Just this week, Barbi Walters from The Lynden Lane Co. joined us for one of our monthly Maroo webinars and lucky for us, she did not hold back! She gave us an open and honest look into how she and her two daughters (Lyndsey and Lane) run Lynden Lane Co., how they’ve grown in the last 10 years, their struggles, learning lessons and so much more! If you missed the webinar, here are 5 takeaways from Barbi herself.
- Work-life balance? What’s that? Barbi told us that she and her daughters started The Lynden Lane Co. 10 years ago, because they wanted to control what their personal and business lives looked like. As Barbi explained, there really isn’t any work-life balance and they’re okay with it. They are constantly communicating with one another about events and collecting inspiration from everywhere they go––could be a restaurant, a hotel or even on a trip to a coffee shop!
- Educate the client through historical averages Educating clients on the cost of a wedding is no easy feat. Barbi finds that most of their interior design clients have an idea of how much they want to spend. That said, most of their couples (and their families) have no idea how to price an event. Lynden Lane Co. educates their clients through historical averages of cost per head. They have these conversations early in the planning process and are up front and transparent in what things cost. Given today’s current economy, with the rising cost of goods and services, they are currently adding 20% to the top of their historical averages. In order to keep the budget transparent and the conversation open, they ask their client to sign off on the estimate. From there, Lynden Lane Co. does their best to stay within that number.
- With a family business, having the hard conversations early is key. Lynden Lane Co. is equally owned by Barbi and her daughters, Lyndsey and Lane. They divide roles up by skills and there are no “leads” between the three of them. Early in their business Barbi explained that they had to have hard conversations, including those around finances. They outlined milestones and goals and together discussed what happens when they hit them or not. With that in place, they’re able to stay aligned. As Barbi put it, at the end of the day, they are family and always have each other’s backs.
- When they changed their pricing structure from flat fee to percentage, it changed their business. Ten years ago, Lynden Lane Co. charged a flat fee of $150 dollars for their first wedding. (Yes, you read that right!) Now, they run on a percentage model where they have a minimum and a 18% fee on everything they handle. They are transparent through the process and do not charge commissions. With a percentage pricing model, Barbi explained that they get more nos now than before–but it changed their business for the better.
- No wedding photos in the design process! When approaching a design, Lynden Lane Co. asks a client to fill out a long questionnaire, which helps them understand who their client is. They also want their clients to send photos of what they like to eat, their favorite family photo, fashion inspiration–anything BUT wedding photos. They want to get to know their couple without seeing wedding photos online. From there, they lean into the location and show the couple’s style in a mood board. After the couple sign-offs and they begin the work on the design presentation (which is usually 30-45 pages long!)