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Training Courses for Venue Stylists

Do you love weddings and parties?

Are you often found scrolling through Instagram or Pinterest looking at pictures of beautiful events?

Are you looking for a change of career or a side hustle?

Would you like the freedom to set your own hours and income?

Would you love to work as a venue stylist?

Would it feel good to know that you CAN have your dream job, after all?

Welcome to the Stressfree Training School

We remove the overwhelm to becoming a successful venue stylist.

And by overwhelm, we mean finding answers to the myriad of questions you may have, as you consider becoming a venue stylist…

What products should I buy and from where?

How do I create different lighting schemes/ backdrops/ tablescapes/ props?

How and where do I advertise/market my services?

Plus we can answer a million other questions on how and where to start your business too …

The life of a venue stylist should be exciting, varied, rewarding and, we believe, stressfree too!

With this in mind, we have devised a series of training programmes which answer all of your questions in order to give you a head start in making money.

As well as get you started, we will also give you the tools and support you need to grow, because we believe that every new business benefits from having someone “in the know” holding their hands once in while!

With a community of like-minded, creative individuals, the courses will allow the sharing of resources and ideas and, later on, will benefit from our own marketing, contacts and PR activity.

Breaking it down into simple steps, we will help you to:

Identify the right venue styling niche for you, choose the venues you wish to work with, learn where to find the latest inspiration & ideas, learn how to follow industry trends, remove the jargon so you can talk knowledgeably to clients, understand the metrics, help your clients visualise your designs & learn how to work with different themes.
Learn how to choose the right stock to buy from the start, make your stock suitable for hiring out, understand when to cross-hire, identify the tools of the trade (and how to use them!), find the best storage facilities for you & keep your stock looking its best and lasting longer
Learn how to define your brand and establish a presence. Produce the required collateral to attract your ideal client and make it easy for your customers to buy from you.
Learn how to identify where and how to advertise, set up your social media to make sales, market your products and services effectively, build a portfolio that sells, get onto the right lists, make the contacts you need to survive and choose the right systems to simplify your admin
Learn how to nurture your clients, respond to client enquiries effectively. We teach you how to sell with passion, how to sell at exhibitions, how to deal with negotiators & how to upsell and add value to your products and services
Unlock your inner creativity and learn how to design (and implement) like the professionals. Use our comprehensive tools to make the most of a site visit and understand how to help your clients visualise their dream event.
Learn when and how to recruit, collaborate or subcontract. Understand how to choose the right suppliers and, most importantly, how to work in harmony with your competitors
Better understand how events work and the dependencies involved so you can work as part of a team. Benefit from our hindsight to remove the “if only I’d known or thought of that” scenarios! Learn how to identify risks, comply with Health & Safety law, & write appropriate risk assessments and method statements
Understand the equipment, effort and expenses involved, learn how to keep control of your costs and learn how to price your products and services
Learn how and where to buy products with green credentials in mind, gain our tips and tricks to minimise waste, reuse, recycle, repurpose and learn where to dispose of waste safely and cost effectively
Turn your idea into a “proper” business. Give your business a health check so you know you are trading legally. Learn how to obtain the appropriate licences and permits, choose the right insurance, protect your data & keep proper records
Learn how to better manage your time and resources, use the right safety equipment and tools and look after the most important resource in your business - you!

When I started out in business in 1995, I was one of the first wedding planners and stylists in England, planning elaborate weddings across the UK and overseas, with a good smattering of celebrity weddings along the way, all of which helped my visibility in a growing market.

Early on, I established some of the service concepts used extensively today within the industry, including “On The Day” wedding co-ordination, now a staple of modern wedding planners.

Later, joined full-time by my husband Doug, we gradually shifted the focus of our business to wedding production and became one of the first dedicated wedding venue stylists in the UK!

On both occasions, Doug and I identified a gap in the market and used our creativity and management skills to set up and grow a successful business. Along the way we have been widely quoted and interviewed on TV and radio, as well as for newspapers, magazines and on-line. Increasingly, we also help venues starting out as wedding venues or looking to upsell their wedding and event services through venue styling.

Stressfree is now mandated or recommended by many venues who appreciate our creativity, attention to detail, and bespoke solutions.

When the Covid pandemic hit, we had to postpone over 250 weddings and events, as well as accommodate new clients wanting to use our services. As a result, we are now facing an exponential demand for venue styling services and are having to turn away three times as much business as we can take on.

Couples are even asking to join a “wait list” in case we become available for their wedding date, because they love what we do and can’t find a suitable alternative supplier!

With our enormous wealth of wedding and events knowledge (over 50 years combined), a reputation which is second to none plus a glut of enquiries and only a few businesses offering anything similar to us, we recognise there is another opportunity… an opportunity to pass on our knowledge, experience and expertise to a new generation.

Through this programme we aim to train a new generation of venue stylists and planners, so they can continue the journey we started in 1995.

We want to:

Build a community of like-minded venue stylists

Nurture the same business ethics, attention to detail, creativity and skills that we’ve developed over the past 27 years

Share experiences, provide support, pool resources, and help each other grow.

And, for us, we’ll have people and businesses we know, like and trust who can benefit from our extensive knowledge, experience and reputation within this highly competitive (but oh, so rewarding!) industry.

Sounds good?

Meet Doug & Liz

liz sexton CEO on the phone

Liz Sexton is the founder and managing director of Stressfree – The Venue Transformers. 

Starting her career as a “big four” chartered accountant she specialised as a business consultant to help large organisations streamline their business processes and systems and run a tight ship. 

Liz soon identified a niche in the UK wedding market for wedding planning services in 1995.  Her business quickly became a big fish in a small pond, planning high profile weddings across the UK and overseas for couples who needed “a professional’s professional” to help them achieve the day of their dreams.

Under Liz’s directorship, the business became the “go to” company for celebrities and couples with big plans for both weddings and parties.   Subsequently moving her business to focus on venue styling, Stressfree still attracts the same calibre of clients.

Liz is very much a “details” person and for her every job is personal. She does not believe in short-cuts, and so, with everything she does – in both her business and private life – she is meticulous in making sure a plan works first time! This detailed planning philosophy underpins the “Stressfree” aim of making events look stunning and feel effortless.

When Liz is not focused on her business interests, she can be found channelling her energy into gardening – growing countless flowers and vegetables – and playing the saxophone in a big band.

Doug Showell in action at an event

Doug Showell is the creative director of Stressfree – The Venue Transformers.

He comes from a family of artists and studied design and technology at University.  He is a qualified teacher and worked for many years in sales, selling IT services to large corporations.

Doug is a true creative and relishes the challenges that each and every event brings.  He has a love of engineering and is renowned for being able to find a practical solution to every problem.

His technical knowledge is second to none and the reason why so many venues recommend Stressfree to their clients for their event design and production.  They know that each and every scheme installed will be innovative in it’s design, fully thought through, compliant with Health & Safety and installed to protect the fabric of the venue.

Doug’s hobbies reflect his creative streak and include cooking, cartooning and designing gadgets!

Liz & Doug also run Stressfree Business Limited – owning a small business made easy.

They offer training courses, workshops and tools to give small business owners confidence that they are doing everything properly and in compliance with the law.

And Finally

Don’t forget to join our free community in the meantime …

A fun, friendly, creative and practical group for anyone who wants to learn how to become a successful venue stylist. 

Fancy a chat to discuss further?