Small Business Inspiring Stories With Alison Tinlin
Published date: 3rd February 2021 | Author: Alison Tinlin
This week on @WeddingHour we spoke to Scottish wedding blogger & travel writer Alison Tinlin. She’s an #SBS #QueenOf winner, received highly commended in UK Blog Awards and amazing advocate of #WhatAboutWeddings campaign, which is why we wanted to talk to her about small business inspiring stories, the wedding industry and what the Government can do to help businesses.
This is something we love to find out about any business owner, what’s your ‘why’? What inspired you to create your own business?
From a Business point of view and from the planning of my own Wedding, I unleashed a passion for planning, it was a slow burn though with setting up 5 years after I was married, and after my children were born.
Many of my skills from my 14 years as a nurse were transferable too, and I believe I have a keen eye for detail and a natural flair for organisation so perfect for wedding planning.
I loved bringing my own Special Day together, and as a planner it gave me great joy to work with people to bring together an event that was all about them, their personalities and their style.
When due to health issues I was unable to continue the on the day work, wedding blogging became a natural progression, and as well as sharing gorgeous wedding days, styled shoots, advice pieces I like to travel and visit lots of lovely wedding venues to be able to tell couples the loveliest places to get wed.
How long have you been working within the wedding industry?
I have worked in the Wedding Industry since 2009 so it will be 12 years in April.
This was firstly as a Wedding and Event Consultant/Planner, but since 2013 I have been a full time Wedding Blogger.
What’s your favourite thing about working in the wedding industry?
The comradery, the resilience, the kindness, integrity, passion, creativity, and the fierce entrepreneurial spirit that businesses have to help create the most perfect of wedding days for their clients. Nevermore than this year under enormous pressure and restriction.
Who inspires you and why?
Strong women inspire me, I love Kamala Harris, her words to the nation both on the day of the vote and her inaugural address resonated with me.
Speaking on the work to reunify America, to tackle the huge challenges facing their nation, and renew the promise of what America used to stand for ~ principle of life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness, and also her words speaking to little girls around the world that they could achieve anything they wanted touched my heart.
As well as financial aid, what other things do you think the Government could give the wedding industry to help get it back on its feet?
I think we need a Government spokesperson/ MP / Representative SPECIFICALLY for the wedding sector.
While we have some cross party support our cause is being looked at under the heading of all Business and being slightly lost in the noise.
We need a concentrated VOICE.
What do you find is the best form of marketing for your business? Are there any areas you struggle with?
Word of mouth and recommendation has always been the best form of marketing BUT social media in whichever platform you feel most comfortable in is great.
I have always loved Twitter, always been my place as I am a chatterbox.
Back in the day I was Queen of Wedding Twitter for 4 years when there was a list.
I really like Instagram too but making an impact there has been a challenge but we are always learning.
With the current lockdown are you having to home school and if so how do you manage this alongside running your business?
Yes I am home schooling my 2 children, and this has had its challenges but maintaining normality of the school day keeps us on the right path. I’m a bit of a strict mum when it comes to schoolwork but they thrive on routine.
I’m also an early riser and I schedule a lot of my blog posts on social media so am free to help the kids, and also do my writing.
How do you keep motivated? How do you keep a positive mindset with so much uncertainty at the moment especially within the wedding industry?
Everything is very uncertain but I keep a positive by fighting for what I believe in.
Behind every success is effort, behind every effort is passion, behind every passion is someone with courage to try.
I choose courage and to stand up for couples, for business, for friends, family, colleagues, love, marriage & everything that weddings represent. To stand up for what we miss & what we desperately want back.
I also like to think of myself as mix of Braveheart, Merida & a Scottish terrier. I’m feisty & don’t give up easily.
We have seen the good news this week for the wedding industry in New York, do you think that the UK will follow and give us a roadmap or guidance at the end of February?
I really hope that we get a roadmap soon, and praying for some sort of plan on 22nd. I personally think the numbers from New York are slightly ambitious, and incremental increase, lateral flow testing, and the vaccination of as many as possible is the way to go.
I also feel that if Government can plan for a G7 summit in the summer with the magnitude of people that will attend that, then making a plan for Weddings which are a monumental life event, and human right should be a priority.
Do you have any tips for anyone wanting to set up their own business?
Never be under any illusions that it’s going to be easy, but having the courage to try is a good starting point.
It can be incredibly rewarding but my work takes up a lot of time so balance can be such a challenge.
Bearing that in mind I wouldn’t want to do anything else, but life as a self-employed person has to be something that is carefully considered and it has to work for you and your situation.