GLASGOW PRAISED AS THE PERFECT PLACE TO START A BUSINESS
Two young entrepreneurs have hailed Glasgow as “the perfect place” to launch a business, after experiencing a flurry of bookings since opening three months ago.
Best friends Afton Ferguson, 22, and Nikki Fairful, 25, opened The Haberdashery on Sauchiehall Street in April, and have since been “welcomed with open arms” by members of the events industry and the local community.
The pair has been inundated with viewings and requests, as Scotland’s events industry experiences one of its busiest ever seasons following two years of Covid cancellations.
Afton said: “We received more than 300 enquiries over our first weekend alone.
Since then, it’s been an absolute whirlwind. In the last three months we’ve hosted more than a dozen private and corporate events, and are carrying out viewings on a near daily basis. We’ve already started to receive enquiries about Christmas parties, which we have recently opened bookings for.”
She added: “We never could have imagined how busy it would have been so quickly after opening. People have travelled from across the country to view the space – the reception we’ve received so far has been amazing.”
Named after a ladies’ tailors that operated in the building for more than 50 years, The Haberdashery is the first venture by University of Strathclyde graduate Afton and Nikki, who left a career in the property sector to launch the business.
After initially spotting the empty unit – which had lain vacant for six years – on Gumtree, the pair spent nine months restoring the 6,604 square-foot building back to its original grandeur.
The venue now boasts a modern bar and events space as well as a fully commercial kitchen, breathing new life into its traditional setting.
Afton continued: “Opening the venue was a bit scary – we launched the business shortly after Covid restrictions were eased, so we knew we were set to receive a wave of enquiries from people whose events had been cancelled.
Not only that, but Glasgow’s events sector is extremely established and we weren’t sure how other venues would react to a new space opening up. However, the support we’ve received so far has been incredible.
Everyone we’ve spoken to, whether that be people from the industry or members of the local community, has welcomed us with open arms. We sometimes even get passers by just popping their heads in to say hello, which is always a lovely surprise. I couldn’t think of a better place to launch a business – so far, it’s been perfect.”
The pair are hoping to build on their early success by hosting their first ever wedding show this autumn.
The event on Sunday 4 September will feature some of the best suppliers from the central belt, showcasing everything from bridalwear and groomswear, to caterers, florists and even a live wedding illustrator.
Some of those already confirmed include luxury bridalwear specialists The Bridal Courtyard; award-winning caterers Regis Banqueting; humanist celebrant providers Fuze Ceremonies; and the quirky Little Margarita Truck.
Couples who reserve their dream wedding on the day of the event will be automatically entered into a prize draw – with one lucky pair chosen at random to win a full day’s use of the stunning venue for free, saving a massive £4,500.
And with 2022 dates still available, the winning pair could be saying “I do” by the end of the year.
Nikki said: “This is such an incredible gift to give a couple on the biggest day of their lives.
Trying to book a wedding right now is proving quite overwhelming for lots of people, especially those who are paying for it themselves. Huge Covid backlogs and rising costs mean finding a unique space to create your dream wedding with your own stamp on it is becoming even harder to come by.”
Nikki added: “We want to help take that pressure off, so couples can enjoy the special process of planning their big day. We’re a brand new venue that provides the perfect blank canvas for anyone who wants to bring their own vision to life. I can’t wait to see how our winning pair will transform the space.”