Can you give us the low-down on your average day?
If I can put it simply – it’s organized chaos! I am awake at 5am to allow me to have 1hr to myself! In this hour I am usually responding to emails and getting the day organised before my children wake up. I’ll then drop my kids to daycare or at my parent’s place to babysit (could not do it without them!) and then straight to the office. My working day can then consist of anything from venue inspections, model castings, show rehearsals and choreography, designing and illustrating sets, working with a DJ to develop music I want for a show, creative brainstorming sessions with my team and off course being on site on event days. In between these activities, and if I can get a spare moment – I bypass my lunch for a workout with my trainer Neil from Atleta Fitness, who has a tremendous amount of patience with my ever-changing and demanding work schedule. After hours, I love to dedicate my time to my husband and children until they are sound asleep and I’ll continue my work duties in my home office, late into the evening.
What does your work wear “uniform” look like?
It’s generally a colour palette of black, white, grey mixed with denim. My black Balmain blazer is my go-to essential that is perfect to take me from day to night, whether it be from meetings straight to dinner and I pair it back with either a white tee and leather leggings or jeans and heels or over a LBD. I like to think of my office as my second wardrobe as my days can constantly change so my best option is to have as many pairs of heels and bags I can access at anytime!
What kind of employment positions shaped you into what you are today?
Once I graduated from University, I knew event management was definitely the path I wanted to take. I am completely aware that I’m the type of person that’s an “obsessive-compulsive, multi-tasker”, and therefore focused on this as being such a positive for this kind of industry. I previously had worked in various event positions, from conferencing to on-site venues, until I landed an internship at a company that owned Australian Fashion Week and produced the biggest fashion, lifestyle and beauty events in the country. Three weeks into this, I was recruited and thrown “in the deep end” as such and I have never looked back! My forte of fashion and lifestyle events as well as producing catwalk shows lead me to starting my business LARA INC Events, ten years ago.
Being a young businesswoman, how do you manage a healthy social life on top of running your own business?
Being a wife and mother, my social life outside of work is completely revolved around my family, as this is my sole focus. With two children (under four) keeping up with their social life is a task in itself! Nothing makes me happier than being with my children, husband and extended family.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into a career in events?
Obtain as much experience as you can and show a willingness to learn and ask along the way. Always be available by volunteering your time and completely staying focused! It is a highly competitive, creative industry with an over-supply of hardworking, determined and highly creative individuals that aim to win the race so it’s all about how you can stand out and thrive to be the winner.
What goes into creating major and exciting projects for your clients?
A lot more than most people would think! My events are always created within the collaborative framework of my team. It always begins with the ritual of creating mood boards by searching through all different sources such as books, magazines, the web and anything that inspires us! We then develop artists’ impressions and renderings to convey the overall vision. From this point, it becomes a very fast-paced and fluid process, presenting budgets to allocate dollars and hope the client likes the creative as much as we do!
What has been your most exciting event that you have worked on to date?
Every event is exciting as we work with wonderful fashion and beauty clients and brands including [but not limited to] our local Australian designers such as Alex Perry, Carla Zampatti and Toni Maticevski along with luxury brands such as Burberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, Hermes and Louis Vuitton. We have also worked alongside international clientele and shows such as the Kardashians for product launches as well as iconic fashion events including MBFWA and VFNO.
The best advice you have ever received?
Success is based on a commitment to what you do. Tenacity, ambition and perseverance are essential.
The best advice you can pass on?
Don’t try to emulate someone else’s path to success. Be inspired by successful people you admire and let them motivate you. Don’t worry about what others do and as it’s all about creating your own path!
What advice would you give, on giving it your “all” on a job interview? (Appearance/outfit/hair & makeup/attitude etc.)
Be polished in all aspects of your appearance. Clean and pressed clothing, groomed nails, neat hair and wear what is relevant to your industry. I like to think a blazer is always impressive! (You would be surprised the number of people that come to interviews with stained and creased clothing, peeling nail polish and messy hair.)
What’s your approach to social media and how do you use it to the advantage of your business?
Our social media strategy is VERY simple. We share our creative work and process on Instagram and Facebook that demonstrates our creative capabilities and extensive calibre of clients and brands we work with.
What are your tips and tricks into branding yourself/business on Instagram?
Present your best work and let the images do the talking!