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Creative Corner by Pomwene Hamalwa

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“Your Reputation is Your Integrity — Don’t Compromise It.”

Pomwene Hamalwa is an entrepreneur and owner of Creative Corner Events cc. She hails from the Ohangwena region, where she attended both primary & secondary school –at Etomba Combined school (Grade 1-7) and Ongha Senior Secondary School (Grade 8-12) respectively. She went on to obtain an Honors Degree in Digital Communication Technology (2016).

Since the year she graduated, she attained CompTIA certifications and worked on acquiring her driver’s license, hoping this would boost up her resume and help her secure her dream job. However, the job hunting journey continued unsuccessfully for her, as she couldn’t seem to find a job that she was satisfied with. This was when Pomwene made the decision to delve into Event Planning and with the founding of Creative Corner Events in 2018, she never looked back. She is currently working towards becoming a Master-Certified Event Planner, which would then equip her with the necessary knowledge and experience to create even more professional events.

Tell us about Creative Corner Events, the products & services you offer and your team.

“Creative Corner Events is a company, founded in 2018, that specializes in events styling and décor. CCE provides its clients a breath of fresh air in the event planning market. We work with the client’s vision & budget, and provide them with the best of our creativity, professional expertise & knowledge of sustainable practices. I am a well-rounded planner with the tools to create signature events with the goal of exceeding client expectations every time.

We offer setup & décor for:

·      Kiddies themed birthdays;

·      Christening/baptisms;

·      Bridal & baby showers;

·      Picnics;

·      Graduation parties; and

any other events & functions.”

Currently, the CCE team consists of the owner, Pomwene, and two young, passionate & highly-trained assistants. CCE’s goal is to expand the team as the business itself grows.

What inspired you to start this business?

“Since I graduated in 2016, I’ve been job searching and I couldn’t seem to find a satisfying, secure job. I took up jobs in various sectors and most of these jobs, if not all, were contractual jobs and were outside my field of study. This encouraged me to try entrepreneurship. I started this business to cultivate financial independence for myself, as well as follow my dreams and fulfill my passion for DIY and being creative with everything I do. Following one’s dreams can fulfill you in a way that working for someone else may not do.”

What do you enjoy most about being your own boss, and did you always know you wanted to delve into entrepreneurship?

“I enjoy having a schedule that’s mine alone. When you’re working for someone else, your work hours are at their discretion. When you work for yourself, you have the freedom to control your hours and schedule. I also enjoy the broad creative expression; when you’re the boss, you can express your creativity in your day to day life. You can try out new strategies and find ways to make your business better – and you’re the one that will benefit from that creative thinking.

Growing up I never dreamt of being an entrepreneur, but as I grew up and due to my life experiences, I was keen to delve into entrepreneurship.”

What sets your products/services apart from those in the same industry?

“I believe that I come up with innovative concepts for our clients’ events and that is what makes us different. Delivering details and creativity sets our work apart from our competitors.”

What challenges have you encountered on your entrepreneurial journey and how did you overcome some of them?

“The main challenge I have encountered on my journey is funding to help grow my business. There have been so many ideas I could not execute because of lack of funds. I overcame this challenge by just saving the little income I was making and I kept investing it back into my business.”

What is your business philosophy?

“Your Reputation is Your Integrity — Don’t Compromise It.“

What advice would you give to someone trying to break into this industry?

“Just start. Start where you are with what you have, don’t wait for the perfect time because it might never come. Beginnings are the hardest, but the journey will be worth it eventually, just put in the work and you will see results.”

How important is networking as a growth component of any startup?

“Networking is important for growing your business because it helps you gain connections, generation of referrals and partnership opportunities. It can also boost your communication skills and increase your access to business resources.”

What role does your startup play in 1) contributing to society and 2) in nurturing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Namibia?

“CCE contributes to the society by bringing growth and innovation to the community. We also help stimulate economic growth by providing employment opportunities to people who may not be employable by larger corporations.

CCE will have its first balloon décor, styling and sculpting training in November. This will be an amazing opportunity to encourage people that want to enter into the events décor industry and help them acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to grow their businesses and create jobs for future generations.”

What recommendations would you make towards the improvement of the operations of startups?

“I believe there is a lack of resources, information and funding for the youth to start & run successful businesses and create job opportunities. This might actually be the main reason why the youth are starting their own businesses. More workshops and seminars are needed to improve the operation of startups and encourage those with a love for entrepreneurship. Lack of startup funding is mostly why a lot of people are sitting at home unable to execute their amazing ideas.”

Startups in Namibia, and all over the world, are facing an unprecedented crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic; how has your startup adjusted to the situation and/or assisted in disseminating information, combatting the spread of the virus, etc.?

“The events, décor & wedding industries are suffering and it has led to a major decrease in work, as all three are based on the need for people to gather, to assemble. The COVID-19 crisis has made it difficult for large groups to gather. As the pandemic continues, the government has placed restrictions on large gatherings and has asked citizens to follow proper social distancing guidelines. Due to this, many clients have cancelled or postponed their events and that has led to a loss in income. We have been struggling to keep our business up and running during this unprecedented time and this has made me struggle with paying my two employees. In March & August, the business was completely shut down because it was only gatherings of 10 people allowed. Other months we were open but we did not make as much revenue whereas before COVID-19 we were booked almost every weekend.”

Email: Info.creativecornerevents@gmail.com

Cell: 081 428 8459

Facebook: CreativeCorner Events

Instagram: @creativecorner_events

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