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Your Home and Garden - - Contents - In­ter­view by Lucy Slight. Pho­tog­ra­phy by He­len Bankers.

Lucy Burke of event hire busi­ness LL Fur­ni­ture Hire

Through her busi­ness LL Fur­ni­ture Hire, Lucy Burke gets to play a small – yet im­por­tant – part in the big­gest day of her clients’ lives

Like many bur­geon­ing busi­nesses, LL Fur­ni­ture Hire was born out of a need. One of Lucy Burke and hus­band Hay­den’s friends was look­ing for unique fur­ni­ture for her wed­ding and, af­ter fail­ing to find what she wanted, con­struc­tion com­pany owner Hay­den was called upon to cre­ate the pieces she dreamed of.

Fast-for­ward four years and LL Fur­ni­ture Hire has a packed sched­ule through­out sum­mer, pro­vid­ing sleek and stylish fur­ni­ture for wed­dings, along with the new­est ad­di­tion to their in­ven­tory: qual­ity, lo­cally made, clear mar­quees. Build­ing re­la­tion­ships with her clients is what she loves most of all about her work, says the Bay of Plenty mother-of-two. “Each client is so dif­fer­ent, and to see the process, from ini­tial con­ver­sa­tions to re­ceiv­ing im­agery of how they styled their day with our pieces, is re­ally re­ward­ing.”

What is the ethos be­hind LL Fur­ni­ture Hire? From day one we wanted to cre­ate an ex­pe­ri­ence, not just fur­ni­ture for hire. Our cus­tomers are the most im­por­tant part of our busi­ness so from the ini­tial email to the de­liv­ery and pick-up, we want each cus­tomer to feel like they are not only in ca­pa­ble hands, but that the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence was a cut above. This is some­thing we are con­stantly im­prov­ing on, cre­at­ing new ways to make the ex­pe­ri­ence just a lit­tle bit more spe­cial.

How would you de­scribe the LL aes­thetic? In terms of our fur­ni­ture, we be­lieve we are the back­bone to your wed­ding or event. We are the build­ing blocks, fo­cus­ing on core, classic and mod­ern fur­ni­ture with clean lines and crisp whites and wood so you have room to cre­ate your own style and colour pal­ette.

Our fur­ni­ture works around the client, rather than the client hav­ing to work around the fur­ni­ture.

How do you like to spend your down­time? Once we fin­ish wed­ding sea­son we be­gin event and cor­po­rate con­tracts, so although it does slow down, we are still de­liv­er­ing each week to our clients. I def­i­nitely take the slow-down as an op­por­tu­nity to be with my kids

and my hus­band more, and spend week­ends at home. I’m a home­body and we live ru­rally, in Aon­gatete, in a con­verted barn on six hectares of QEII na­tive bush. I love noth­ing bet­ter than be­ing with my fam­ily and friends, drink­ing some good wine and eat­ing good food.

What is one piece of ad­vice you have for some­one look­ing to start their own busi­ness? The harder you work, the luck­ier you get! Own­ing a busi­ness is a crazy beast and can be both the most re­ward­ing and hard­est thing you can do. If you re­ally want it and work your butt off, you can def­i­nitely achieve ev­ery­thing you want to. Some­one told me your big­gest suc­cesses come just af­ter your big­gest strug­gles and I com­pletely agree. If you can push through the strug­gles of own­ing your own busi­ness, you will get there.

“We want each cus­tomer to feel like they are not only in ca­pa­ble hands but that the en­tire ex­pe­ri­ence was a cut above”

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Lucy, hus­band Hay­den and their two sons, Dusty (18 months) andMickey (4), live in ru­ral Aon­gatete on a six-hectare block. The LL Fur­ni­ture Hire of­fice and ware­house are lo­cated close by in Mount Maun­ganui. “It’s a hub of cre­ativ­ity and like-minded busi­ness own­ers, which is so in­spir­ing,” says Lucy.

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