By Kerrie Lush
Using social media to market their new event hire business was more popular than a Renmark couple Matt and Danika Lewan could ever have imagined.
“I was playing around one day and started up our Facebook page, before I knew it we had hundreds of ‘likes’ and lots of messages from people wanting quotes – our gear hadn’t even arrived yet!” Danika said.
Starting up an event hire business in the Riverland of South Australia wasn’t something they’d ever really thought about, until they began planning their own wedding in 2014.
“We wanted something a bit different to what was available locally,” Danika said.
So after extensive internet research, they found what they were looking for and more – and the idea to create Occasions Event Management was born.
Matt initially travelled overseas to inspect the equipment and the factories in which they were produced and embarked on a steep learning curve into importation of goods and customs requirements.
Their range is continually expanding and they specialise in clear marquees – a spectacular sight at night, modern LED lit furniture, tables, chairs, glassware, linen and a range of lighting options.
Their wares are popular at weddings, large community functions, field days and corporate events.
“We tried to be a bit different to other local suppliers so we like to think we complement what they offer, rather than compete with them,” Danika said.
“I like shopping and seeing what’s on-trend – I’m always looking at new things and innovative products.”
Running the business and both working full-time, Matt as an accountant and Danika as a business consultant for an apprenticeship support company, can be a juggle at times, but they’re hoping it will pave the way for greater flexibility for them both in the future.
“I run the business side,” Matt said. “I’m not so into the flowers.
“Danika has the customer service and design skills and I work out how we can pull something together and make it more efficient.”
Due to the nature of event hire, the Lewan’s say it’s not feasible to have employees on staff on a permanent basis, but they have a range of people they call on to help them out when in need.
“We have some reliable casual workers, we often try to get fruit growers during their quieter periods or retired or semi-retired people who are fit and active,” Matt said.
“We have also used backpackers to help us with cleaning.”
Upcoming projects include continuing to expand their range, opening up a showroom and possibly hosting their own expo.
Like this story? Nominate a story from your region.
Click here to nominate >>
These inspiring regional stories made possible by: