Army spouse Sophie Sherief shares her joy at creating her own successful wedding business…
I knew the flowers I wanted, the decorations and, of course, the dress. Living in Hereford meant there wasn’t much choice, so I trawled the internet for ideas and the closest event décor company was around 70 miles away.
After only 10 minutes visiting the company with my mother – and now business partner – Jacqui, I knew this wasn’t for me.
We walked out with a brochure and price list, feeling very deflated and said to each other: “We can do that – and we can do it so much better.”
Birth of a business
We spent the journey home discussing what we would call our imaginary business and two weeks later our company, Divas, was born.
We worked from home initially, opened our first shop in September 2013 and by 2014 we had moved into a large business unit in Hereford with much more space.
I married Adam in 2013 and had the perfect wedding I had always dreamt of!
Our first posting was to Woodbridge, Ipswich – around five hours from Hereford – and without going abroad we couldn’t have got much further away from my work!
The first few months were really tough. I travelled back and forth from Ipswich to Hereford every weekend and this was also the year we saw a 300 per cent rise in bookings, so it was all go.
Our daughter Darcey came along at that time and she came to her first chair cover fitting when she was just 16 days old!
The main challenge has been juggling all aspects of our Army life – including another move, this time to Stafford.
We have worked to find a way to manage – I do all of the advertising, admin and behind-the-scenes things from home whilst my mum manages from Hereford.
I try hard to ensure that my life as a businesswoman doesn’t overpower my life as a wife and mother, which is very important.
The hard work has definitely been worth it. We have won or been finalists in several awards. This means so much as we were nominated and voted for by local people and our customers. You can find out more about me at www.events4divas.co.uk
Looking to the future, I want to continue to expand the business – and our family – but at the moment I’m perfectly happy as we are.
Even on the days when it’s all a bit much, I continue doing my best to be Sophie the mother, Army wife and diva.