By Paris Silva
Like many people, Paris Silva worked in the corporate world before embarking on her ambition to become an events planner. With her last salary, she bought a cheap printer, a working laptop, and some office supplies, and started stalking her friends on Facebook—finding out who just got engaged, who’s celebrating a birthday soon, and more.
Today, she shares how going after what you love fuels her ambition to make The Event Tent a top, preferred event management team.
To me, the word tent means roof, house, or home. I want people to know that my company, The Event Tent, has everything they need in one roof. Moreover, I want my staff to feel that we are a family working together. The Event Tent is our home, it is a place of love and passion.
We handle the event management for birthdays. We help stage the perfect wedding proposals. We coordinate weddings. Our office is anywhere with a decent internet connection. We meet our clients in hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, and even at the beach!
If you ask me what makes our business stand out, my answer would be this, “We do all things with love.” I left the corporate world with no savings to start this business because I knew this is what I love. I hired people to work with me based on how they love the craft, and not because they need a job. In fact, all our team members are currently employed. They work with me because they love events, not because they need the money.
Another reason why I think The Event Tent stands out is that we go the extra mile to make an impact on our clients. We deliver high-quality service and a love of love! By the end of each event, we’ve not only gained another client to add to our portfolio but also a friend who loves the way we took care of them.
Tell us your story. What ignited the spark in you to start this business? When did this happen?
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved celebrations and seeing people have a wonderful time. I love being in charge, being of service to others, and working behind the scenes in school and church programs. So, friends and family members have asked me to help plan, coordinate, and host birthdays, graduation parties, Christmas parties, and debuts. My experiences made me realized that this is my gift and this is what I want to do.
Eventually, my love and passion for events management inspired me to study and learn more about parties, weddings, and other events. After doing a couple more events while still being employed in a fashion company, and as my vision of a future career developed, I knew that all I really wanted is to be an event planner and wedding coordinator. With the help of my friends and the support of my family, I left the corporate world and started The Event Tent. I am proof that “love makes you do crazy things!”
How did you obtain capital? Were there investors? If yes, how did you entice them into believing in and investing in your idea?
Honestly, I started the business with the last salary I got from my previous employer and a whole lot of courage. That money was enough to buy me a cheap printer, a working laptop, and some office supplies. There were no financial investors, just my closest friends who believed in me and my family who prayed for me as I start my new career.
How did you build your customer base? What form of marketing has been most effective for you so far?
I started posting our services online and checked Facebook all the time to see who’s celebrating their birthday, who just got engaged, and who’s getting married. You can say that I stalked my Facebook friends a lot. And after getting just two weddings and a proposal, word started going around about our team.
What skills do you believe are necessary in handling a business?
Leadership skills, patience, and people management.
What would you say are some dos and don’ts in starting one?
– Don’t force it. There is a perfect time to start a business. Do pray about it.
– Don’t let your dream and passion scare you. Do believe in yourself. You are your number fan! Go after it because you’re good at it and you love it!
– Don’t let other people’s failure scare you. Do learn from them.
– Don’t do it just for the money and for recognition. Love what you do and the money will come. Do it for the primary purpose of glorifying God first.
Was there ever a time you felt afraid that this might not work? How did you manage this fear?
Of course, I quit my job to do this. So I really had to make sure that it works! I didn’t let fear scare me, instead, I allowed it to encourage me. I convinced myself that it will all be worth it. If your dreams do not scare you, then they are not big enough.
Describe a typical day for you.
Each day is different. I can be out meeting with my clients at a coffee shop, or at home meeting with my clients over Skype.
How many hours of work a day do you put in? How many days per week?
I try to not work the whole day. I try to at least work 8 hours. It really is difficult when you love your job so much that it really does not feel like work at all. I normally work 7 days a week because my work does not end when the event ends.
What sacrifices have you had to make to get here?
I guess I could say that I poured out all my hours because I started the business alone. So I lost time for myself and for my loved ones in the beginning but it was worth it.
What can you consider is your greatest success?
My greatest success is having a team of hardworking individuals who share the same passion as mine. The Event Tent is nothing without my team.
What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
I am the boss. Period.
What motivates you?
One word, love.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
My parents. They showed me what love means and what must be done to fight for the things and people that you love.
Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
I see The Event Tent as one of the top, preferred event planners not just because of the success but because of the good relationships we’ve built and have maintained with the industry suppliers and also the clients.
What piece of advice can you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Don’t let life pass you by. Dream big dreams, be bold, this is your time to step out of that comfort zone and live the life you want. Are you ready?
Edits: Kath C. Eustaquio-Derla | Image Credit: Paris Silva
Paris Adele Silva loves everything about weddings. She is the founder and owner of The Event Tent. And through her personality development workshops, she teaches people how to practice self-love and be the best version of themselves. This is her way of making the world a better place.