what This is Cluck is. So, it’s a fabulous hen party planner company. They’re based in London and they offer bespoke packages. They cater for a huge range of tastes and budgets and have some absolutely gorgeous and unique venues in London. A few outside of London now too, actually. And they coordinate, organize everything.

So in today’s episode, we talk a bit about how the three of them know each other, how they became friends, their connections, and then all about starting a business. So we explore how they have navigated decisions, the vision of the brand and the business, and then also how things developed over the years with changes in their personal circumstances and changes in outlook on life. And they will tell you in much more detail about the fabulous offerings of This is Cluck and describe how they have learned to use each other’s strengths and take on different roles within the company.

We also touch on managing a business and friendship at the same time, a bit about the impact of Covid as well as some of their hopes and dreams moving forwards and why they love Mondays. So I really hope you enjoy this.

Susannah: So, welcome Chloe, Emily and Sam. Welcome, lovely This is Cluck team. Such an absolute joy to be able to speak with you on the podcast. So thank you for being here.

Thank you.

Susannah: I would love to start with some introductions and hearing about who you are and how you met, about your friendship journey so far, or as I like to call it, your friendship love story.

Emily: Okay, I will explain that to you. So there’s three of us that run Cluck, me, Emily; and then Chloe and Sam. And it started. So me and Sam were school friends, so to speak. I was friends with her. I was in the same year as her sister. So we got to know each other through our group of friends that way. And we’ve just been friends for, I don’t know, now for like 10 – 15 years. I can’t really I don’t know how long it’s been a long time.

Sam: 15 years. Yeah.

Emily: Crikey. And then me and Chloe worked together at an events company. So that’s how we met. I was with them for I think we worked together for about six years, didn’t we, Chloe?

Chloe: Yeah, there abouts

Emily: and then so I am the glue of bringing these two together.

We owe everything to you.

Emily: Yeah, it’s all down to me. It kind of started, you know, I brought Sam up into London, we sort of had a little business idea and then I shared these ideas with Chloe and then it kind of grew from there and we all kind of got together that way.

Susannah: Great. So I’d be wondering about what way round it happened. I wondered how the idea of being in business together started and then forming This is Cluck or whether perhaps it had been the other way.

Emily: Right, yeah, we kind of have that both ways because obviously me and Sam were friends with Chloe at our jobs, but I was very close with Sam, like, going out every weekend and then Sam and Chloe then became friends after the business

Susannah: And Sam. So were you in the events industry as well, or did you have a different career background?

Sam: No, I’ve got a very boring career background, so I’m an accountant. It’s quite good because we’ve got different sort of skill sets, but yeah, I don’t come from events at all, so these guys bring all their cool creative and I do the boring background

Susannah: Yeah. I think it is so interesting. I think our listeners will find it interesting too – hearing a bit about the process of changing career path. I don’t know, that changing is always the right word, really. It’s more sort of deciding to move on to something to something new, something else, or working in a different format or becoming self employed, for example. I don’t know if you want to speak a little bit more to sort of some of the drivers, inspirations behind why you decided to start the company.

Chloe: Yes. So I think, as Emily kind of mentioned, we were all having a drink in the pub once. So Emily and I, as mentioned, we were good friends. And then I kind of knew Sam. I’ve met her a few times and it just was kind of by coincidence, all three of us were organizing hen parties at the same time. And we were just in the pub just having a chat about it. And unbeknownst to me, Sam and Emily had kind of had this conversation about how… we knew, Emily and I based on what we did for a living, we worked in events.. we knew that there were all these amazing venues and activities that existed, particularly in London, for hen parties. But all the hen party companies that you could find were selling the same old stuff like strippers and butlers in the buff or making knickers or just really boring crap. Well, some people like it. It’s just really badly branded. I think that was the main thing for me was it was terrible branding on every single website, every shade of pink you could possibly find, devil horns, learner plates, just really tacky something that wouldn’t appeal to me or Emily or Sam or anyone we know.

