Meet Ms. Nahla Al Mahmood, Founder of LalaBella Events & Flowers
Lalabella was a complete coincidence. The company I was working in shut down unexpectedly and that was really devastating for me. Being a workaholic, finding myself unemployed wasn’t something I was looking forward to. I always wanted to have leadership positions and leave an impact where I worked. But all of a sudden, my dreams were paused and gone with the wind.
I was depressed for 3 months. But I guess life had other plans for me. I used to do weddings and functions for family and friends. It was one of those weddings that changed my life. It worked really well especially for an inexperienced wedding planner like me and everybody loved it. So once I lost my job, I had these people contacting me to do events for them. But for some or the other reason, I kept rejecting all of them, and in fact shutting all doors. That’s when my husband sat down and spoke to me. He told me this is something I could do until I find a job. But I didn’t want to do anything for the sake of it. So the very next day, I went to the commercial registration office and registered my company. Even the name Lalabella was chosen out of the blue. It was just to prove to my husband that I could do it.
Yes, the Lalabella you see today started this way – after being challenged and with absolutely nothing in my bank account!
The UNIDO entrepreneurship program that I had taken during my last year of university actually helped a lot in shaping my entrepreneurial skills, along with other International women dedicated entrepreneurship programs in the United States. Apart from that. I didn’t have any knowledge in the event planning business. I had to read a lot and take courses to be prepared enough to conduct events. There were lots of challenges from managing finances to finding the right employees. In the beginning, we even had to put in extra investments so that we could create a good profile. Nobody’s going to approach you when you have got nothing to show. Finding the right people to help you run and grow the business is very important. I had quite a tough time finding florists with whom I could communicate well enough.
I remember, there was this time when Lalabella was almost on the verge of shutting down – we didn’t have cash, we couldn’t pay the bills or the suppliers and we didn’t know what the issue was. Later, when we found out the reason, it made me realize the issues of not having a proper system to handle my accounts. I had to learn it the hard way. We had to invest more to get all the systems right and I fired all the employees and started hiring again. It was a big decision, but I knew I had to start right. I have got a couple of both personal and professional influences in business. My family and friends are my personal consultants and there are other professionals in the same field who have helped me a lot.
Lalabella is not a commercial wedding planning company. We work to have personal relationships with our brides and all our corporate clients and create designs to their requirements. Before I take up any project, I want them to trust us. Once they do, I make sure that they get the value of the money they are investing in. That is why we affirm that this event planning company is all about passion and providing a memorable experience.
I started a business with no business plan or without studying the market or the business. But looking back, I can say It was one of the most amazing decisions I have ever taken. Those three months of depression turned out to be a new beginning for me. I think that is the beauty of being a risk-taker – it brings out your real personality and since then, I have been my own boss!