Events are very personal occasions and for the clients hosting them finding the right event planner who can create the right experience is crucial. That is where South African entrepreneur Masana Sangweni, founder of Sanaandi Events & Hospitality, comes in. She helps her clients create beautiful and unique event memories that last.
LoA chatted to founder Masana Sangweni this month to find out more….
What does your company do?
Sanaandi Events & Hospitality is a boutique events planning and styling company. We passionately create personalized events from concept to delivery. We produce events for our clients, as well as host lifestyle events. Our objective is #MakingMomentsMemories. In 2017, we launched our online flower boutique, Maua Blossoms, to compliment our event planning services with floral styling for events and home or office deliveries for special occasions. Our products and services include deliveries of flowers arranged in our signature hat boxes, hand-tied bouquets and gift hampers as well as onsite floral services.
"Sanaandi Events & Hospitality is a boutique events planning and styling company. We passionately create personalized events from concept to delivery."
What inspired you to start your company?
My daughters were my inspiration to start this business, hence the name Sanaandi; it is a fusion of all my daughters’ names, Sanaa, Nandi and Londi. I love hosting and planning events, it has always been something I'm passionate about. After working for the family construction business for 10 years, the one thing I learned from my parents is that whatever business you embark on it should be something that you are passionate about, because passion is what keeps you going especially in the beginning before you start making money and during the difficult times. My parents have not only taught me how to and how not to run a business, but they have also been my inspiration. They started the business over 30 years ago and have experienced all the ups and downs of business; they have provided opportunities to start-ups, provided employment and essentially supported a lot of families that till today they are still in touch with.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
I love getting to know people and learning new things, and being an events producer gives you that opportunity. I am professional when it come to my work and produce events that personally reflect who the client is and what they love. I treat every event like it was my own, I dedicate all the time and effort because you only have one shot at creating that lasting memory. All our events are made with love. We offer the best combination of service, client experience and top quality products.
"I treat every event like it was my own, I dedicate all the time and effort because you only have one shot at creating that lasting memory."
"In 2017, we launched our online flower boutique, Maua Blossoms, to compliment our event planning services with floral styling for events and home or office deliveries for special occasions."
Tell us a little about your team
Currently I do not have permanent staff, we hire staff on a temporary basis when needed. I collaborate with other companies that are in the same space with passion for what they do. I have been fortunate in partnering with other entrepreneurs who have the passion, skill and experience in their fields. Being a part of the Accelerator Program with Lionesses of Africa has introduced me to women who I have had the opportunity of partnering with, as well as using their services.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
I started by professional career as an internal auditor, then I started working with the family construction business in 2006 as a finance manager. It was through this experience that I learned that I can run a business of my own. In 2008 I started an events planning company (Blaque Daiquiri) with two of my friends. This was when my passion and interest for events planning grew. Sadly we could only work on and in the company "after hours" as this was a side gig as whilst were all full time employed. After a few years of trying to juggle corporate life, family, studies and Blaque Daiquiri we decided to close the business in 2012 and pursue our individual pursuits...being new moms, wives and climbing the corporate ladder. Even though the business was officially closed, I continue to nurture my passion by hosting small private events for family and friends. In 2016, after working for the family business for 10 years (and turning 35) I had enough confidence to pursue my passion. Luckily for me I was elected to be part of the second cohort of the Lionesses of Africa Accelerator program which gave me even more confidence to start Sanaandi Events & Hospitality.
"Creating events that turn into lasting memories for my clients, knowing that I have met or even exceeded my clients’ expectations and having them talk about those events long after the day is gone gives me great satisfaction."
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
My plan for Sanaandi Events is for the company to own event furniture and accessories in order to add more value by reducing our costs to the client, as we are currently hiring from other companies. Owning our own events venue that will also have a flower boutique so that Maua Blossoms can have a physical presence is our ultimate goal. The plans can we achieved through growth in revenue and increasing our client base.
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
Creating events that turn into lasting memories for my clients, knowing that I have met or even exceeded my clients’ expectations and having them talk about those events long after the day is gone gives me great satisfaction. Having repeat clients, who even refer my services to their own persona contacts, gives me the greatest satisfaction. By being in the entrepreneurial space there always something new to learn, new people to meet, new ideas to make into reality and an opportunity for the pursuit of economic freedom.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, especially in the beginning. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, those who are eager to share their experiences and cheer you on; they don't even have to be in the same industry you are in, as long as they have passion and drive for what they do.
Contact or follow Sanaandi Events & Hospitality
Why LoA loves it….
When you meet Masana Sangweni, you meet someone who is truly passionate about her business and extraordinarily caring about her clients. She puts 100% into her work, translating her client’s eventing dreams into memories that will last a lifetime. She is also a brand builder, creating a boutique flower company that has found its niche, winning floral fans and corporate clients alike. This is definitely an entrepreneur to watch over the coming months and years. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and editor-in-chief of Lionesses of Africa