The Creative Family Feature is a monthly blog series featuring women & men in the C@H family who are building community & education right where they are. Whether it’s through hosting their own educational experience, building a community-driven team or fostering education with their industry peers, they are doing exceptional things in small business and we want to cheer them on!!
This month’s Creative Family Feature is about our Creative at Heart Round 9 venue: WinMock at Kinderton!
Up until this year, C@H has taken our annual conference to a new city & venue with each new round. The planner in me has enjoyed the challenge of a new location, and it’s been fun to announce to our alumni what new city we’d be visiting next. However, in 2018, we decided putting down roots was exactly what we needed to do! We hosted Round 8 at WinMock and fell in love with the venue, the staff, and the area. We knew we’d found our home, so for the first time in conference history, we visited the same city & same venue twice!!
Rebecca & Laura are the ladies behind our planning process at the WinMock and they have been exceptional! They “get” what we’re doing wholeheartedly, and blew my team & me away with their attention to detail, heart for community, and love for their venue! I knew I wanted to ask Rebecca to share a bit more about WinMock, so here’s a little BTS about our beloved conference home!
1. WinMock is a unique venue – can you share a bit about the history of the space?
Nearly 100 years ago, S. Clay Williams, the then-president of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, built his family’s country retreat, along with a fully functioning dairy farm – one of the largest in the state, and named the haven Win-Mock Farm. Over the years, the Win-Mock Farm became less remote and eventually the property’s role as a dairy farm came to an end. After years of neglect, the process of lovingly renovating the remaining buildings began, and in 2011 WinMock was reopened as an event venue, bringing people together to celebrate, meet, and make memories.
2. When did you join WinMock’s team? What has been a favorite memory or moment for you at the space?
I joined the WinMock team in late 2013, and it has been a magical adventure ever since. My favorite specific memory was seeing my first wedding come to fruition after months of planning together with the bride and groom. It is an incredible honor to stand back after so much hard work and see hundreds of those nearest and dearest to the couple enjoy themselves to the fullest and celebrate the beginning of such a special marriage journey.
3. Being the Director of Weddings & Socials means you see a lot of the behind the scenes of the venue! What does a day in the life look like for you?
Like most in the event industry, each day is a little bit different. While I spend lots of time at my desk chatting with clients on the phone and over email, along with designing the room layouts and catering menus, I am often meeting in-person with our wedding and social event clients discussing their dream aesthetic and planning out each venue detail. My role as Director begins with initial site visits and property tours as newly engaged couples and local clients with an upcoming celebration explore their venue options. Once they have chosen WinMock and contracted, I then lead our team of venue event coordinators as they work hand-in-hand with each and every client up until and even beyond their event day.
4. Approximately how many events does WinMock have in a year? Approximately how many weddings?
Including corporate, non-profit, wedding, and social events, we host approximately 250 per year. We have two venues on-property, The Granary and The Main Barn, and host around 75 weddings annually.
5. From the moment our team arrived, community was evident among your employees! What are some ways WinMock fosters community within their team?
This truly begins with the hiring process. We bring in new team members that are hardworking, upbeat, show initiative and a desire to learn, and are passionate – even if they have zero experience in the hospitality industry. We consider our WinMock culture very family-oriented, and regularly plan family outings, team building days, community service work, and seasonal team appreciation events. We look forward to time together and love to provide individual encouragements, celebrate achievements, and get to know our WinMock team members on a personal level.
6. What would you say makes WinMock a unique environment for weddings & events?
If we’re checking off boxes for “the perfect venue” then WinMock is unique in that it provides gorgeous indoor and outdoor event spaces, with a fully guaranteed weather back-up plan, package options and decor add-ons that allow us to take on more of the work and coordination for our clients, plus we’re close in proximity to overnight accommodations and easily accessible. But what stands out to our clients event after event is our WinMock team. I am proud to share that each guest that visits the WinMock property is treated with love and genuine care. It is our mission to serve others, and everything that we do ensures that we are able to do that well and sustainably.