Today I want to share with you one of the experiences that has shaped me and my career as a creative entrepreneur in Ghana.
Years ago, soon after we launched our Event Planning business we decided to add Event Design to the list of services PlanIt Ghana was offering at the time. When we signed on our second client we could not wait to design their wedding reception. It was all super exciting!
We approached a well established Ghanaian wedding stylist who also stocked beautiful vases in her retail shop. The response we received on our second visit was one I will never ever forget. One after another, every single item we had placed in our shopping basket was taken away from us. Yes the items were on sale but they weren’t “available” to us. But why? Finally the shop attendant admitted she had been given instructions not to sell to us. I was confused. Why?! She shrugged. As competitors we couldn’t be seen using the same elements in our work that they did.
I left the shop with every drop of dignity I had left – tears rudely stinging my eyelids. It was a difficult pill to swallow but I was determined to show strength. To date I have never faulted this business owner for it. She felt a natural instinct to protect her space and I respected that. As women we often feel a need to hold on to everything we have because were so tired of others taking and taking and taking from us.
But I was determined to change the narrative. I have always been a believer in inclusion in community over competition and in the message that beautiful things happen when women support other women. It is one of the reasons I created Planners’ Hub – to encourage educate and inspire. If you would like to join our new community of event professionals, you are more than welcome to pull up a seat and be a part of the change. Yes you can sit with us babe! There’s enough room for EVERYONE.
Your Event Planning BFF, Gloria. xoxo