So I couldn’t understand why there was nobody tapping into all these amazing cool London venues, which the three of us ended up booking. All had these amazing itineraries for the hens that we organized. So Emily and Sam had kind of on the back burner, been talking about how maybe they could start a business from this, because I know Sam was quite business minded at the time and was maybe feeling a little bit, I guess, bored in her role and was kind of looking for something new and exciting to kind of get her teeth into. Had discussed it with Emily. So then when we were in the pub, they kind of told me their idea and I basically invited myself onto it. I was like, yeah, sounds great, let’s do it. And then it kind of went from there. And to be honest, if it had just been me and Emily, because we saw each other every day, if it had just been me and Emily, probably would have been one of those ideas everybody has in the pub where you’re like, oh, this is a great idea. There’s a gap in the market, we think it could work, and then you never do anything with it, and then five years later, down the line, you see somebody else has done it, you’re like, that would have been good, wouldn’t it? But it never went anywhere. But Sam kind of was quite like, wow, okay, what we do next, then? And we were like, oh, I don’t know. And then so she kind of gave us the momentum to actually keep going with it, and it then started forming and then before we knew it, we were doing it, we kind of told people we were doing it. And the minute you start vocalizing that you have a business idea and you’re going to go with it, you’ve just got to really, haven’t you? Because you’ve put it out in the world.

Sam: Yeah, I think that’s quite a good thing. Like, for me, because I’m an accountant, I’m a bit more sort of practical. I never really had the opportunity. I always knew that I wanted a business, and that’s where we bring something totally different to the table. I’ve always wanted a business, but I know that I wanted it in something creative, but I’m not a creative person. So Emily and Chloe sort of bought that opportunity to me. So together we made it happen. It was just quite a good chance thing, really, isn’t I?

Chloe: Yeah, definitely. And then we did that thing where you have an idea and you think maybe you’re going to go and look for do a bit of research and you’re going to come across a company that already exists that does that. But the more we looked into it, the more we realized, actually, this is a really good idea, nobody is doing this. And particularly back then. I think there are now a few more kind of cooler hen party companies, but back then there were absolutely none. So yeah, that gave us even more impetus to go with it. And yeah, here we are now chatting about it.

Susannah: That’s one of the key reasons why I wanted to do this podcast. So many people, I think, do think about, oh, wouldn’t it be great if we started a business together? We could work for ourselves, we could work together. I’m sure it would be a great team, but don’t actually move forwards with that. It is always just something maybe that you talk about over a drink in the pub, but actually you don’t get any further than that. What did that process like actually starting a business together?

Sam: We kind of muddled through in the beginning. I think Chloe quite a sort of creative. She saw the brand in her mind a little bit, and I think we kind of had this idea. And then when we actually started to see, like, our logo, And, I don’t know if you’ve seen on our website, but we’ve got quite a lot of illustrations and they represent different types of our hens. So we’ve got a badass girl who likes to..she’s adrenaline fueled. So we had all of these illustrations and all of a sudden this sort of idea started to really come to life and I think every single step that we took towards it got us more excited and we just sort of moved on to the next thing and it sort of evolved and picked up speed. But I think getting the brand, sort of seeing it in front of us was probably one of the most exciting parts, I think for me.

Emily: I do remember starting with literally stick men drawings.

Chloe: think we’ve actually got those drawings somewhere.

Emily: Yeah, I think we saved them because they were so bad. And it’s like since the start.

Chloe: Yeah. I think all of us have got really fond memories of we were lucky enough, I think a lot of starting a business in world, like we just said, that it’s all a little bit about timing and luck and things. And we were lucky enough to at the time, my dad’s branding agency said that they would help us do the branding, which, to be honest, was integral to us being taken seriously because we were just three girls. With no budget. That had, you know, a branding agency do the branding for us, which I do think we’ve kept the same branding since this is, like, six years ago. It’s really strong it’s amazing. And I’ve got really happy memories of us all being in Soho and going and having these meetings at this brand agency and being like, oh, my God, how is this happening? And then going into that wine bar, remember that wine bar, like, up the street, which was really expensive?

Just we couldn’t believe our luck and it was just like plotting, it was so exciting. I just have all these mad ideas, writing them all down, buzzing after all these meetings and just like, planning world domination. And I think even in years to come, we’ll always look back fondly at those times.

Susannah: And did you find that you all had very similar ideas on your vision for the business, on its ethos and what you wanted for your own work and career life? Did you feel you were all on the same page or did it need a few conversations?

Emily: I think we were, like at the time, things have changed so much now. At that time, we had a really distinctive thing where we just wanted to make loads of money and success and be huge and run the world. And now things have changed for us all. Like, people have got married, people are having children, people are moving house. It’s all changed so dramatically that now what we want out of the business is altered slightly. But we’re all on the same page because we’re all growing up together doing this, and I don’t think anyone wants anything differently than the other, which is a great work life balance.

