14 episodes

Join RW Elephant co-founder Allison Howell as she connects with leaders in the event rental industry about their rental adventures.

The Trunk Show with RW Elephant Allison Howell

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 18 Ratings

Join RW Elephant co-founder Allison Howell as she connects with leaders in the event rental industry about their rental adventures.

    0207: Finding and Filling a Gap in the Market with Flock Events

    0207: Finding and Filling a Gap in the Market with Flock Events

    Alice Sip joined the event rentals industry in North America. Then she took her expertise back to her homeland of New Zealand to build Flock Events. Today, it’s one of the top rental, styling, and event planning businesses in that country. 

    What’s in this episode:
    How Alice discovered a gap in the market... and filled it effectivelyWhat it’s like to manage multiple locations under one businessHow Flock Events schedules and pays staff in a mutually beneficial way (and avoids seasonal hires)How Alice is building a brick-and-mortar shop which ties into her larger business
    Quotes:
    “I guess whenever there's a gap in the market, you say “Is the gap there because there's no demand? Or is the gap there because the demand's not filled?’” - Alice Sip

    “I’ve learnt to be very very specific about every single detail [...] I think the more specific you can be, the better.” - Alice Sip

    “I always look at demand before I just buy. I would never look at a piece of furniture and say ‘Oh, that’s nice. We’ll add that to the collection.’ We’ll always say, ‘Well who have we got that that’s going out for?’” - Alice Sip

    “I also don't believe in money over relationship in terms of what we take on in our business.” - Alice Sip

    “I’ve realized the importance of delegating and realized the importance of my time and that paying someone an hourly wage to do something actually is worth it because it frees up me.“ - Alice Sip



    Resources:
    The Lend & Gather Conference

    The RW Elephant mailing list features more event industry resources and happenings—including announcements about new Trunk Show episodes!

    Thank you to our sponsor:
    RW Elephant: Mighty inventory management software designed to help you conquer chaos and reclaim your creativity!
    Website | Instagram 

    And our guest:
    Alice Sip of Flock Events & Kindred Road
    Flock Events Website | Instagram
    Kindred Road Website | Instagram

    • 39 min
    0206: Branding & Marketing an Event Rental Business with Lily & Cane

    0206: Branding & Marketing an Event Rental Business with Lily & Cane

    Before starting her event rental business, Sherine Iskandar was a marketing professional. Now, with years of experience and a personal rebrand under her belt, she’s the perfect pro to talk to about the nuts and bolts of branding and marketing an event rental business.

    What’s in this episode:
    Building a new brand in a new marketHow Sherine plans her purchases around pieces that fit and further her brandThe strategy behind rebranding Modern Vintage Rentals as Lily & CaneLessons learned commissioning custom piecesThe endless battle for work-life balance
    Quotes:
    “A brand embodies so much more than just the look and feel. The client experience is a huge thing.” - Sherine Iskander

    “Some people give up after attending once or twice at one of these networking groups and then they say, ‘ph, that doesn’t work for me.’ But what I’ve found is that you really have to stick with it for six to nine months before anybody with any kind of great reputation will give you a chance because if they recommend you, then their reputation is on the line.” - Allison Howell

    “This was important for me to explain to myself or to keep repeating to myself: ‘I can’t be all things to all people.’” -Sherine Iskandar  

    “I decided I’m not going to wait for perfection to start promoting a product.” -Sherine Iskandar

    “My name was doing a disservice to the brand, and I had to change it.” - Sherine Iskandar
     
    “It was a big goal when I quit the corporate world. My goal was to be a healthier person – mind and body. And I am a healthier person now because I’ve allowed myself the balance of work and life.” - Sherine Iskandar

    Resources:

    SITU Creative Agency

    The Lend & Gather Conference

    The RW Elephant mailing list features more event industry resources and happenings—including announcements about new Trunk Show episodes!

    Thank you to our sponsor:

    RW Elephant: Mighty inventory management software designed to help you conquer chaos and reclaim your creativity!
    Website | Instagram 

    And our guest:

    Sherine Iskandar of Lily & Cane
    Website | Instagram

    • 48 min
    0205: Carving Your Own Niche with Little Celebrations

    0205: Carving Your Own Niche with Little Celebrations

    CeCe Champion is the founder of Little Celebrations, a specialty rentals business in Boston that focuses on the kiddos. Hear how she found her unique passion and place in the industry. Plus, we discuss all things miniature and adorable from tables to sofas to chiavari chairs!

