Planners come in all manner, shapes and sizes, but none like Damilola. The first time I met her she was self effacing, very confident and responsive to the client we were both working with at the time. It was a 2 year old’s birthday party and she was working magic with the Doctor Seuss theme. We got talking and it turned out she has more layers than an onion.
She is a health consultant for an international development agency. They support Nigeria in the areas of human security and achieving the MDGs (Millenium Development Goals). The work also includes providing infrastructure for Nigeria’s sustainable economic growth. Not bad at all!
This is a far cry from the typical stereotype in event planning circles. Her event planning company is called “DioPartyland” which she started about a year ago because of her passion for kids and event planning. So she decided to merge both.
Wait! Why am I interviewing a kiddies party planner for an online wedding planning platform? Because of Damilola’s innovative party ideas! It turns out that at weddings now, people also have children’s play areas! Dami says many industries have been evolving recently and so have our ideas about how events are staged. Some couples now want to make it easier for their guests to bring their children to the wedding!
To achieve this, they provide a safe and interactive play area with a little set up for the kids at the reception hall. This is perfect because the kids don’t need to be left at home. Now everyone can enjoy the day! Both adults and kids alike. This is something DioPartyland looks forward to doing in conjunction with Abuja wedding planners. The play area would come with a childminder with extra decor for an additional amount.
Where do these inspirations come from?
For her it was clear that she would always do something around parties and children. The process hasn’t been all easy. She credits her passion as what has kept her going whilst juggling a regular job with her business. Damilola’s greatest motivation comes from the ability to create something from nothing. She loves being able to execute something perfect and unique.
As a planner, she knows that her creations will not only be enjoyed on the day of the event, but that they will always be remembered fondly afterwards.
“…It’s also rewarding to know that through this business I am able to empower others who work with me no matter how small…”
My turn to ask questions again…
“So with the challenges you’ve experienced, if you were to start all over, would you start the business again?” I asked her… “And what would you do differently this time?”
I like her answer especially since we’re now in the age of “serial entrepreneurs”
“…if I were to start all over I wouldn’t do anything much differently. This is because most of the challenges I have faced have to do with things that are unavoidable. For example, the challenges of finding a reliable and an affordable clearing agent, as well as dealing with outrageous custom charges. I’ve also had to deal with identifying the right suppliers abroad with unique and affordable items… and so on and so on. As time goes by, I have learnt through the process and I believe these challenges have more or less been a great learning curve for me…”
This is really beautiful! I remember thinking to myself. If only we would all think this way!
What differentiates her from others in her line of business?
She says knowledge of her brand, her business and her competition are essential. Her company has been creative and innovative with their growth. They initially started off as a rental company and now have diversified and expanded in a short period of time to include events… especially a “childcentric” view of events.
“We literally serve as your one stop shop… we do it all from kids party rentals, styling and selling of party pieces to basically any vendor or DIY client. You can get everything required from us to create a party or hire our services to style the perfect party… this makes us different.”
With that in closing, I’m looking forward to being the photographer at a wedding where she pulls off this imaginative child play area concept… especially since we’re beginning to have 3,000 seaters in Abuja which would be large enough to handle multiple sectioning.
And now ladies and gentlemen! I introduce to you, my new friend Damilola the event consultant!