Sarah Balfour, founder and director of Orchid Events and Music by Arrangement spoke to The Sunday Times for their small business section.
She first detailed her initial motivation to enter the music world, her first career. “Balfour decided she wanted to be a pianist when she began taking piano lessons at the age of eight, and her parents supported her “all the way””.
Sarah says she “owes her drive to become a successful musician nt only to her piano teacher, Jean Anderson, but also her grandfather, Al Tabor, a bandleader in the 1940s who wrote songs such as the Hokey Cokey.”
Through her career as a musician, which included playing piano in the lobby of the Marriot, Heathrow, as well as “performing at the Grosvenor House hotel in Park Lane and a stint in Harrods” she realised that herself, and many other musicians were being poorly managed by unstable management. This fact led to the creation of Music by Arrangement, Sarah Balfour’s own mangerial company aiming to provide fair and secure treatment for musicians.
As clients increasingly asked for her input on areas of events unrelated to entertainment, such as her opinion on staging and decorations, Sarah realised there was an opportunity to start an event planning company; hence the birth of Orchid Events.
She explains the first year was tough, stating “I’ve never worked so hard in my life. The first year for any business is crucial and I knew I had to give everything”. However the first year of work paid off, and over a decade later both Music by Arrangement and Orchid Events are a success, not only in Britain but in Israel equally.
She finishes her interview with a small piece of advice for any budding entrepreneurs, suggesting that you “make sure you now everything there is to know about the field you want to specialise in”.