October 23, 2016
A profile written by Laurence Anthony Ignacio
Timeless Elegance is an event management company that provides complete services from A to Z for all kinds of occasions, particularly weddings and corporate events. We have an all-Filipino team with different backgrounds. Brian Carl is our lead photographer, Rian Morada (Chickie) for hair and make-up, Ralph Vendy for videography, and Len Francheska for event coordination and styling.
Prior to Timeless, I worked as a maintenance technician for an oil and gas company in Abu Dhabi. While working and earning from my previous job, I got into photography as a hobby, which then progressed to videography. Ralph, Brian and I were doing freelance photography and videography for weddings, corporate ads and various events.
We met fellow freelancers Len Francheska and Rian in an event, where they too were working as part of the wedding suppliers. We all worked together for a couple more projects.
After one of our events, all of us sat down casually for coffee and somewhere along the conversation we thought ‘why not put up our own business?’ It’s our passion and all of us want to continuously work in the field that we love so it perfectly makes sense.
Our start-up capital is around AED 250,000. We operate as suppliers for weddings and corporate events.
We started by establishing a trade license, in this way we can work legally with our events here in the UAE. Our market is corporate and weddings of different nationalities. Some of our clients are government entities such as Etihad Airways, Mubadalla, hospitals, private companies, banks etc.
Having a roster of 5, ours is a small teaam that can do big things. Our office is located in Abu Dhabi, UAE. We cater to events in all seven emirates and worldwide. Recently we just finished weddings and engagements in Singapore, Europe and Hong Kong. We are booked to do weddings in the Philippines, Paris and Korea by 2017.
The challenges we face
Like any startups, money! During the initial stages, we have to pool our own money to fund everything – office equipment, payment for utilities, rent, license fees, among many others. We also have our own personal expenses to think about, so it was really tough. There’s also the market competition to consider, and the need to build our name in the events industry. But we don’t see it as an obstacle, we look at it as a challenge while maintaining healthy competition.
Currently, our team is busy juggling work for both corporate and non-corporate clients. We are always in our heels beating deadlines, designing for events, hair and make up sessions, photography, videography, and project presentations. Some of our landmark projects so far are destination events outside the UAE.
Being an entrepreneur can be very challenging, but if you operate from a positive perspective, you’ll understand that problems are really just breakthroughs waiting to happen. We’ve had up’s and downs, but so far, the journey has been so rewarding.
The opportunities are limitless when it comes to self-growth, contribution to the industry, and of course profit! The only downside is that we sometimes have sleepless nights because of thinking of strategies and ideas, but even that can be exciting! And because we work in events, we hardly have any regular day offs. We’re always on the go.
Our advice to aspiring entreps.
Like most of us Pinoy expats, we dream about having our own business. It’s just a matter of getting out of your comfort zone and facing the challenges. Once you get started, and like what I’ve said, opportunities are limitless. You just have to maintain focus, take advantage of the continuous learning process, and laugh it off while learning from your mistakes (and there will be plenty). The very first time we presented a project in front of a CEO and his team of managers, we were sweating in buckets. But we managed to pull it off and the feeling was exhilarating!
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