With 10 years experience and a diploma in events management Keenda has a sizeable portfolio of events under her belt. Her expertise spans from organising conferences, exhibitions, courses, literary events to social events, themed parties, dinners, charity galas and royal college balls.
2012 was a great game changer for Keenda, as her internship with Style and Elegance Wedding and Event Coordination in Canada helped her realise her calling into the wedding world.
So here she is now running her own wedding business, loving very minute!
“I am so lucky to combine my love of travel and events by doing destination weddings which has so far taken me to Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.” Keenda
Female Entrepreneur Q & A
What made you decide to start your business and become a female entrepreneur?
It sounds cliche but I knew I wasn’t made for the 9-5 life from a young age but decided to confirm to the norms anyways and get a job like everyone else and pay the bills etc. However, every role I ever took on never gave me any real job satisfaction. It wasn’t that I wasn’t good at my job, it just didn’t make me happy and I felt stifled and unable to use my creativity and entrepreneurial flare.
With no job satisfaction at work I dabbled in freelancing in events and wedding planning on the side of my full time job for years. I didn’t do anything major but it was something I enjoyed and got great feedback from. I knew then I wanted to eventually be my own boss and run a wedding and event planning business.
My catalyst moment happened when I needed to bounce back from a break up after a long term relationship. I knew I had to keep myself busy and channel my energies into something positive.
This is when I discovered Female Entrepreneur Association (FEA) run by Carrie Green. I signed up and did the Mission for March 2015 activity registering my business and launching my website. This was only the start of my business journey and so much has changed since then.
A friend recently said to me, you are not made or meant to be an employee! Since then I have taken it upon myself to commit to this self employed life as a female entrepreneur and continue following my dreams.
What was the process of turning your idea into reality?
It all began with Mission for March 2015 when I started to invest time and money into my business. With the accountability of FEA, I paid to have a logo and website designed and launched and put myself out there. This was a difficult time because I wasn’t getting any full paying clients, everyone wanted discounts and I was beginning to doubt myself and my worth. Bare in mind I kept the security of my full time job whilst trying to pursue my dream job. My motto then was work hard play hard!
My second catalyst moment came in summer 2017 when my mental health was affected when a job brought on my anxiety and depression. I had a complete revelation and said no, I’m not doing this anymore! I am not driving myself into the ground making money for someone else. It’s time to make a change! This happened again recently and I have now quit my 9-5 job determined to succeed as a female entrepreneur, doing a job I love and am passionate about.
How did I make that leap you ask? I came across GSD society run by Lisa Johnson from Just Own This and well the rest is history. I found myself resonating with Lisa who was a wedding planner and business coach, the perfect person to point me in the right direction and that she did!
I finally took the leap from doing it as a hobby job to investing in it as a real business. Since joining GSD Society and having 1:1 business coaching earlier this year I have changed my mindset and rewired it for success through learning about goal setting, strategy and doing a lot of work on ideal client. For the first time since launching my business in 2015, I only began to understand and grow my business through learning from Lisa and others in the group.
In November 2017, I attended Planning Redefined, a wedding planners training course across a 3 days workshop. This training was invaluable in so many ways and has contributed to where I am today. You can read more about my story here Planning Redefined In the Spotlight Feature.
March 2018 saw me rebrand and relaunch my wedding business which is continuing to grow and I am excited about where it is going! I have had my work featured in two major UK wedding blogs Bloved blog and Coco Wedding Venues blog and have connected with some amazing female entrepreneurs in the industry.
This gives me the segway to talk about my second business as Ambassador of GSD Offline – London. This is a female entrepreneur initiative aimed at focusing on face to face networking and training via group coaching with like minded business women.
The teachings and networking with such amazing women who are in similar situations has been invaluable within GSD Society. So when I saw the opportunity to make the same impact offline, I knew I had to apply for the GSD Offline – Ambassador role and what a great location to have, London baby!!
I want to reach out to as many female entrepreneurs as possible and give them the same opportunity to unlock their potential for success. Being self employed isn’t easy and running a business alone sucks, so why not have a community that has your back?! We are here to support and lift one another. GSD Offline. It’s networking, just not as you know it!
What ways have you marketed your business and which has worked the best for you?
They say choose one social media platform and do that well! I am currently concentrating on my Instagram to build my like, know and trust factor with my audience. Also this is where my ideal clients would be as creative design-led types as it gives them an insight to my work and offers them inspiration.
Through Instagram I have had other wedding suppliers contact me to collaborate and well as enquiries. The link in bio function also allows you to drive more traffic to your website. This is where I am focusing my efforts on next through blogging and upping my SEO game.
What’s the one thing you wished you knew at the beginning of your journey?
You have heard me mention it a few times and I wish I knew about it before I started my business. The importance of understanding your ideal client, it literally dictates all your other business decisions. By knowing who you are selling to, you can then create a brand and marketing strategy that speaks to them. Without identifying your ideals clients you are appealing to everyone which is not what you want. You are basically taking a stab in the dark if you don’t know who your target audience is!
What’s your daily workday like?
I recently joined the 5am club and have committed to time blocking my work schedule weekly to coincide with my goals. I have a morning ritual that consists of:
- Starting with lemon water to hydrate myself
- Between 10-30 minutes of yoga depending on my needs for the day
- Affirmations and learning through reading/podcasts
- Healthy breakfast
I normally start working by 7.30am and aim to finish by 2.30pm. That way I can still do things I want to do. The whole point of becoming a female entrepreneur is having the flexibility to work the hours you want. It is about working smart and having the work life balance you want, otherwise what’s the point of being your own boss.
Obviously this is the ideal daily schedule but changes time to time depending on busyness and other life commitments!
Have you got a favourite quote or mantra that keeps you going?
I am a big fan of mantras and motivational quotes and often post these on my Instagram feed.
This year I set myself two mantras:
‘Growth’ and ‘I’m worthy of success’
Both of these sayings have been prominent in my mind when working on my business this year and I think I am definitely going in the right direction because of it!
My other two favourite mantras are:
“Be fearless in pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”
“I can and I will, watch me”
If you could offer one piece of advice to the ladies out there thinking of starting or just starting their entrepreneurial journey what would it be?
Just start and do it, you can work it out along the way! Most people hold themselves back trying to perfect everything before starting and end up procrastinating and making excuses. All you need is the idea (even if it’s not fully formed) and self belief, the rest you will learn.
Get out of you own way, work on your mindset and take the leap today. It’s a scary journey but worth it.
“What if I fail? Oh but darling, what if you fly!”
If you could have the help of anyone who would it be?
I would love you outsource a lot of things specifically maintenance of my website, blogging and my social media management and SEO and marketing.
Also if I could have Lisa as a coach forever that would be awesome!
To build a life for myself that I love, that makes me enough money to do the things I love, buy the things I want, treat my friends and family and invest in future businesses.
My life as a female entrepreneur and business goals consists of:
- Being fully booked for weddings in 2019 and becoming an award winning planner.
- Empowering other women through the GSD Offline programme and beyond.
- Travelling more through destination weddings and just because I can.
Our vision is romantic weddings with a quirky twist injecting the personalities of our individual couples into their big day.
Our mission is to create intimate design-led weddings for stylish couples, where ordinary isn’t an option!
whole empire that is driven by our ethos, and is based on three fundamental values.Connect verb (k’nekt) Form a relationship or feel an affinity
Learn verb (l3:n) Gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.
Flourish verb Grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment.
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