    What’s in this episode:
    How mentorship helped grow Little CelebrationsCeCe’s business strategy for surviving the pandemicHow embracing the power and freedom of delegation has helped CeCe growBehind the scenes of one of Boston’s biggest collections of little furniture
    Quotes:
    “When kids go to events, they're sitting at these adult tables. It’s not as fun for them or parents are telling them to stop touching the silverware… So why not create a space... for them?” - CeCe Champion

    “It seems like that kind of thirst for knowledge also goes hand-in-hand with some humility– the ability to acknowledge that you don’t know everything yet but also coupled with the confidence to say, ‘I can do this.’” -Allison Howell

    “And, you know, starting this business has allowed me to really build a backbone to like say no, creating boundaries, respecting, or protecting my own peace.” - CeCe Champion

    “I learned early on that delegation is key. I am not the control freak. [...] For me initially, it was very important for me to invest in a bookkeeper and make sure I had all my numbers together so I could understand the growth of my business.” - CeCe Champion

    “When I look around at the industry, the people who are continuing to do [their own] deliveries, and especially late night pick-ups, are the ones that burn out the fastest.” - Allison Howell 

    “The opportunity for scale in a business like yours is really different than a business that really requires the main principal to be the one doing the hands-on work on the day of the event.” - Allison Howell

    Resources:
    How Successful People Lead by John Maxwell

    The Lend & Gather Conference

    The RW Elephant mailing list features more event industry resources and happenings—including announcements about new Trunk Show episodes!

    Thank you to our sponsor:
    RW Elephant: Mighty inventory management software designed to help you conquer chaos and reclaim your creativity!
    Website | Instagram 

    And our guest:
    CeCe Champion of Little Celebrations
    Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

    • 29 min
    0204: Building Rental Business Success On Another’s Foundation with Collected & Co.

    0204: Building Rental Business Success On Another’s Foundation with Collected & Co.

    Purchasing an existing business and making it your own comes with its own set of challenges. Jacqueline Johannesson is here to walk us through the process. After buying Collected & Co. from a close friend, she and her husband have taken the business to new heights...and learned plenty along the way!

    What’s in this episode:
    A look at buying a business from a friendHow Jacqueline and her husband made Collected & Co. their ownHow to build on someone else’s collection Growing your core services, like, adding event planning to the mixHow to handle client disappointment, both before and after it happens
    Quotes:
    “What can we do to really stay ahead of the market and just push Minneapolis to be something that you just don't see all the time?” - Jacqueline Johannesson

    “Would that be easy? Yes. But we’re never about the easy.” - Jacqueline Johannesson

    “It sounds like you don't want to just fulfill the vision; you want to cast the vision.“ - Allison Howell
    “So for our lounge furniture, we try to, on the third time it's going out, it's got to make some sort of return, whether it's three dollars, it has to bring something in. We know that there are some pieces, like our dining chairs, that's going to take more rentals to bring that back in. We want our pieces to, you know, hopefully last a couple to three seasons before we have to retire something out.” -Jacqueline Johannesson
    “We've worked really hard to build great relationships with the other vendor partners in the city to be trusted, to say, ‘they're the people who are willing to take a little bit of a risk sometimes.’” -Jacqueline Johannesson
    “We learn something new every single day, every single event. There's always something that we are learning, whether it's from a client, an experience, an event professional who knows more than us because we are not naive to say we don't know half of it. Like, we're always learning and growing, which is what you need to do in order to continue to grow and have a successful business.” Jacqueline Johannesson
    “When you start out, you're thinking of all the beautiful things you're going to create, and that's sort of the primary stuff of your vision and your dreams. But, a big chunk of what you do is actually move furniture around.” -Allison Howell
    “There's always room for growth. There's always room for growth in your business. There's room for growth personally, always. Like we always need to strive to be better the next day. We can always wake up and do better.” -Jacqueline Johannesson

    Resources:
    The Lend & Gather Conference

    The RW Elephant mailing list features more event industry resources and happenings—including announcements about new Trunk Show episodes!

    Thank you to our sponsor:
    RW Elephant: Mighty inventory management software designed to help you conquer chaos and reclaim your creativity!
    Website | Instagram 

    And our guest:
    Jacqueline Johannesson of Collected & Co.
    Website | Instagram

    • 49 min
    0203: Creating Value for Your Employees with Meathead Movers

    0203: Creating Value for Your Employees with Meathead Movers

    A live podcast recording from the 2020 Lend & Gather conference with Allison Howell and Meathead Movers founder, Aaron Steed. Aaron is passionate about building a company which benefits his employees just as much as his customers and has lots of great insights into staffing, delivery planning, and living up to the purpose behind your business. 

