We had the good fortune of connecting with Lara Smedley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lara, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I had been living in South Texas and wanted to be able to have the flexibility to move back to Colorado to be closer to my family. I had a great job, that I truly loved, but knew that there was something missing. I wasn’t getting excited about the other job opportunities out there and knew that the relationships I had built over my career were strong enough to, at the very least, test the waters of entrepreneurship. So I took a gigantic leap and started with just a framework of a business. Over the last two and a half years that has grown into a thriving company that is helping clients across the country with their event production, experiential marketing and fundraising needs.
What should our readers know about your business?
Smedley Events is a full-service event production, experiential marketing and fundraising agency. We focus on the strategy behind events and help our clients create experiences that drive real return on investment so they can create sustainable events for their community. COVID has been challenging, for us and for the clients we serve. We are proud to say that during this very difficult time we have been able to continue to help our clients make decisions that are positively impacting their communities. From virtual events that create real engagement, to digital fundraising campaigns that highlight the great work our clients do day in and day out, our drive to create connection through meaningful experiences has only strengthened during the last 8+ months. The foundation of our work is centered around community. Community can take on many forms. From the larger community where we live to the smaller communities where we work or participate in social activities. Building strong communities that are centered in values that reenforce positive growth, inclusive behavior and establish equitable access for all has been the driving force behind our motto of “Better Together”. Better Together is the philosophy that drives Smedley Events work. Events (virtual or in person) rely on authentic human to human connection. We develop all of our events with the idea that we are truly better when we are working together.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Colorado is filled with beautiful sights and amazing treats. I take many of guests downtown to RiNo to visit the impactful street art around the neighborhood as well as visit the Kirkland Museum in the Golden Triangle. A visit to Colorado is never complete without a trip to Red Rocks or a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. The food scene in Colorado is ever growing and evolving. Some of my favorite places to take visitors are the Milk Market, Stanley Marketplace and for a real Denver treat, El Rancherito.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My success can be directly attributed to the people and organizations I surround myself with. From my former colleagues at the Valero Alamo Bowl to my friends that have stepped up and been “Smedley Events” staff for a day. Their support, guidance, and mentorship have given me the tools and strength to continue, even during challenging times like COVID. My number one fans are my parents. Starting a business is not easy and the financial burden makes it difficult for many solopreneurs to survive. I am very blessed to have a family that supports me through the highs and lows of running a business.