Exclusive interview with Terry Wayburne, CEO of Love & Lust Movement
By ALICE PODENZANA
Born as student parties in Umeå, Sweden, Terry Wayburne‘ and Martin Jara‘s company “Love & Lust” has become in few years a real movement, involving thousands of young people of different countries in their campaigns, and events all around the world.
But how was it born? Did these two young guys expected all this success? And what about Love & Lust’s future plans? Terry Wayburne, CEO of the company, introduces us a little bit more in the Love & Lust’s world.
A: Hi Terry! Let’s start from the origins: how was your Love & Lust Movement born?
T: It was the spring of 2011, and as students in Umeå University Martin Jara, myself and three other friends arranged many of the student house parties on campus, eventually deciding we would invest some money into making something special. Driven by our love for organizing student parties and our entrepreneurial spirit, we decided to invest some money into making something special: we rented a local basement on campus, some lights, DJ equipment and we held an open invitation party for free… With only a week of marketing, the event we packed the basement with nearly 300 students!
A: And after that success…
T: …We received a call a few days later from a local club asking us to organise events for them, and with that call we had our first paying job as Love & Lust!
For this first ‘job’ we wanted to provide an experience that no other club provided in Umeå, and with my experience at the Thailand Full Moon parties we jumped at the chance to do a UV paint party. Since then our UV paint concept grew in Sweden exponentially before jumping to Ecuador, Italy and Hong Kong. And it also helped provide us with our company motto of ‘paint me a love story’.
A: Why ”Love & Lust”?
T: The name ‘Love & Lust’ was chosen by Martin and I as a ‘theme’ that represented an attitude rather than a dress code; we wanted to be more than just a company that provided unforgettable parties, but also a company that stood for something and provided its followers with the ability to contribute to cause. The message we spread as Love & Lust Movement is to ‘Love & Lust every moment of your life!’, and to do this we try support the message with the promotion of creativity, taking risks, doing what you love, and simply spreading love.
A: And here is where your Love Campaign comes in.
T: Exactly. We developed a simple yet emotional concept to try bring a little more love and warmth to the cold and dark Swedish North with a HUG campaign where we would go downtown and offer free hugs to everyone. Making this video was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, both embarrassing, when many people would reject a hug, but also so fulfilling when the first child runs across the town square to give you a big hug!
A: So, you started from something very little, a student party as many. But things got bigger and bigger…
T: Truthfully we did not expect anything really in terms of international success. We started this company, and still drive it with the same passion we had as students, which is to do something we love and enjoy. We are so privileged and happy about the success we have attained, but we still have visions and goals that provide new heights to reach in the future.
T: Right now Love & Lust Movement is run by Martin and I, but that is not to say we do it all by ourselves! Martin is currently doing a fantastic job with many events in Ecuador while teaming up with an old friend Bastian D (owner of Dancing Shoes Productions). The team over there is doing an incredible job developing Love & Lust Movement as both a event organizing power, but also a musical force with original musical productions from Bastian D.
In Italy we have the ever charismatic Alessandro Tedesco, who is our first franchise host of Love & Lust Movement, and is in charge of developing the concept there in Italy.
Lastly there is myself, who I am in charge of taking the reins of the company here in Sweden where it all started. I am lucky to have such a great team here who supports me in the organization process but also by executing the events themselves. Musically i am also teamed up with a musical talent named Kaytech (Patrik Evelönn), who provides Love & Lust Sweden with original mixes as Bastian D does so well in South America.
A: Which do you think is your main strength, the one distinguishes Love & Lust from other similar organizations?
T: We have had many competitors believe that they can do what we do, however to organize a Love & Lust event takes a lot more then UV paint and some glow sticks. Our strength lays in our marketing and branding image; we have been able to develop and keep developing an image and attitude that people are able to connect with and get excited about. We are not just an event organizing company, we are a movement which people want to join, which is probably one of the best feelings as a CEO.
A: Let’s talk about the future so. What are the plans or the next events you are planning?
T: Italy is putting in its first events and growing very nicely, while Ecuador, teamed with Bastian D, is strongly developing the music aspect of Love & Lust which is taking us to roads that we didn’t even consider before. However here in Sweden I am developing the tours that we take on, from a mere two cities to trying to book up to 8, 9, 10 different cities in one go. On top of that in Sweden we have developed a very strong relationship with the brands Jack & Jones and Vero Moda, and this coming year will be big in relation to these partners. All of which we are very very excited to see pan out!
Asking about the possibility to have new interesting collaborations, Terry told us that ”any further information cannot be given right now”. So, let’s have patience, and wait for next news and amazing events from the Love & Lust’s world.
Thank you very much to Terry Wayburne for his kindness, and availability!