Event planner emerges from tough period stronger
Disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic meant no work for three months for event planning and decor enterprise Just Dreams.
But it also brought opportunities and has allowed business owner Cyniqua Anderson to forge ahead stronger and more adaptable than before.
Before the public health crisis hit, she had decided to make 2020 a year of progress by enrolling in the Ignite programme for entrepreneurs. Shortly after it started it switched to an online set-up.
“It went very well. Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, it changed how we did things. We could no longer meet in groups,” Ms Anderson said.
“It was unfortunate that the pandemic happened while we were in Ignite. But what made the experience better was my enabler Laura. She was really good over the few months we worked together — a good ear and a good person to turn to for advice.”
Just Dreams started as a hobby in 2017, and became a business the following year.
Ms Anderson heard about the Ignite programme when it was launched, but did not sign up in the first year. After seeing the businesses that emerged from the programme, she enrolled in the second group.
“Just Dreams is my full-time job now, and I was looking to grow the business, that’s why I signed up for Ignite,” she said.
“Just Dreams is an event management and design planning company. We specialise in wedding event designers and planners. I started off doing smaller events, birthday parties, baby showers, Christenings. I still do those kind of events, but now have progressed to larger events — weddings, corporate events and functions.”
She added: “We great pride in each of our events. We strive hard to exceed clients’ expectations. We can arrange everything from start to finish because we are designers and planners. Clients have the option to do one or the other, so you can hire us to design and decorate the event, or you can have us arrange catering, DJs, transportation and anything that is required.”
Ms Anderson is the only full-time member of staff, but she has a small team, mostly family, who work with her.
“We can also plan a wedding for a client from start to finish. In 2018, we did our first wedding. And 2020 has been a really good year for weddings for us. Even with the pandemic we have been able to get some weddings in this summer, which has been great.”
For Just Dreams, the pandemic meant no work for three or four months.
Ms Anderson said: “Mother’s Day was the first day back. We started doing small events of ten people or less on Mother’s Day, and we have slowly started to do larger events. We had a wedding about two weeks ago with about 50 guests.
“It has been a good summer, because people were spending time at home and could not go to restaurants, clubs or parties, so they have wanted to have a lot more functions at home.”
The business has been kept busy during the summer with smaller, intimate events. Ms Anderson has grown to love these type of functions as it allows the opportunity to put in even more detail and time.
Regarding the benefits of having been part of the Ignite programme, she said: “I’ve become a more organised business owner, and I guess a braver business owner — a better promoter of my business, trying new things, exploring different avenues for Just Dreams.”
One of those new avenues is a wedding enterprise offshoot called “Something Blue — The Wedding Collective”. Ms Anderson was born and raised in St George’s, and is in touch with the local wedding vendors and clients.
She said: “We have a lot of great wedding venues such as St Peter’s Church, the Unfinished Church, and we have a lot of great vendors in St George’s that provide services for weddings.
“My goal is to create a market of these St George’s businesses, where clients basically have a one-stop shop for finding information for booking events for weddings in St George’s.”
• Just Dreams has a website at https://www.justdreamsbermuda.com/ The business can also be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com and by calling 504-8427. The Something Blue website is https://www.somethingbluecollective.com/
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