Sam: Yeah, we’ve grown on the business together, which has been absolutely amazing because we’ve been on the same page since day one, as Em said, and I think that’s been really important for our friendship and for the business as well. So very lucky I think.

Susannah: that’s so lovely. So let’s talk a little bit more about This is Cluck because I absolutely love that you have created this amazing service to help women celebrate their friendship and their hen’s next exciting step in life. I think you’re probably able to speak more than this, but sort of from my outside view of what hen parties are now, I think a lot of changes have happened. I think people are probably being a little bit older, maybe whenever they have hen parties, because people are getting married older, they’re at a different place in life, you know, they are probably fairly more established in who they are or certainly, that’s maybe one type of hen that you get. and that maybe that they’re starting to have more of this underlying tone of using the opportunity just to love on and encourage and celebrate the hen and do something really wonderful and special as a treat altogether. Because people do spend a lot of money with their hens and on booking time off work or booking a babysitter, making sure they can get away for the weekend, because often people have to travel. And I just think it’s such a huge range that seems to cater to so many different types of brides and styles and what they’d like. So if I was coming to you as a client, what sort of things do you say? What does my experience look like?

Chloe: Initially, most of our inquiries…Our kind of expertise, and what we specialize in, and what’s quite unique from us as a company is that we’ve been doing this now for I think we actually worked out we said 2016. I think we had the initial idea. So we’ve been like living hen parties for that whole time. So we really do know our stuff and I think that the business has evolved in lots of ways.

When we first started out, it was just a website with lots of workshops on it, really cool workshops, and it was great, but it wasn’t the seamless EndToEnd service that it is now. And also, it just didn’t work as a business. It wasn’t something that all three of us could make a living from. But we’ve naturally and I think, as with any business, time is what gives you the knowledge to know what your customer needs and wants. And we now specialize in creating packages that are basically the whole day. So you’ll get a cost per person, and that will include pretty much everything drinks, activities, even things like service charge, which nobody thinks about, because if you’re going for a botanist brunch, a lot of places you’ll prepay. But then on the day you’ve got to faff about with service charge and who’s done what and when, there’s twenty of you, it’s just a nightmare. So we think about all these sort of things and it’s all included in one package, so no cash has to exchange hands on the day.

But we also think from a logistics side, so a lot of what we do will be either a walk away. So you’ll have a venue, you’ll have brunch somewhere, and then it’ll be an activity that’s a five minute walk away or a short train journey. We know what works with which location, we know what timings work well, we know what styles work together, we know if you’ve got a certain type of budget, what’s going to fit in with that budget. On our website, we have kind of our best selling packages that are pre made packages that we know are amazing that they sell. So a lot of the inquiries that would come in will just be like, I absolutely love this package. Is it available? We want to book it.

But then also some people do want to change things in and out and we will know either from the initial email or from an initial phone call, what’s possible, what’s feasible based on the information that we’ve been given. If you were to come with us, to come to us and say, I’ve got 20 girls and it’s this date, I only want to spend this much money. You could spend hours and hours trying to research what works, whereas we know straight away what works, basically. And then it’s all packaged in a really nice little itinerary. So you’ve got the timings, you see how the day is going to flow. We include journey time. It’s all kind of, everythings thought of.

And then when you get to, what I personally think is the most stressful part of hen party planning is the payments. Because traditionally one person has to pay for like 20 people all on their credit card. They don’t know some of these people. You always get some people that take weeks to pay and it’s just awkward and horrible. And then you end up with, the lead booker always ends up losing out on money because you just don’t know where your bank accounts at. Do you? Got all these payments coming in and out and it’s really difficult. Luckily, we have an accountant in our business, so we have individual payments, basically. So we send payment links out to each of the guests and they pay us individually. We deal with all the payment chasing. We also offer staged installments. So, for example, if you’ve got a hen party thats £100 and it’s in six, seven monthes time, you’ll just pay four payments of £25 spread over a few months. So it makes it really affordable as well. So, yeah, that’s kind of an end to end service and we’re one point. So rather than have to speak to four different activities and venues, we do it all for you. So, yeah, as Emily said, it just completely removes all the stress out of hen party planning basically.

Sam: Your bride has a great day and you can take all the credit.

Susannah: Do you guys have a favourite? If you were having a hen party, out of the ones you offer, which one would you pick?

Emily: I know mine. Mine is the East End Girls package. It’s a bottomless brunch, gin cocktails, stay over in this amazing hotel. Its got a swimming pool in these lovely, beautiful apartments. It’s just like the perfect hen weekend I think. Just overnight stay, you could just have a great time. It’s one of my top ones.

