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One of the best parts of running Torquay Online is being able to celebrate local businesses – new and old, and help them bring in more customers. That’s why our monthly business person of the month award is something we love to do.
September’s business person of the month is Lisa Briggs. She’s one of the directors of Paignton’s Lucky 7 Club, and had a few things to say to us to introduce herself and her club to Torquay Online…
Can you explain a little bit about yourself?
I’m Lisa Briggs, I’m 45, a wife and a mother of 4 children as well as a band member of The Hot House Four! I am one of the 4 directors who run The Lucky 7 Club in Paignton. It has been tricky over the past year, trying to juggle my work/family/music balance and I have just taken the scary decision to leave my current employment so I can push full steam ahead with the club. Trying to work, look after a family of 6 and start a new business was proving too much and was leading to very late nights, sat on the computer in the dark while the rest of the house slept! So, I have decided to take a risk and jump in with both feet and really give it all I’ve got.
What is the Lucky 7 Club?
The Lucky 7 Club is a unique, independent venue, offering burlesque, specialised live music and cabaret – all with a vintage twist. We worked so hard all summer last year, with the help of our children and other family members, to create this fantastic, quirky venue full of amazing works of art, hand painted by my business partner Mark Bell and weird and wonderful delights which have been gathered over the years!
We are open most Friday and Saturday nights with all sorts of great events. We have a wonderful burlesque cabaret show on the last Saturday of each month, who our business partners, Mark and Sarah Bell, book the performers for. On these nights, we showcase the top performers in the UK, who often travel down from London to come and perform for us here.
Our club has cabaret seating and we offer table service for drinks which really adds to the whole experience of being made to feel special. We also have live music nights which myself and my husband, Willy Briggs, are responsible for organising. We choose, very carefully, bands with a roots/vintage edge, who maybe haven’t really had the right venue to perform in down in the South West before.
We are trying hard to build a music loving audience at the club who will trust us and come and see any band we put on – as they will know the music will be of a high standard! The way the club works is different to other nightclubs around here – tickets need to bought in advance from our website at http://www.thelucky7club.com for all of our events. Your name will then be added to the guest list and you will be sent a confirmation email with directions – we are very well hidden! This process adds to the whole feeling of exclusivity!
When you arrive at the club, you are checked off on the guest list and then taken to your table where there can be a bottle of wine waiting for you that you may have ordered before hand. You can request to be sat with friends or even request your favourite table if you book early enough!
You also have the option to become an Annual Member, for £25 a year, if you would like to, which gives you discounted ticket prices and extra perks!
When did it open?
We opened The Lucky 7 Club last September so we are just coming up to our first year anniversary! We have a wonderful team here of 6 hand-picked, friendly employees for our busiest nights and, on our quieter nights, the four of us run the evening ourselves. I had some bar experience from years ago but since opening the club, I have learnt all aspects of running the bar and love to be as hands on as possible.
What’s the hardest part of running the club?
The hardest part of running a club like this is really sticking to what we believe in – we want our entertainment to be of a high standard but, at the same time, need to sell enough tickets for each event. We are hidden away on the first floor of a building in the middle of the town (like a real Speakeasy) so we don’t get any passing trade. All of our advertising is through social media and word of mouth so our advertising has to be constant and targeted to reach the right people, for it to be really affective.
What’s the best/most rewarding part of running the club?
The best part of running The Lucky 7 Club is, after putting in so much work into creating a wonderful event and trying hard to advertise it in the right places, seeing it full of happy people and happy performers having a wonderful time. The most rewarding part is seeing the affect it has on some people once they have been. We have had wonderful messages and emails from people who have never felt they could go out locally before and now they feel they have found somewhere they belong and can really be themselves without being judged. We have created a really wonderful, safe environment for everyone and I’m so proud of it!
What are your plans for the near future?
My plan now is to concentrate all my efforts into putting The Lucky 7 Club on the map. I would like the club to be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday eventually. We have some fantastic events coming up including The Jive Aces who are a professional touring Jump Jive band and Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer, the King of Chap Hop! Our Christmas events are all on sale now and December is full of fabulous Christmas Balls and Parties which have been carefully put together to give people the best festive experiences ever!
Do I have any advice for anyone going into business?
For anyone going into business, I would say to make your goals realistic, manage your time well and prioritise carefully. I would recommend having a clear plan of what you want to achieve, believe in it and stick to it. If you believe in it, so will others!
Some great words from Lisa here – thanks for taking so much time to write it.