Member Spotlight: Sarah McAnulty – Emerald & Mae

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Sarah McAnultyA fantastic spotlight with Emerald & Mae Director and Venue Consultant Sarah McAnulty this month, as we chatted about talking that leap to start a new business and expecting the best… from yourself!

1. What’s the one thing about working in events that gets you out of bed in the morning?

The variance in my job – I love how it changes day to day and this keeps me motivated. 

2. What single project or task would you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?

I recently committed to planning two weddings within 5 days and I have never been pushed so hard in my life. Both weddings were complete dry hires and there were some suppliers who were very relaxed about confirming details and their set up on the day which truly tested my strength to remain calm under pressure. 

We pulled it off though and both couples were happy and in the end, that’s all that matters! 

3. What’s the biggest career regret you have, if any?

I didn’t try as hard as I should have when I first started my company. I failed to utilise the resources available to new businesses and I was too scared of failing that I didn’t push myself harder to persevere with the different ideas I had. 

4. What have you done professionally that was a success, but isn’t an experience you’d want to repeat?

A venue I was in as Sales, Events and Marketing Manager closed with only two weeks notice and it was my job to tell over 30 events (including 10 weddings!) that we would no longer be able to honour their booking. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do and was quite upsetting but I tried my hardest and went out of my way to secure new venues for clients that fit their requirements prior to giving them the bad news. And, in the end managed to secure some of the events as my first clients for the new business I started! 

5. Is it better to be perfect and late, or good and on time?

Good and on time. 

I always think its good to under promise and over deliver as well – that way, to your client you appear to be delivering a perfect service and its on time! 

6. What’s your definition of hard work?

Expecting the best from yourself and then exceeding your own expectations. 

7. If I were to interview everyone you’ve worked with, what words would they most frequently use to describe you?

Level-headed, friendly, helpful, polite. 

8. Who’s the smartest person you know personally or professionally? Why?

My step-father, he’s a wonderful entrepreneur and incredibly creative person who has worked hard his whole life in such varied businesses. He is a true example of someone that has utilised their transferable skills and never let the worst get the better of him. His work ethic and ability to constantly evolve with the changing times (technology etc.) and seek out new ideas in order beat the competition continues to amaze me. 

9. If you were given £250,000 to start a new business, what would you do?

My boyfriend and I have such a love of the hospitality and events industry that we want to open our own group of specially themed bars in the UK and New Zealand. This would give us the head start we need for our first one! 

10. What’s the biggest decision you’ve had to make in the past year? Why was it so big?

Last year my boyfriend and I ran our own business alongside both working full time and this year I took the leap to work solely for our company; Emerald & Mae on weddings, events and I now also consult to venues regarding Sales & Marketing. 

It’s scary to let go of a steady income and the expectation to be in an office at 9am every day and go back to self motivating and thinking outside the box to grow your own business. 

11. Tell us one thing that no-one knows about you?

My parents (step-mother and step-father included) are a huge inspiration in my career. I am not one to gush over how much I adore them but they have all had really fantastic careers in very varied (and some influential) roles and this in turn has made me into the woman I am today and I am so grateful for that. 

12. What’s the one thing you’d be happy doing every single day for the rest of your career?

Haha – attending EWL lunches! Who doesn’t love a discussion with some of the best food and wine in the greatest city in the world! 

For more information on Emerald & Mae you can visit the website at

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