Sam: I quite like our luxury sleepover. So that’s super classy one. So you get a whole, it’s like an apartment in a five star hotel in London. So you get this big sort of area private apartment where you can all get together and have drinks, et cetera. And then you’ve got your own separate rooms off of it. It includes a private bottomless brunch and I think it’s got blow drys in it. I believe it’s got. A stylist will come to the apartment and get you ready for the evening out with a big bouncy blow dry. So, yeah, that’s my favorite one.

Chloe: Mine is our best seller, actually, I think. Well, particularly over the last month, it’s been our best seller, our brunching and boating, which I think is great. It appeals to so many different types of hens. You start the day with a bottomless brunch on this beautiful tropical rooftop in Camden and then you walk 10 minutes up the road after that for a canal boat trip, which is a 90 minutes canal boat trip. And you can have drinks and have your own music and that’s kind of as you’re going into the evening. I think that’s from 06:30 p.m. til 08:00 p.m. And it’s just lovely. It can be relaxing if you want it to be relaxing or it can get quite lively after 2 hours of bottomless drinks. And then after that you end up at karaoke for 2 hours in a karaoke booth and you’ll be well oiled by that point. So even people that don’t normally like karaoke, you end up liking karaoke. So, yeah, that’s our best seller. It flies off the shelves.

Susannah: It’s just sounds so much fun thinking of and designing and trying to find all these different options that cater for different people. I’m going to ask you this question, but you can answer it in two parts. So I was going to ask about what, you know, an actual working week looks like for you because I’m sure I’m sure it varies a lot and obviously at the time of recording, it’s April 2021. So we are here just coming out of, yes, third lock down since March 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic. So I don’t know if you want to maybe speak prior to 2020, what it looks like and maybe what it has been like for you over this past year.

Sam: Yes. So. in terms of a normal week, our Mondays are actually sort of quite something to look forward to, I’d say, because the first thing that we do when we get in on a normal, obviously, pre-pandemic weekend is that we would contact all of our hens from the weekend and we get all of their feedback. And it’s always such a lovely way to start the week because we get lots of, like, lovely pictures from them and loads of amazing feedback, and it just gives us a real boost that what we’re doing every day, actually, is really paying off. And that’s the best thing about a Monday. So, yes, we love doing that and then we get quite a lot of inquiries over the weekend. I mean, we tend to work over the weekend and pick the inquiries up. Obviously a lot of people are doing their hen party research over a weekend, so we’re quite busy. So, yes, we get back to all of our inquiries. We’re very lucky to be able to do lots of research on new fun things to do in London and we always get to go and try a lot of the things as well. So, yeah, we always manage to fit in a mid week activity or go and dine somewhere lovely. So our week, I must admit, it is pretty fun. Mostly. It carries on much the same, really. So, yeah, it’s lovely. Really enjoyable.

Chloe: Yeah. And I guess one of the beauties of running your own business, particularly with friends, is we are super flexible. So some weeks….we have a flexible work as well. We did pre 2020. We don’t have a fixed office, we just work in a flexible workspace, which is great because you’re around loads of other creative, quite often small businesses as well. But it also means that we can work from home whenever we want to work from home, we can go in if.. Emily’s got two children under two, so if she wants to escape, she can. We are our own bosses, I guess. So that’s quite nice that we’re not tied to any specific day to day timetable.

Susannah: And then what has this looks like for you over this past year?

Good question. Quiet.

Chloe: Yeah. I mean, to be honest, this time last year was a pretty rough time, which it was for everybody but for business owners, because we were trying to navigate a landscape that not only had we never navigated before, but businesses in general hadn’t. It’s just something completely unique to have every single party that we had booked. We had our most successful January and February, I think, ever, hadn’t we? So the fruits of our labor were finally coming together. We were seeing some real cash, we had so many bookings, it was looking brilliant. And then it just, you know, as everyone knows, it just hit like seemingly out of nowhere. And then we were trying to work out what to do on a personal level because obviously it was a really scary time. From a business level, trying to work out how we were going to survive this and keep our business afloat, but also dealing with countless unhappy and upset hens that weren’t going to get to go on their party and what was going to be the solution? So trying to unpick that was hard.

Sam: We had a lot of loyalty to those hens to make sure that they happened at some point, because there was an easy option of just shutting it down and that was one option. And the other option was actually we’ve got all these hen parties that still need to go ahead and we’ve got a responsibility to make them happen when they can happen.

