Interview Louise Lazendic

Find out how Louise Lazendic started her well-known brand Illume Partyware. Louise is upping the ante with her high-end, fashionable partyware products and has worked hard over the years to build her brand and solid reputation in the party industry. Here is her story.

Describe your business in 1-2 sentences. Illume Partyware is a stylish, high-end, fashionable partyware brand and every product is designed by us in Sydney, Australia. We offer everything you need for your next birthday, wedding, kids party or any other fancy festivity.

When and how did Illume Partyware come about? When I was putting together my son’s first birthday party! I found there was a lack of quality, fashionable and stylish party products out there in the market. I wanted to style a party and have everything co-ordinated together from the tableware to decorations. There is plenty of partyware out there but I couldn’t find any items that were high-quality and up to date with the current fashion trends.

How has your business evolved over the years? I started out back in 2007, originally designing personalised wedding and christening invitations. In 2011, I decided to move on from personalised invitations and launch Illume Partyware, a brand that launches a new collection every year.

What did you do before starting your business? I started my design career designing ceramics and home-wares for Australia’s large department stores, it was the first job I had after graduating from Graphic Design. A few years later I was recommended to a contemporary digital art company that contracted me to design a whole range of digital artworks for canvas and perspex. I worked together with them for one year developing their new range. I was then recommended to Bauer Media (formerly ACP magazines) where I became the Advertising Art Director for Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine. I worked there for a few years before launching Illume Partyware.

What is one of your business achievements you are most proud of? Being able to make a living in this extremely competitive party industry. I have spent many years building the brand Illume Partyware and we are finally being recognised world wide. I am so proud to have a brand that is now known across the world. I’m also proud that customers still call or email me with excitement that they have found our products.

What do you love about running your own business? I love that I am able to design and create products that I believe in and which I can share with others. After working for many years with other companies to their design briefs, I love that I now have the freedom to create and design products for my own brand, Illume Partyware.

What is one thing you would like to achieve this year for your business? Illume Partyware is fast going global, so this year we are hoping to get more distributors onboard in countries all over the world.

What advice could you offer to other small business owners? Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – be yourself, do what you do best and what you believe in. Educate yourself and get a business mentor, someone you can talk to for advice. When it comes to running a business you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ask for help in areas you are struggling in.

"Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing – be yourself, do what you do best and what you believe in."