I’ve learned that the challenges of entrepreneurship are best met with humility and courage. I’m constantly faced with things that I don’t know or that I’m not gifted at- and I’ve got to accept my limitations with grace. Owning them, finding people who can support me and trying again is the only way I can make progress. Rallying the courage to do the next thing takes a lot of gumption! It’s a privilege and a blessing to be part of this community that is made up of my biggest cheerleaders. I’m excited to be able to foster + host celebrations in our city – through both companies – and I cannot wait to see what is next for our little (blossoming) town!

Laura Helm

Owner + Founder, Ashton Events + Haus 820

We can’t contain our excitement for Laura and her new venture at Haus 820! It has been amazing to witness her growth from planning events to managing an event venue and we believe the best is yet to come!

We met with Laura to get the scoop on what’s been happening since she’s moved on from Catapult.

 

Q+A with Laura Helm

Catapult: What was the breaking point in which you realized it was your time to move out of Catapult?
Laura: Honestly, the building had it’s Grand Opening, so we had to make it happen! Also, our staff doubled in size to accommodate our new business and we needed to expand our office location.

Catapult: How was the transition from working out of a semi-private office in Catapult to your own space?
Laura: Generally speaking, our new office dynamic is very different because it is far more private. I had to transition to a new hustle (juggling the two companies) with the expanded team, but we’ve been able to fine-tune our own rhythm. Collaboration is now with the team instead of with our Catapulters, which has been a good, but bittersweet, bonding experience.

Catapult: What are some wins for your business since you’ve moved into your new space?
Laura: We’ve had three successful (and fun!) events so far: the Grand Opening and the two Maker’s Markets. We’ve also loved the response from the community for our #MassMarketColorWall. It was a goal for it to bring exposure and positive marketing to the redevelopment, but it’s really been fun to see it bringing people together. Ultimately the biggest win has been seeing our community support the whole project!

Catapult: How have you developed your customer family? What are your secrets to customer growth?
Laura: We love playing on the word “Haus” and using that as the framework for our business philosophy. We want you to be able to transform our space to make it your home.

Catapult: Have you been able to hire any new employees?
Laura: Yes! We have one full-time and two part-time employees.

 

 

Catapult: Are you seeing an increase in growth this quarter?
Laura: Absolutely! Mainly because this is only our first quarter, we started with a blank slate and had only one option–up! We had a great spring schedule and have booked some cool community events, weddings, and other events through the summer + fall.

Catapult: Have any of your goals changed from when you first started to now?
Laura: After the move, there were plans in our strategy that naturally had to change. For example, we had to adjust how we target corporate events and identify their needs, whether it be full-service or customized to their preferences because we’ve better learned their needs to use our space and how we can best help them. There is always a learning curve!

Catapult: Which specific aspect of Catapult can you look back on and identify as the most helpful to your business?
Laura: Networking. I can never discount that bridges are quicker to cross at Catapult. Deb Hurta also mentored me early on in the Haus820 project and pushed me to immerse myself into the nitty-gritty. She encouraged me to focus on building management more than focusing on growth in creativity because although this is a creative project, we needed to make sure our business infrastructure was in place.

Catapult: What’s one thing you’ve learned that you wish you knew when you first started?
Laura: The quicker I own what I’m not good at, the quicker the solutions can come. I’ve learned to hire people that fill my weak spots and to find effective ways to work together.

Catapult: What would you wish next for your business?
Laura: We want to be the cornerstone of this redevelopment project, allowing our community to gather + celebrate. Our hope is that people from all different backgrounds, ages, and demographics can feel welcome in our space.

 

More Information about Haus 820:

Member of Catapult Since: Jan 30, 2014

New Space Launch Date: March 18, 2017

Location: 820 N. Massachusetts Ave. Lakeland, FL 33801

Square Footage: 5,800 Event Space and 2,000 Kitchen/Storage Space