Chloe: Yeah, because I think we are so customer led as a business and personally. We really do emotionally invest a lot in it. We’re a business created by women, for women, and we love working with women. So then to have something like this happen, it was hard and we were just trying to find the best solution for us as a business; for our suppliers, because obviously all of our venues and activities were destitute as well, but then also for our customers. But I think we did actually do that. We’ve had such amazing support from all of our hens. Some had to cancel, but a lot have rescheduled a lot. We’ve had some that we’ve actually rescheduled three times now, haven’t we? Yeah, there were dark, dark times, but we managed to get through it. And I think we’re in a really good place now, actually. The last month has been absolutely amazing for us. I think, we were just saying actually, I think yesterday was our best ever date for bookings, was it Sam?

Sam: Yeah, it was. Yeah, definitely. Hands down. Yeah. And I think in a way, there’s a lot of positives that have come out because we managed to I think we were getting so busy before and we actually had that time to stop and think about our business and we’ve made some really, really positive changes and they seem to be really working. So I’m hoping that we’ve come back a lot stronger.

Susannah: A really hard year for anybody in events or anything that involves connection with other people.

I have a couple more questions, if that’s okay, about being friends in business. And you probably had started the business with maybe some certain expectations or visions of what working life would be like for you together. And I was just wondering how you find the reality compares to your expectations.

Sam: I’ll go back to saying I just think we’re super lucky. We’ve never ever had a stand up row or completely…actually I think we had…. what was the disagreement we had, which we laugh about, like belly laugh.

Chloe: It was me and Emily. We were designing a biscuit to send clients, and I think it was like the colors or something on the biscuit, and we were, like, genuinely annoyed each other. And even now I was like, that’s the most annoyed I’ve ever been at Emily….over a biscuit.

Sam: Exactly, If that’s the only row that we’ve had after a global pandemic, the colour of a biscuit. I think we can count ourselves exceptionally lucky. In general. I don’t think that’s probably the case for everyone because in business your emotions tend to run high. So I think we’re probably quite unusual, to be fair. And I don’t want to sit here and boast about it, but we have been very lucky

Emily: I think its worked well as a trio because you’ve got three. If it was just two of you, you might always be trying to fight the other person’s point. But with three of us, there’s either two of you get it and one doesn’t, or you always find a sort of a way to navigate with the three of you rather than just fighting one other person.

Sam: I think we’ve always been if two agree and one doesn’t, the one stands down and that’s just you just do it. You don’t even try and really, and I think that’s quite important as well. But yeah, in general, I just think we’ve grown together as well. Going back to that other point as well, when we first started out we were sort of skipping around London, getting drunk, trying out all of these other things. And we’ve all sort of grown together. I mean, we’ve got the babies now, emily’s got two, and Chloe’s got one on the way. So we’ve grown up together and that’s been really super important. And also, appreciated each other’s, what we’re doing personally in our lives as well. We’ve always made room for that. So it’s never been like, oh, my God, this is what I’m doing in my life, so you guys need to get on board with it. It’s never, ever been like that. We’ve always respected each other’s own lives as well, outside of Cluck.

Emily: We talk obviously a lot about Cluck, but we do things where we go out and we just don’t talk about it. And then we’re all just friends and we sit there, we chat about holidays, friendships, everything. So it’s not just Cluck all day, every day, night and day.

Sam: Yeah, we definitely have a laugh with it as well. It’s not all sort of serious. So you can imagine we talk on WhatsApp. Can you imagine how many messages we sent on the Cluck WhatsApp? It must be millions, it must be.

Chloe: I actually think I went to find out WhatsApp if you can see how many messages have been sent in a group, but I couldn’t work it out. It would be millions.

Emily: I literally turn my head for 10 minutes and I’ve got 68 messages.

Chloe: Yeah, But I do think that, and particularly with the last year, from what we were just saying about how hard it’s been, there are obviously pros and cons to having more than one business owner. I guess one of the big cons being that any financial gain that you make from your business, you share between three people. But I do not understand how people….I’ve have so much respect for people that run businesses on their own. Because when you’re hit with something that’s really, really hard between the three of us, we do end up laughing. Even if it’s, like, bad, we do end up really just laughing at how bad it is. Whereas when you’re on your own, you can’t. And owning a business can be quite an insular thing. And only Emily and Sam truly understand what it’s like to go through what I’m going through in terms of business ownership, and obviously vice versa.

If I owned it on my own or if any of us owned it on our own, you can’t communicate that properly with other people. So it’s quite a special thing. I guess it’s quite a unique bond that three of us have got that we’ll always have.

Susannah: Do you think each of you probably do have different strengths in the business or things roles that you prefer? How do you sort of split things up? What your strengths?

Sam: Yes, I think we didn’t really know that we had sort of complementary strengths. We come from different backgrounds, obviously, because Emily and Chloe come from events and then I’ve obviously come from a bit more of a practical accounting point of view. But we first started off sort of everybody doing everything and then as we’ve evolved, we’ve kind of gone off in our own little, we work very well together, obviously, but we’ve kind of owned and played to our strengths a lot more as we’ve evolved, which I think is really, really super important.

So we’ve got Emily is a super seller, so she’s in the events industry, she’s been sort of account manager, et cetera, worked on big events and she is our sales lady, along with Chloe as well, because she’s a super sales lady as well. But Chloe is the one who is really creative, does all of our sort of branding, our social media, etc. She’s very good at writing stuff, whereas me and Emily can’t write anything.

Emily: She’s the queen writer.

Chloe: I’m not going to disagree with that

Sam: And then I just do sort of all the back end stuff and sort of stick to that part, but it just works really well. But it didn’t start off like that by any means did it? We’re kind of evolved, and it works really well.

Susannah: So what tips would you have for people who are maybe looking to design, build their own business? Maybe do it with friends. Do you have any little nuggets?

Sam: I think it’s quite easy for us to sort of sit there and say, but just always sort of respect your friendship, make time for fun, make time to go out. When we were working in London together, Friday, it would be 14.00, we’d look at each other and be like wine? and we’d head off over to the pub and actually have a laugh with each other. So I think if you do go into a business with a friend, just hold that above everything else and always make sure that your friendship is the most important thing.

Emily: Try and separate the two, A little bit. It always runs over but its good to have things you do separately.

Chloe: Yeah. And I think communication is key and I think going back to what we were saying earlier about the fact that we have never really had a big argument or disagreement on anything, is we are all pretty good at communicating with each other just on an everyday basis. But also, if there’s something that you feel strongly about, as long as you communicate it in the right way, they are your friends, ultimately, so they’re going to understand where you’re coming from and none of us are unreasonable, so we all just take on what the other one is saying. And also, it is healthy sometimes to have a bit of a debate because that’s the joy of owning a business. And certainly there being three of us, we’ve all got different opinions. So sometimes I think I’m right and then I hear the girl’s opinion and I’m like, Actually, that’s quite good. And then we end up coming up with an even better solution than we did before. So I just do think that communication is so important.

Susannah: Do you have, finally, any hopes, dreams for this next year? Now that things need are looking a little bit brighter. What are your hopes for this next year?

Sam: I think we just hope that… we’re so grateful that we survived and I think that’s a massive triumph for all of us and we’re so proud of ourselves and really appreciate all the support our customers have given us and our suppliers as well. So I think because we love how flexible our business is and how much we enjoy each others company, just to slowly, steadily recover from this and just carry on doing what we’re doing, really. So I think that’s the aim.

Chloe: yeah. And I think we were sort of saying to each other earlier actually, that you can’t look too far forward. Well, the Pandemic has taught us – that you can’t really look too far forward with all your plans. Obviously its good to have things in place, but I do think that forever now businesses will change and that you have to be more adaptable and you can never, ever predict the future. So before the Pandemic hit, actually we were …the Christmas before, we booked quite a lot of corporate events, we were getting businesses that were kind of booking our packages, slightly different versions of our packages, and were making some good money in it. That looks like a really good area for us to move into. So we were, kind of our big plan was to buy sort of spring, summer last year, have that all created. We kind of got the bones of the website, we’ve had people write copy for it, so that was like our big next project and I do think later down the line we definitely are going to revisit that. But for now, I think that we are just trying to get back on our feet and hone perfectly what we’re doing. And as Sam mentioned earlier, we have made changes to the business for the better because we’ve had time to step back and breathe over the last year and I think that maybe things will all end up working out for the best.

But, yeah, at some point in the future we are going to expand with a slightly different angle of our business, but there’s no rush. We’re very happy doing what we’re doing now.

Susannah: Thank you so much for your time and for all that you’ve shared. It’s so inspiring to hear other people’s stories about, you know, what they’ve chosen to do and why they’ve chosen to do it and how they make it work. And I think this helps you to dream bigger, doesn’t it? To hear what other people, you know, what other people are doing.