Lewis and Katriona Cameron established a wedding venue on a traditional sporting and family estate.
Q. Why did you start in business?
We started Cardney Steading Events as a diversification project on a traditional sporting and farming estate.
We were looking for new income streams for the estate which would also be beneficial to the local economy and community.
Q. How did you get to where you are?
On our journey, we’ve had many obstacles to overcome but with determination, dedication and hard work we’ve managed to exceed our expectations for the
Q. Who has helped you along the way?
Thanks to Stephen Whiteford at Strutt & Parker we were successful in gaining funding support towards the project from the Perth & Kinross Leader Programme who has continued to be very helpful and supportive throughout the project.
We then contacted Business Gateway who has helped immensely, looking at improving each area of the business, while providing us with a network of support.
Q. What has been your biggest mistake?
Our biggest mistake is probably not looking into diversification projects sooner.
Q. How has coronavirus impacted your business?
The pandemic has had a massive impact which is likely to have an effect for some years to come.
We furloughed a number of staff, who are back working with us again, although the day-to-day estate side of the business carried on.
We have had to move scheduled weddings to next year, which of course means that we cannot then sell those dates.
There is also uncertainty over permitted guest numbers , so some couples are holding off until there is more clarity on that.
We had hoped that we could restart weddings next month, but unfortunately that is not now looking likely.
Wedding viewings and enquiries are starting to return, but in terms of support and information from the government, I think the wedding indusrty is one that has been left behind.
Q. What has been your greatest achievement?
Our greatest achievement is the transformation from an old run-down steading into a first-class events and wedding venue. As a result, we have helped breathe new life into the estate while continuing to offer our more traditional elements.
Q. What are your hopes for the future?
We hope to make a success of our wedding and events business as we have plans to grow and expand the venue to ensure the longevity of the estate for our children’s futures.
Q. What is the hardest thing about running your own business?
The hardest part about running your own business is never being able to fully switch off and we have limited downtime.
Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Our advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to listen to everybody’s advice but don’t be frightened to only use what you feel is relevant to you.
Approaching an organisation like Business Gateway is a great start.
The team has the knowledge, skills and experience to steer you on the right path.