Monday 18 February, 2019

Young People in Business: Elisa and K'ron pair love and business

Photo: K'ron and Elisa Clarke, taken by Lee Tung and Thomas Studios.

Photo: K'ron and Elisa Clarke, taken by Lee Tung and Thomas Studios.

What’s it like to run a business with your spouse?

“Well we haven’t killed each other yet,” Elisa Clarke joked.

Far from being at odds, the couple's bond seems to have grown stronger as they take on the challenge of not one, but two businesses within the event management industry.

Elisa, 28, and K’ron Clarke, 33, are young business owners with an impressive background in event management.

K’ron, who owns and manages Gasp Events Ltd, has been in the business of supplying linens for the event management industry for 10 years, while the company has been operational for the past four years.

The couple, who have been married for three years, said they received so many requests for help in planning weddings that they recently launched Adriana Weddings, an event management company designed to help brides and grooms achieve their dream wedding.

The couple said the journey as both a couple and business partners has been challenging, but they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Elisa has taken control of the management of Adriana Weddings, which after just a year has grown considerably, as the company has just completed a project in the Bahamas and is due to embark on more overseas projects later this year.

(Photo courtesy Adriana Weddings/Stanlo Photography, taken at Atlantis, Bahamas.)

For Elisa, being life partners as well as business partners has only helped to strengthen their determination and resolve.

It has its good moments and bad moments, just like everything else. I think the main thing is that it takes a lot of patience, and you need to understand that everyone has their role to play. Once you’re able to establish that then things become much easier.”

“We always come together at the beginning of the day when we get up, say our prayers, and then we go over the things to be done. I set out my part, he sets out his part and then we just get to work.”

“For the relationship side of things, it’s a lot easier, but there is that risk of losing the romance while getting caught up in the work. You find yourself always involved in work because it’s such a huge part of your life,” she said.

Because of the nature of the event management business, the couple’s busiest periods are often during public holidays and weekends, so while others are relaxing, this is the most hectic time for them.

“We enjoy what we do, but sometimes that makes it harder to break away. Sometimes it’s overwhelming…I think that’s the biggest problem, trying to find that balance,” she said.  

“It’s not a simple matter and it’s never going to be…as time progresses you realise it’s just about trying to enjoy each day together,” she said.

(Photo courtesy Adriana Weddings/Stanlo Photography, taken at Atlantis, Bahamas.)

There’s no time off for young entrepreneurs

Although the businesses are growing, this growth did not come easily. Elisa said she always admired how dedicated and focused her husband was on growing his business, in every way possible.

“You really need to put the effort in. I remember in the beginning, and even now, K’ron will walk around with his branded t-shirt to go and lime. He lives his brand and it’s something I’ve always admired, and it’s something that people take for granted.”

“People always say you all are so young and you’re doing so well with the businesses and all that, and I said ‘it doesn’t just happen. He lived his business for 10 years and that is something that is difficult.

“Every year there’s some new challenge and we need to keep pushing, we need to go above and beyond, for every day we work,” she said.

That means for this couple, holidays are few and far between.

“There are only a few days in the year where we say, ‘Ok, we’re taking a vacation, we’re going somewhere’, because we’re always working…people might say ‘I’ll work from Monday to Friday but I’ll take the weekend off’, but in events, that life doesn’t exist. Your work really starts on the weekend.”

“In our line of work we constantly need to go above and beyond to gain and maintain our clientele…you have to have that extra edge, you have to have something that makes you stand out, and I think we’ve found that niche,” she said.

(Photo courtesy Adriana Weddings/Stanlo Photography, taken at Atlantis, Bahamas.)

The best wedding is the one you can enjoy

Elisa and K’ron have learned several lessons not just from planning weddings, including their own, but from working together.

“Some brides tend to get worked up and stressed, they know what they want and they feel like it will be a disaster if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.”

“The number one thing I would say is to relax. It’s more about enjoying the process, you’ve finally reached to this point with your loved one, it’s something beautiful, and it’s something that doesn’t happen often.”

“You were so lucky to find this person who wants to be with you for the rest of your life, and that’s a special thing…don’t forget why you’re there.”

“The day itself goes by so quickly, it flies past like that, for me, it seemed like a blur,” she laughed.

She said the second thing would be to be clear with family and loved ones about one’s needs.

 “Let everyone know what you want, whether it’s a small or large wedding, those details can come from sitting down and having a discussion. You don’t need to have a huge wedding, but if that’s what you really want, have that talk with your family and see how you can budget around it.”

“That’s another factor, budgeting is something that brides can get stressed over, but the main thing is to strike that balance. It all boils down to what you would like to focus on,” she said.

(Photo courtesy Adriana Weddings/Stanlo Photography, taken at Atlantis, Bahamas.)

Adriana Weddings and Gasp Events Ltd continue to grow

Elisa said Adriana Weddings has recently gained momentum with several regional events, while Gasp Events Ltd continues to grow in the event management business.

Gasp Events continues to be a choice for supplying material for large corporate events, and the couple continues to ensure that each event fully satisfies the needs of their clients.

As for Adriana Weddings, there are several projects planned this year which the couple is excited about.

In October Adriana Weddings undertook a regional project in the Bahamas working with a team of decorators, designers and planners for an online magazine (see here: https://bit.ly/2uM32Rb)

“We worked with a team of some of the best wedding professionals on the island. Everybody really put all of their effort into it, it was just stunning.”

The duo is due to take on a project in the Dominican Republic in May and has several other projects planned, including a bridal show in the Bahamas.

“It’s really exciting,” she said.

Nevertheless, the couple’s main focus will always be their special bond.

Elisa said that pairing their businesses alongside their marriage has helped her to find her true passions.

“It takes a lot of strength and a lot of time to understand more about yourself. That’s something I didn’t understand until I got married. You need to know what you’re about and what passions you have,” she said.

K’ron expressed pride in his wife’s dedication to the businesses.

“I’m proud of Elisa, she’s worked really hard to get Adriana Weddings to where it is right now, I’m really impressed with what she’s done with it so far…I feel like she’s able to give me that added perspective in business, especially on the bride’s side of things.”

“If you have a partner in life as well as in business then you’ll always have the support you need and you’ll always be able to give that support,” he said.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he said.

For more information on Gasp Events visit them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/gaspeventsltd 

For more information on Adriana Weddings visit them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/adrianaweddings

Visit them on Instagram: www.instagram.com/adrianaweddings

 

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