We recently connected with Becky Banner and have shared our conversation below.
Becky, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Risking taking is a huge part of most people’s story but too often society overlooks those risks and only focuses on where you are today. Can you talk to us about a risk you’ve taken – it could be a big risk or a small one – but walk us through the backstory.
By definition, the word “risk” means there is an uncertainty of outcome and the possibility of danger harm or loss and we have all heard the old adage “no risk no reward”, well I decided a long time ago to take charge of my life and take risk instead of waiting for life to come to me, so that I could grow and be in control of my life outcome. I do have to admit that I took a gradual approach to my risk tolerance. When I was 27 years old I took my first job that was low guaranteed income and high commission potential. I am not going to say that I wasn’t afraid and to some degree my fear of not succeeding was a driving factor in my determination to achieve financial security. My next career move was into a 100% commission only position which gave me the ability to learn with training wheels on what it was like to own my own business which then led me to start my own company in the same industry a few years later. All of these historical career moves is what led to the latest risk of creating a dream wedding venue. Building a wedding venue had multiple aspects of liability. Neither my husband or myself had a hospitality background yet we decided that if we were going to move into the wedding and events industry we were going to do it big. We spent several years researching the industry and facilities to recreate what had been done well and improve upon areas that needed refinement. We opened Knotting Hill Place in 2018 and then added a second venue in the summer of 2020 Brighton Abbey. Both business are booming and I attribute it to taking risk and hard work to drive success.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
The best way to describe myself is a serial entrepreneur and passionate in about everything I endeavor. The majority of my career has been in technology sales and management so taking these disciplines and applying them into the wedding industry has been fun. We (my husband and I) live our lives with intention. We moved full steam into the wedding industry we have built a brand of excellence. We haven’t made mistakes only learning opportunities . We have built an enthusiastic team and we strategically drive to tactical execution. Our goal is to make every one of our clients feel like they are our only client and do all that we can to truly make their wedding day the best day ever. I believe that with passion, enthusiasm, and commitment and applying processes and methods are the most critical and final step to building a business that has repeatable success.
Can you talk to us about your experience with buying businesses?
In early 2020 I was praying about selling my technology company so that I could focus in one industry and timing is everything because just as I had began talks with my partner about buying me out an existing venue came on the market that was about 10 minutes away from Knotting Hill Place. The property was in wooded grove and the grounds had huge potential with a beautiful charming chapel it just needed some TLC and a new look given to it. We made and offer on the new property and the seller accepted the same day as my partner and I agreed on a buyout number. After working through all the T’s and C’s with our lawyers we successfully ended my part in one business and began creating my second venue. We named the venue Brighton Abbey (Brighton is a town in London just like Nottinghill is) and was the perfect name for Knotting Hill Place’s smaller, younger sister property. We used all the similar finishes that we have at Knotting Hill Place and it has proven to be perfect for smaller weddings that are looking for intimacy and a non-country barn wedding.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
Any time you acquire a new property there are always those hidden opportunities that you have to deal with. With the acquisition of what is now Brighton Abbey we also acquired a handful of existing contract that we were obligated to fulfill. The challenge that was then presented to us was how do we remodel this building and bring it up to code and clean it up to our level of quality and still honor all of the existing contracts and not let any of these brides to be down. We took each client one by one and started working towards a win win. Due to covid vacancies and cancellations we were able to move several clients over to Knotting Hill Place to hold their weddings and several clients were happy to push out their scheduled wedding dates hoping that covid would calm down and they would be able to have the wedding of their dreams without fear. We were able to clear 4 months to dive into 12 months worth of work. My husband was a trooper and he and I both worked around the clock to get the building ready in time to hold the booked weddings. Once we started tearing out walls we continued to find more and more things that we needed to repair and clean up and there were many days that tears rolled down my face from exhaustion and fear of being on the news for ruining someone’s planned wedding day but with determination and the end in mind we knocked it out of the park.
- Website: www.knottinghillplace.com and www.brightonabbey.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/knotting_hill_place/ https://www.instagram.com/brightonabbeyvenue/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/knottinghillplace https://www.facebook.com/BrightonAbbeyEvents
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/knotting-hill-place
- Other: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/452728584 https://vimeo.com/419740246
Scott Aleman Photography Alexa Vossler Photography Wild Orchid Photography