As our Fold Woman Competition draws to a close, we meet one of the inspiring women and faces behind our campaign – Susie Young, founder of Knot & Pop. Naomi Mdudu, founder of The Lifestyle Edit, nominated Susie to be her Fold Woman, after striking up an empowering friendship whilst working in the respective fields of fashion journalism and PR.
We asked Susie to share her story and offer advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. If you’d like to nominate your inspiring friend, there is just one day left to enter the competition, tell us about your amazing friend here.
Tell us about your career background and how you came to found luxury wedding and event planner Knot & Pop:
Prior to launching Knot & Pop I worked for 11 years in Fashion PR and Events. From starting my career at a boutique PR agency where I was their first employee, to then moving onto work with Mary Portas at her agency where I worked across consumer brands such as Clarks and Gossard. I then moved in-house at River Island, with my most defining role at ASOS where I was PR Manager, joining the company at an incredibly exciting time which allowed us great freedom across creative PR and Event campaigns. It was when I returned agency side to work as Account Director at Trace Publicity, an agency my close friends run, that I started to get the itch to do something myself, seeing the success and enjoyment they had with having their own business.
Despite loving brand work, I wanted to do something with greater meaning and use the skills I had built across building other brands to create something that I truly believed in. I also spotted a gap in the market for a more modern minded approach to wedding planning, that didn’t play to etiquette or tradition and allowed couples to have their day, their way. Balancing private events with brand events allows us to keep ideas fresh and also gives greater confidence to private clients knowing that we also deliver events for some of the biggest names in fashion.
You left a successful career in PR to set up Knot & Pop. What advice would you offer to entrepreneurs taking the leap and changing career to set up their own business?
Research is everything. Knowing that your idea and company is offering something that doesn’t currently exist in the landscape that you’re entering, and that you carry a USP. It’s really important to lay down a business plan as it raises all manner of questions to consider, not just with financially planning and building your pricing structure, but also with pin-pointing your target market, analysing competitors and planning your PR and Marketing strategy. Don’t go in blind!
Arranging successful weddings and events must be a rewarding experience. What has been your career highlight since founding Knot & Pop?
Winning Best Wedding Planner in London and the South East at The Wedding Industry Awards 2015 was a highlight as being new to the wedding industry it was great to receive the stamp of approval from the industry.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Feel the fear and do it anyway is always a good one. And to have your ultimate goals in mind, but to remain open and flexible so great opportunities don’t pass you by unnoticed.
Knot & Pop specialise in creating ‘wow’ weddings and events. What, in your expert opinion, gives an event the wow factor?
Great people, fantastic music and we are huge believers in the psychologies that a scene creates to engage and enhance the experience of the couple and guests, helping to create those ever-lasting memories. We theme and scheme to create bespoke wedding designs for each of our couples so the scene set is wholly reflective of them, knowing that all those little details amount to an amazing overall experience for all to enjoy.
As an event planner, you must know some great venues in London. Can you share any hidden gems with us?
We do indeed. But that would be telling!
Tell us about your 9-5 style, what do you wear on a day-to-day basis?
I tend to have a wardrobe full of black or navy and since having my own company I have simplified my wardrobe, moving to those essential staples that allow me to look smart and stylish, without over-complicating things. I either combine a gentle statement skirt, or tailored trousers with a black sweater or roll-neck. I also have a thing about denim so love to team smart jeans with a shirt and heels to give it a smarter edge.
And finally, what is your favourite piece from the current Fold collection?
I absolutely love the Le Marais Pleated Pencil Skirt and get so many comments on it. It is cut beautifully and has fast become one of my wardrobe essentials.
Pictures from Kylie Eyra Martin