After winning the hit series “The Apprentice” back in 2010, Stella has set up English Events Company, and her first event is coming up on August 30th starring Dionne Bromfield!
As supporters of showbiz events at MarkMeets we recently caught up with her for a chat to find out more about English events company.
Hi Stella, how are you.
You came to light from a TV show as a strong minded business woman, how would you describe yourself in 5 words?
Stubborn, strong, loving, ambitious, sentimental
Which entrepreneurs do you admire? Stellios? Duncan Bannatyne?
Anyone who can turn an idea into cash whether it be a small shop owner or a handy man. I don't admire people because of their wealth but more the everyday man who has turned their hand at something and made a profit. I admire that greatly.
You recently quoted 'The Smurfs 2' It doesn't matter where you came from but who you choose to be. How do you mix your time with work and home?
Phew! It's very hard being a working Mum and also the breadwinner. I would like to say it's a doddle but it's not! Kids are on their school holidays at the moment and it's challenging to say the least. Launching a new business, no school for 6 weeks. I am entrepreneur extraordinaire, children's entertainer, chef and cleaner all rolled into one!
Do you think it's harder now to run a business online than five years ago?
It's difficult for me to day as five years ago I was working for a bank. I think that there is alot more you can do now. People are much more open to seeing other people working for home for example which I've been doing for the last couple of weeks. I don't think it has such a negative perception that it used to have.
People can run quite successful businesses from home and it doesn't mean that they are not successful or profitable. There used to be a thing where if you didn't have an address or landline you were seen as abit of a cowboy outift, so things have changed and you can get all these types from different types of social media.
I think it's alot easier, as people are alot more flexible and understanding about things and less corporate.
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Being a tweeter you, do get lots of people contacting you for business/ events/pr advise?
I get a great deal of interaction through social media. People asking for advice, fans, some just having a laugh and sadly from time to time people being rude. On the whole I find it enjoyable and I love the reaction when people can't believe you have bothered to answer them and have taken an interest. You can connect on an equal playing field and prove you're just a regular human being
Do you have any Tips on effective online marketing you could share?
You have to be up to speed with social media and SEO. Don't shy away from technology and hope it will go away. Find ways to drive traffic to your sites and remember 'content is King'.
Being in the public/Media eye, do you feel you have to hold back sometimes?
Absolutely. There are so many things I want to say all the time but I would probably get sued so I have to refrain. It really is difficult as I like to speak my mind but I know that it's dangerous to do so!
Your promoting an event with someone I've known for sometime (Dionne Bromfield) at whitstable castle, Kent. How did you get involved with Dionne?
I was fortunate to meet Dionne's Manager through my agent and it was a natural progression from there. I am fortunate enough to have one of the best talent agencies in the country representing me and they are very well connected. I rely on my instincts a lot and I've been fortunate to make some fantastic business contacts since I've worked with Big Talent Group.
When planning an event, how do you decide on a venue?
Footfall is always a big factor for me. You either need a massively popular venue or an under utilised one which had good transport links, accommodation and other draws. We chose to hold our Summer Ball at Whitstable Castle because it is glamourous and trendy but a relatively unknown gem.
Would you ever go on Dragons' Den or reality shows like Celebrity Big Brother?
I would love to do another reality TV show. I am so competitive that I want to win! I would love to do I'm A Celebrity as I have so much to share. I just don't know how I could deal with the tasks as I am desperately squeamish. Also I would love to do a dance based show as I danced for years in nightclubs and I know that I would surprise the public!
Would you like to present a reality show or a business show?
I think i'm quite straight up and I won't deny it, I love television. I went onto The Apprentice and loved it. I think working in TV is alot of fun and I would certainly be happy if I had any opportunities to do any presenting or doing another reality TV show. I think I would be quite good as I've had such an intense experience over the last 3 years. You can imagine I was a regular working mum with two small kids, then going onto win The Apprentice before gonig through a very public tribunal with Alan Sugar, I have another one coming up with him again. I think if I look back at the person when I applied I would not have thought I had the guts to do something like that.
Does working for yourself makes you a better business person?
In order to be able to work for yourself you need good self displicine and appreciation for money. You have to pay bills and be able to negotiate with people and work on deals that are sensible.
It's like with this event I've got to create something out of nothing and everybody has got to get something out of it. There is alot of pressure and it's not for everyone. What's happened to me over the last couple of years is that I have become almost unemployable as I don't really want to work for anyone else. If I don't agree with somebody and I feel strongly then I will stand my ground even when everything is against me and that is what I've done.
The other thing is, and I am in a way suprised at what I've done is that nobody likes people saying negative things about them, to make fun of them or judge them and to put yourself up in the way that I did so publically, I even surpised myself at showing the strength of character that I have got. In turn that is whay I am doing what I am doing now. You have to be strong to work on your own and be prepared to do everything. I manage everything myself from the website to brokering the deals, working with all the suppliers and that takes alot to take something like that one. I'm up day and night and my husband is like "When are you gonna get of the phone" (Laughs). Forget The Apprentice, this is for real! I work day and night, you have no choice.
What else is coming up for you?
I have lots of projects and products in the pipeline. I am so excited about the next few months as I believe I have finally come into my own. I spend most of my time working on product development and my events company and I am absolutely determined to make a success of all of my businesses. Honestly I am more fired up than ever!
I'm really excited that I am doing something on my own. There is quite alot of pressure especially starting a business in the summer holidays with two kids is a real challenge.
I like working under pressure, it's great to speak to so many interesting people as I know the event will be fun!
“One Summer Night With” Dionne Bromfield takes place Friday 30th August at Whitsable castle, Canterbury.
Screenshot of the new website: English Events Company