WOMAN TO WOMAN: How I have managed to run a successful event planning firm

Damaris Too-Kimondo is the director at event organising company Shrand Promotions.

Saturday February 27 2016

Damaris Too-Kimondo is the director at event

Damaris Too-Kimondo is the director at event organising company Shrand Promotions. PHOTO| CHARLES KAMAU 

By ANGELA OKETCH
More by this Author

Q: Tell us about yourself and what you do

I am a certified events and wedding planner etiquette and protocol consultant. Recently, I won the Golden European Award For Quality and Business Prestige. I will travel next month to pick it in Barcelona, Spain. I was the only one from East Africa.

What does your job as an event organiser entail ?

I train etiquette and protocol as well preparing notes and props, coming up with themes and ensuring events go well. We conceptualise the event from the beginning to the end. We plan all types of events be it weddings, kids parties and funerals .

What were you doing before becoming an event organiser?

I worked in a hospital in Eldoret in the PR department.

What does it take to become an event organiser?

Resilience, being able to learn new trends and reading a lot.

Highlight some of your successes

The East Africa Military Games where we had all East Africans military competing for a month and it was graced by high profile guests .

The recent memorial service for our fallen soldiers and Emmy Kosgei and Apostle Madubuko’s wedding.

Tips for start-ups in the industry?

Take time to learn about the industry from experts, listen to advice and criticism, accept corrections and work on it, start small, don’t try competing with the ones who have made it; not all fingers are equal.

Tell us about your background

When I cleared high school I went to look for a job and I was employed at the airport. On the side I started organising fashion shows for Mr and Miss Moi University.

You also started a foundation. Tell us about it

One day I went to visit a friend who told me to accompany her to a girl’s prison. I was so surprised I didn’t know such a place existed. I found very young girls who had committed offences and were imprisoned.

They shared so much and I realised most of them were there because of child prostitution. I opened Rahab Foundation to help the reformed girls.

What motivated you to establish the centre?

The fact that a girl of 12 years tells you she lost count of how many old men she had slept with. I wanted to empower the girls and give them a chance to earn a decent income.

What three things do you like doing?

Praying, baking and reading.

Who is your role model?

My pastor’s wife — Martha Nyangao. She is an amazing woman. She is a great entrepreneur and I have always consulted her when I am stuck either in business, marriage or life issues.

What separates you from other event organisers?

I personalise all events and always imagine what if I was the client? I let supervisors handle the small logistics.

Tell us about the fashion show in Lang’ata Women’s prison?

I started this project long time ago and I do it annually. I wanted to show women that beyond the walls they are still women with beauty. I invite senior people in the law fraternity.

What mantra do you live by?

God is real.

How is your day like?

At times I wish I had 34 hours.

I wake up, prepare the children and drop them to school. I then start by going through mails. When organising funerals I end up doing so much from choosing clothes for the deceased, coffin, flowers, programmes and arranging how the burial will take place.

What do you do for fun?

Honestly, I doubt I have time for fun. My Saturdays are packed and Sundays its church time. I have tried golf but I can’t manage all those hours doing the same thing.

What’s your favourite meal?

Ugali and milk.

Tell us about your family?

I am married to one loving husband. I doubt I can do without him. I travel a lot and most the times he takes care of the children. I have two adorable children.

What is your favourite colour?

Blue anytime.

What car are you?

BMW

What are your future plans?

To open safe houses in all counties.

advertisement