Starting An Event Decorating Business In Nigeria

I have seen some exciting event decorations, and if you live on this planet, you've probably walked into an event venue and thrown your mouth wide open. That's what decorators are capable of.

We had a chat with luxury event decorator Amara Ibeh of White Crystal Decor from Abuja, and she gave insights on what it takes to start your own event decor business, how she has made a career for herself from taking a chance and an overview of what the event Dècor business entails.

  • Tell me about yourself and your business?

My name is Amara Ibeh, and I am the founder of White Crystal Dècor. We are a luxury event decoration company based in Abuja; we work with clients to bring their ideas to life. As a result, we create masterpieces, and we are very detail-oriented; we transform spaces such as event halls into gorgeous sceneries exceeding our clients' expectations.

  • So why did you choose to become a decorator?

It's funny to think about now, but unemployment drove me to create my career path. Besides that, I have always loved the concept and idea of transforming a space into an idea someone else has. I started fully in 2015, so it's been about 7 years now.

  • How did you find that event dècor was the right career path for you?

I like to think that, to be honest, event decor for me was a thing of skill and interest. Moreover, it is the right career path because I have stayed with it the longest and achieved much.

  • What are your favorite things about your job as an event decorator?

My favorite part of event decoration is seeing the outcome, the final masterpiece of your hard work to see the transformation.

  • What are some of the cons of being an event decorator?

It can get stressful, and it is very time-consuming. Because most of our designs are bespoke, we tailor each plan to each client's request. There are times when the time allowed to complete our work is not enough. One time, the venue for an event wasn't ready for us to design until 2 hours before the event.

  • What was your first-ever event, Dècoration job? How did it go?

I got my first job while still working at my Auntie's boutique; it was the wedding of someone I knew. She had just randomly spoken about looking for an affordable decorator to style her wedding. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to decorate and handle the actual event. Initially, she didn't want to give me the job; she almost declined because I didn't have any relevant previous experiences as a decorator.

I finally convinced her to give me a chance, and then I referred someone else to take the job but with me as their assistant. Unfortunately, the person didn't deliver properly, and I had to work on the decor myself with the help of my friend to bring everything together. Nevertheless, it was a learning experience I needed to jump-start my career as a decorator.

It was a free gig, but I met various people I have worked with from there.

  • How can a potential client get White Crystal Decor for their event?

  1. Contact us, which could be through WhatsApp, a phone call or Instagram.
  2. Then we quiz the clients on the details about their event, from guest size to venue size to the style of design a client wants. Each of these pieces of information has its dynamic design.
  3. Then comes the price quotes and then the 70% first deposit. Which comes after all the terms and conditions have been agreed upon.
  4. And 30% has to be paid 2 weeks before the event.

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  • What has been your craziest experience so far in your job?

So far I think It would have to be a wedding I decorated. The couple wanted ceiling installations, but the hall didn't allow it. So we decided to build one from scratch with my team, and everything was fine until it wasn't. The installation collapsed only a few hours before the main event; it was crazy. But thankfully, we pulled through, and the event was a success.

  • How would you deal with a difficult client that kept changing their mind?

So in the past, we had to review our terms and conditions, so it's allowed for client's to change their minds on designs. I mean, the client is always right, but every change and modification attract extra costs. So the price quotes are reviewed.

  • How do you manage your finances?

We manage White Crystal decor's finances as a separate entity from myself. We use a different business account to record all our transactions, making it pretty easy to manage.

  • What counts as income and expense as a planner?

Based on the scope of work, it can be hard to describe. But incomes are the funds that we get paid, and expenses range from the cost of equipment and installations, staff salary, cost of transportation, laundry etc.

  • What defines your success?

As a decorator, my definition of success means exceeding their expectations and success to me means achieving the goals you set your mind to.

Hafeedoh Balogun

Hafeedoh Balogun