Bad Ass Bosses – The Midlands

In July, Hooray Weddings hosted an incredible one and a half-day workshop at the award winning and totally breathtaking, Crystal Barn Country Estate. We learnt, we laughed, we drank, but most importantly we connected with one another. We left feeling well rested and headed home ready to tackle the challenges in our businesses. As one of our attendees put it, this workshop felt more like a retreat than anything else.

As always, these workshops are not possible without the amazing contributions from other small businesses. A big thank you goes to Cindy Rutherford from Love Laugh. She worked tirelessly to bring our vision together with her beautiful floral arrangements. Unfortunately, Cindy fell ill on the day of the workshop and had to head back home to Durbs after setting up 🙁 You were SO missed Cindy! Another  thank you to the The MakerSpace for the cool name tags. Hook them up if you are looking for some wooden laser cutting for your wedding or event.

Our guests arrived at Crystal Barn bright and early for scones and delicious NOMU hot chocolate – yum yum – and were seated by 9am, eager and ready to learn. First up was the oh so sophisticated Nadia van der Mescht who spoke all about branding and how to make a physical impact in a digital world. Nadia taught us how to offer a sincere branding experience, true to yourself and to your clients.

A short break allowed us to digest this information as well as some delicious cupcakes by Hoyer Bake House. After being treated to flavors of apple pie cinnamon and tiramisu we had an awesome presentation by Ashley.  Ashley from The Ashley Knight Company (you might know her from the Hello Boss Creative Facebook page) has years of coaching experience and challenged us to ask the Whats and the Whys. Why did you start your company? And what is holding you back? We left with a list of questions to go home and work through and were encouraged to redo the exercise every 6 months. These are tough questions, but so important to ensure that you remain focused on what is important in life and business and to avoid burnout.

After our grumbling tummies were treated to a DELICIOUS meal from the Crystal Barn chef, Scott, we sat down to our final speaker, Nicola Ashe of Ask Ashe. With her booming voice and infectious laughter we were guided through the Dos and Don’ts of social media and calendar planning. No more scrambling on a Monday morning, searching our phones for something to share on Instagram. No way Jose – we shall have a strategic plan and we shall stick to it!

You may find that after attending a workshop like this, you leave with a head full of ideas, and dive right back into your responsibilities of life without the opportunity to really apply the information you have been given. As all of our speakers reminded us, you HAVE to sit and apply what you have been taught for the information to hold any real value. After Nicola’s talk we headed outside, and under the glorious sun we drank gin and tonics (thank you Malfy Gin!!) and sipped hot chocolates (courtesy of Nomu). In small groups facilitated by our speakers, attendees were able to chat about their persona challenges, concerns or dreams. We stood back at one point and watched 3 groups, completely absorbed in conversation and realized that right there – magic was happening!

This magic followed us all the way to the restaurant for dinner and wine before a good night sleep. We woke up feeling refreshed (some of us slightly hungover! Again, thank you Malfy) and got the blood circulating and our neurons firing by attending a Yoga session by Margot of Lumala Yoga. Margot was amazing and even incorporated the fact that we were all small business owners holding onto a lot of stress and tension into her lesson. It was like a yoga session and therapy all in one!

 We left the mind-throbbing stuff to last – finance! Nicki of NBAccounting spent 2 hours taking to us about tax, invoicing and efficient book keeping. This is definitely a topic that us creatives like to avoid but is essential to get right if you are to run a successful company.

We ended the workshop on a high with clay pigeon shooting. For most of us, this was the first time holding a gun so even though not many targets were hit, the experience was exhilarating and incredibly worthwhile. Check the reaction of Jana, the first person to hit a target.

We are incredibly grateful to everybody who attended the workshop and especially to Crystal Barn for hosting us. Kate, Gabby and Scott, your service was out of this world and your venue truly is a slice of heaven. Despite the brain throb from all of the information, we felt rested and energized on our way home. Special mention goes to all the companies who sponsored items for the goody bags: The Coffee Mag, Accentuate Hair and MakeupNomu, Elysian Creative, OH So Heavenly.  Special thanks also to those who offered prizes: Elysian CreativeSavage Jewellery, OH So Heavenly, Noble Hand Craft, Olly Polly. All these special additions to the workshop, allowed us to feel spoilt and treated (something that us business owners fail to do for ourselves)

To recieve updates on future events and workshops, please sign up to our mailing list below. We plan on hosting one major workshop/retreat a year and a small workshops/talk every 3-4 months. If you have any ideas for future workshops or if you yourself would like to be involved as a host, speaker or sponsor, please pop us a mail – we would LOVE your input. You can contact us at

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