1.Your name and what do you do?
My name is Ridhwan Abdallah Ahmed. I am a wedding decorator based in Mombasa.
2.What was the most unique wedding you ever decorated?
A wedding I recently did in Malindi, it was simple but unique in its way.
3.Where do you get your designing styles?
90% percent of the designs & styles are my own, I stay late into the night coming up and drawing new designs. The rest I get from the net where I do modifications to change the looks.
4.What is your secret for staying calm under pressure, and how do you deal with day-of disasters?
Our work has a lot of pressure, there is no way out if you fail. The best thing to do is to relax as you go on with the works, don’t receive calls until you are done.
5.What’s the biggest wedding mishap you’ve ever encountered and how did you deal with it?
My cousin sister’s wedding; we completed the work a little late than expected due to internal and external pressure. I apologized for being overwhelmed.
6.What’s the cost of the average wedding décor in Mombasa?
Wedding decor can be as cheap Kshs 10,000 and as expensive as 150,000 depending on the clients’ taste and requests
7.What have you gone through before this business and currently?
I tried my hands on several businesses and failed but l never gave up because giving up is not my style. All the businesses I did failed after a year or so but here I am Alhamdulillah By Allah’s Grace am rising the tough steps. Believe you me I started this business with only Kshs 3,000, lots of hardship and a raw deal from competitors was what made me strong by the day. I usually believed if they can do it even though they had liquid cash why cant I do it with the little income am generating. I ventured widely deeper into hiring events equipment which made me better than most. My clients are very satisfied with our work which is a reason we are staying above others in the list. Lastly but not least my wife is my pillar of this biz. I owe her everything this biz has achieved.
8.In Mombasa, the wedding halls are limited, what advice would you give to someone wanting a unique location?
Mombasa is the only county in Kenya where Afro Swahili/Arab/Asian weddings take place in halls in big numbers due to the fact that the large populace being Muslim. Due to the respect of tenets of religion many are obliged to do them in halls though there are other outdoor venues where they can be done in that respect too.
9.Being an entrepreneur, What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Success comes in many ways but these ways are the best. Be innovative: often come up with newer strategies, products and services and grab opportunities by the horns whenever opportunity knocks. Patience and perseverance and keenness these believe me are the major skills that make an entrepreneur. Be a risk taker as entrepreneurship is all about risk taking but risk it the right way.
10. Parting shot:
Alhamdulillah wassalatu wassalam ala rasulillah. Every business has positive and negative sides of it. Take the positive and be positive. Persevere and be strong. I always believe “Falling and failing Isnt the end of the world” so don’t make it the end of your career . I fell and got up and fell and fell but got up and here I am today rising the business ladders step by step. There is no success if there is no failure.