BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
Whether you’re planning an extravagant and luxurious affair or taking a simple-yet-elegant approach, it’s all about the decor when it comes to creating the perfect mood and ambience for your wedding.
Scrolling through Instagram you can find inspiration for days, decor options, an unlimited sea of elegance and style, and in order to make your dreams a reality it’s important to find a decorator who knows how to bring your vision to life.
Canadian-Guyanese entrepreneur Nafeesa Mowla-Dyer always knew that she would one day own her own business. Coming from a long line of small business owners and entrepreneurs her family set the bar for her to be her own boss in the long run.
“My parents were very social people,” Nafeesa shares. “They used to do a lot of entertaining, organizing house parties and social events, and I grew up watching my mom put things together for all of these occasions.”
Her large West-Indian family allowed her the opportunity to attend all manner of lavish engagements, especially weddings.
By the time Nafeesa decided to pursue her post-secondary education at Humber College, she had already started her business at the age of 19. “Originally it was Princess Decor and Gifts, specializing in home decor and gift baskets,” Nafeesa explains.
At Humber she enrolled in their Business Administration Program, also taking courses in HR to get into Human Resource Administration as a fall back if her business plan didn’t pan out.
“I knew that one day I would have a business to run, but I also wanted to be prepared to take a corporate job if my business didn’t work out,” she shares.
Nafeesa says that her education taught her how to run a profitable business, something that would help her overcome many of the problems that new businesses encounter, failing within the first five years.
“I learned how to invest in long-term profit, managing insights in purchasing, and how to price things in order to make a profit,” Nafeesa says.
For the first two years, in the building stages of her business, she worked for nothing, but also carried a full-time job to fully finance her business herself.
“I paid for my own education,” she says. “Working and going to school gave me the financial freedom to do what I wanted to do but having that responsibility to take care of my business as well ensures you spend your money properly and you save.”
Nafeesa’s business began to take off after she was asked by one of her cousins if she would be able to help with some of their centrepieces and head table decorations for their wedding.
“I agreed, as I had experience working with home decor, and I was working at a wholesale place that sold decor and silk flowers,” Nafeesa says. “I helped them to put the centrepieces together including my Princess Decor contact stickers on the bottom.”
After the wedding, she started receiving phone calls from people who were looking for help with their own wedding decor. From there it snowballed into a business, taking form with a contract she received in 2007 at a local banquet hall allowing her to decorate events hosted at the hall where she gained experience doing anniversary parties, birthday parties, and weddings.
“In 2008 I went back to school and got my floral design certification after receiving a request for fresh florals,” Nafeesa says doing whatever it takes to help her business grow.
“It’s a blessing to have started when I did as it gave me the opportunity to do a lot of things that allowed me to fast track my life in certain ways.”
Princess Decor offers an inexpensive way to light up the room hosting your special event. “We’re mainly a floral and decor company and we specialize in weddings, but do cater to other events,” Nafeesa says.
“We provide full stage decor, fresh floral centrepieces, fresh floral bouquets as well as linens and tabletop designs.”
Design plays a very big aspect of the work that Nafeesa does especially working with florals and stage designs. She works to make every style different and unique to her client’s vision.
“I do over 150 events each year so there has to be something different, new, fun and exciting for each event,” she says. “Every event is so different, even if they have similar aspects, it’s always a different venue or colour or table set up so each event is unique in its own way.”
Princess Decor is almost 85% referral based and the amount of weddings and events they decorate each year speaks to the great work that they have done and continue to do.
“I enjoy meeting people, and talking to people, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I’m a very social person so meeting people and making long-term friendships is a wonderful part of this business,” Nafeesa shares.
“One of the hardest things I had to learn about in this business was importing, the process of getting a GST number, importing license, and bringing over something that I hadn’t seen, trusting it was good quality and pre-paying for it in nonrefundable wire transfers,” she says.
The risk of having to import things from the other side of the world becomes a stressful learning experience in business, but it has helped to grow her business in terms of options that she can offer her clients.
Wedding decor doesn’t need to be intimidating. Princess Decor brings you regal designs painted in class, elegance, and style with everything you could hope for your wedding and more designed specifically to your vision. They are in the business of turning dreams into reality, working closely with their clients to completely transform any event space to suit their needs.
They provide a number of decor services that includes Backdrops, Head Table Décor, Stairway Décor, Crystal Backdrops, Centerpieces, Mandaps, Nikkahs, Bar Mitzvah, Bridal Showers, Anniversaries, Birthdays, Fresh Floral Designs and so much more!
If you can imagine it, they can create it and customize to make your wedding space unforgettably breathtaking. Their stunning creations and attention to detail will definitely make your next special event one not soon forgotten!