Sarah B Events started out in 2002 from a happy chance – Sarah B was asked to dress the marquee for the wedding of the daughter of Albert Reynolds, the former Irish Taoiseach. “We then realised we could do it as a business,” recalls Sarah.
Now Sarah’s small business – which initially employed just one employee – has grown substantially. “It was my business until last year, when I sold part of the business,” she explains. Now she and partner Leanne have seven people working in the firm, which has its own lorry and van and operates from an industrial unit in Banbridge.
Sarah B Events also handles many corporate functions, including UTV’s Business Eye awards and the Ryder Cup captain’s wives dinner.
Christmas lights have become another specialism – the firm supplies and arranges Christmas lights at Belfast’s Victoria Centre, at Junction One, in Newry city centre and at Banbridge. “We are really proud about Banbridge town centre,” says Sarah. “The Christmas lights is really a big part of our business.”
But dressing weddings remains a central part of the offering. “We are probably the biggest and the best wedding dressing and event dressing business in Northern Ireland, and we are well-known in the Republic of Ireland, as well,” says Sarah. Last year, they dressed the wedding of Lord Rana, which has led to an additional niche in Asian weddings.
One of the great signs of strength is that Sarah B no longer relies on advertising to win orders, with word-of-mouth doing much of the work. “People lift the phone to us,” she says. After nearly eight years in business, Sarah B believes it has established itself strongly. “Our turnover is very healthy,” Sarah explains.