Name: Pauline Borris
Company: LBS Exclusive Events
Top Tips for Success
- follow your instincts. If you feel it is right, do it
- be patient. Time can never be limited in helping a customer achieve their dream.
- be flexible. Every job offers different opportunities.
- it is never too late to gain more education.
- motherhood and age can boost confidence and allow you to take a gamble if you are willing to let them.
As a small child, Pauline Borris must have had an entrepreneurial spark…she looked at the shop across Royston Road in Glasgow from her grandparents’ home and suggested it might make a great place for a cafe. Little did she know that one day that very building would represent the heart of her own, flourishing, business. But rather than running a cafe, Pauline embarked on a very different sort of business venture.
LBS Exclusive Events has been growing rapidly since Pauline first started it in 2012. By her own admission, she is not entirely sure where her instinctive flair for this type of work has come from, but having won the Venue Decorator of the Year at the Scottish Wedding Awards in 2014 and 15, there is no doubt she has a knack for it. However, it takes more than ‘flair’ to achieve success in this field. Pauline knows her background, experience and energy are all part of the story.
Working for Costco for nineteen years was the starting point for Pauline. As part of the catering sector of the company, she was soon promoted into managing a cafeteria, a position which, upon reflection, was like running a mini-business within a larger organisation. Through this work, she attended various events and was soon itching to contribute her own ideas to some of these occasions. Although she was still enjoying Costco, a certain drive to ‘go her own way’ had entered her psyche.
With a full-time job and three children, it is not everyone who would choose that moment to become a student. But the arrival of her third child acted as an impetus for Pauline to seek more independence. She felt education offered her a way forward, and chose to study Events Management at the City of Glasgow College, going on to a degree at the West of Scotland University.
As Pauline achieved her Diploma from college, Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel was being transformed into a five star venue. Having attended an event there, she was inspired to approach the management to ask if they would be interested in holding a wedding exhibition there. The answer was ‘yes’ and Pauline’s business was underway.
That was January 2012. It worked well, but for Pauline, it was simply a stepping-stone. She treated this first experience as a learning curve, and immediately set about planning her next wedding show at the same venue for August of that year. This time she was confident enough to trust her own instinct, take risks, carry out her own marketing, and try new and different ideas. This time it was a real triumph. The event is now a regular fixture twice a year, with over fifty exhibitors and attracts up to 1,400 people.
LBS Executive Events has established itself as an organisation that clients, venues, and exhibitors could rely upon. The wedding shows were the start, but nowadays the business is highly varied and there are over eighty different events in the diary for 2015 alone. Apart from dressing venues for weddings themselves, LBS ‘sets the scene’ for engagement, anniversary and birthday parties, special dinners, and numerous other occasions. Pauline has regular clients like Glasgow City Council and she organises various events for charity and supplies venue dressing for Yorkhill.
The company has to be flexible as no event is ever the same. For example, a bride may have a fixed concept for how her wedding might look, but little idea of how to achieve it. Pauline knows that spending time with a client is vital in helping them achieve a stunning result. Some venues are plush to start with, while others can be more of a blank canvas, a scenario which offers Pauline ample opportunity to transform a space into a different world. Tables, chairs, linens, lighting and all manner of decorative features are used to transform the most ordinary of spaces into something special. Fashions are constantly changing, so Pauline keeps her inspiration fresh by being open to new ideas from all over the world. She uses different suppliers, keeps an eye on current trends in the media and depends on her own, and her colleagues’, imagination to create spectacular results. The LBS premises in Royston Road acts as both shop and showroom, a place where clients can understand how certain looks are achieved, discuss their plans and envision their dreams.
The joy of Pauline’s work lies in the satisfaction she gains from providing a spectacular ‘stage’ for a client’s special day. Having started her career with Costco, she is grateful for the training and experience she gained with the company. Nowadays, she is delighted to be able to offer advice and practical work experience to students from her old college and university. Her ability to grasp opportunity has been critical to her success, and with the wisdom brought about through experience, she is delighted that her goal of achieving more time with her family has been realised. The little girl who once dreamt about how to run the shop across the road now has the time and opportunity to introduce her own children, and other young people, to a very successful business.