INTERVIEW: CARL RUSH, OWNER OF BRIGHTON'S TRENDY NEW EVENT SPACE
In a time where everything is moving at such a fast pace, PR and marketing your brand has never been more important. With that in mind, we are seeing a new trend hailing from America in the shape of dedicated event spaces. These unique ornately decorated locations are trendy and available to hire for an array of parties including, launches, supper clubs or workshops.
The Vine Club is the brain child of Carl Rush and his wife Helen, both have spent time in New York, working from private members clubs/event spaces and this was a key influence for starting the business. I met with Carl Rush owner of Brighton's hottest new space, The Vine Club, to find out what it takes to make it in the world of events.
1) Where did the idea for The Vine club originate?
We spent around 70% of our time working in New York, we were working from private members clubs and using dedicated event spaces, it is such a great idea and we thought that we could emulate that back home. Brighton is notorious for its laid-back attitude, and we really wanted to convey that with The Vine Club, so the North Laines aka Brighton’s Creative Quarter seemed like an obvious place to launch a really cool, decadent event space.
2) What is The Vine Club’s mission statement?
It is about business, but more than that, it's about being creative in your business. We are trying to make work, work for you. The club is perfect for launch parties, workshops, supper clubs, break out meetings for agencies, as well as private events - we’ve hosted anniversaries and World Cup viewings lately! We have all the amenities that you need to host a spectacular event and can be as hands on or off as you need.
3) What is The Vine Club typically hired out for?
We have already collaborated with some exciting businesses such as Glug Events (we founded the Brighton chapter), TV’s Sophie Robinson Interiors and Bison Beer. We’ve also worked with BUPA, locally, and the DBA (Design Business Association). The space is so versatile and has hosted pop up restaurants, workshops and launch parties for up to 100 people. We’re really passionate about making it work for you and your specific event.
4) What challenges have you faced opening The Vine Club?
The challenge was to buy the building and get it converted. The building also houses my design agency called Crush and Helen’s illustration agency called Agency Rush on the second floor, plus it needed to include The Vine Club and on the top floor we have a beautiful residential apartment that is rented through Airbnb. Sorting through all the legal side of things including building regulations was probably the most challenging thing, along with the continuous decisions that had to be made on a deadline.
5) How did you overcome them?
I like organisation, so to overcome all the challenges that we faced doing the restoration, I needed to be on top of all the decisions and directly work alongside the builders, that way I knew every aspect of the build and its progression. It was tough, and it took a year to convert, however I am pleased with the outcome.
6) How do you enjoy your time in Brighton when you are not working?
I really enjoy heading out over the South Downs or along the sea for nice long walks and generally just chilling out. Obviously, we also love to eat out, doesn’t everyone?! There is so much variety in terms of restaurants in Brighton.
7) Describe the Vine Club in one sentence?
A unique event space for businesses, entrepreneurs and big idea’s people
8) What is next?
Eventually we would like to open another event space, but that is some way off. For now, we will be concentrating on building the Vine Club brand and hosting more and more events. We want to be known for being great hosts and working with innovative clients on a local as well as national scale. We’re really supportive of the creative community down here in glorious Brighton so championing that is the short-term goal.
9) What makes The Vine Club stand out from its competition?
There is no direct competition, there are some elements of what we offer elsewhere, however The Vine Club is stylish and more of a lifestyle event space. We’re bespoke, premium and stylish and we cater for you. We have worked really hard to create just the right ambience for the clientele we attract - we’re going to build on that and keep doing what we’re doing!