    What’s in this episode:
    Keeping purpose at the core of your businessLiterally keeping the companies core values in your back pocketHow to price your delivery processTips for partnering with moving companiesHow to (really) load and unload a truck
    Quotes:
    It’s hard to create value for your employees in order to keep them enthusiastic and wanting to continue to work doing entry level work.” - Aaron Steed

    “There's a lot of meaning as to why we do what we do. And I feel like we've been able to harness that grit and get through the hard times.” - Aaron Steed

    “I believe the owner’s job is to create clarity, strategy, and accountability for the team.” - Aaron Steed


    “Number one, I do not care what my competitors charge. At all.” - Aaron Steed


    “Most businesses get clear on their values and their mission statement but that’s really for the executives and the business owners to guide their decisions and whatnot. But our employees, what they have is their service pillars. And their service pillars are what they live and breathe and what they get judged on.” - Aaron Steed


    “[Entrepreneurship] forces you to take a good, hard look at yourself. You know, I've been I've been arrogant. I've been humbled. I've been on top of the world. I've been crying to bankers. You know, you're signing up to bet on yourself.” - Aaron Steed


    Resources:
    Aaron Steed’s perspective on employee turnover: Should your company encourage employees to quit?

    Inc.com features Meathead Mover’s Encouraged Employee Turnover

    The E-Myth by Michael Gerber

    Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

    The Lend & Gather Conference

    The RW Elephant mailing list features more event industry resources and happenings—including announcements about new Trunk Show episodes!

    Thank you to our sponsor:
    RW Elephant: Mighty inventory management software designed to help you conquer chaos and reclaim your creativity!
    Website | Instagram 

    And our guest:
    Aaron Steed of Meathead Movers and Mini Storage
    Website | Instagram

    • 39 min
    0202: Building Your Business to Last with Patina Rentals

    0202: Building Your Business to Last with Patina Rentals

    Nearly a decade after Corrin Arasa started NYC’s Patina Rentals, we hear how she built a business that has not only lasted but flourished. Enjoy an inside look into one of the country’s most talked-about event rental businesses.

    What’s in this episode:
    How to build a work culture that empowers your staff long-termPatina’s famous roller skating parties, and how those startedThe rent-ready guidelines Patina uses for their vintage furniturePricing your work in a way that builds self-respect and client acclaimSelecting and organizing a warehouse in the Big AppleGetting creative with business marketing 
    Quotes:
    “I had this house filled with cool vintage things, and I said - ‘Oh, I can rent! I can use those chairs!’” - Corrin Arasa

    “Everything that we have today is built up on those relationships we made early on.” - Corrin Arasa

    “What I realized was that those were going to be the early adopters… corporate. Although there are so many interesting things that you can do experientially and activation-wise, the wedding market was ready to adopt what we were doing and was really excited about it.” - Corrin Arasa

    “It is a very lonely thing being an entrepreneur sometimes, and so it’s nice to have a community of people to bounce your ideas around with.” - Corrin Arasa 

    “I built a business plan and a business model and a mantra and values... and everything that was really based on scaling and having work-life balance and bringing other people in.” - Corrin Arasa

    “While we eventually got to where I wanted to be, and we’re still going, there were so many starts and stops along the way.” - Corrin Arasa

    “It was really intentional letting go to grow and realizing my skill set and my time is going to be far, far better spent on mentoring other people and working on the business rather than doing it myself. Because they’re going to come with new ideas. They might not have done it exactly the same way that I do it-- they might do it better. They might come up with a new way to do it. And there are so many smart and talented people out there who can bring so much to the table. Maybe if it doesn’t go off exactly well, we’ll lose a client but it’s not about that. It’s really about building bigger so that we can all be better and learn and experience these things and improve the company overall.” -Corrin Arasa

    “I was pricing for me and now we’re pricing to help the client understand their budgets a little better.” -Corrin Arasa

    “They needed content, and we needed content. And so we kind of gave them a cocktail and blasted the music, and sent them around the warehouse, and then told them to come back and create this design in an hour.” - Corrin Arasa

    Resources:
    The E Myth by Michael E. Gerber

    Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

    The Lend & Gather Conference

    The RW Elephant mailing list features more event industry resources and happenings—including announcements about new Trunk Show episodes!

    Thank you to our sponsor:
    RW Elephant: Mighty inventory management software designed to help you conquer chaos and reclaim your creativity!
    Website | Instagram 

    And our guest:
    Corrin Arasa of Patina Rentals
    Website | Instagram

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
18 Ratings

18 Ratings

FrMicah ,

More than just clean lyrics

Grateful for Allison and her creative insights into this niche of entrepreneurship.

CastBeto ,

The host is a natural

Great podcast! I’ve really enjoyed the interviews and listening to the host navigate through the interviews. Not sure if this is her first show but she sounds great!

Circa rain ,

Woohoo!

Thrilled for this, thanks RW!

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