Claudine Kayitesi will put the glitz and glamour in that most special day women dream about – their wedding day.
Born to the late Venani Kabasha and Verdiana Kampundu in Gakoni in the Eastern province, the youthful looking Claudine is the last born in a family of seven. She attended Gakoni Primary School and later joined Lycee Notre Dame for secondary school.
In April this year, Kayitesi, 36, started work as a wedding planner after years of owning a supermarket.
“Even as a child, I loved organisation. I wanted everything to be done in a certain way. When I grew up, after attending many weddings, that light bulb went on in my head. I decided it was time to help people organise their weddings better.”
“It still beats my understanding how customers pay for service and still have to run after the providers to deliver! It shouldn’t be that way especially when dealing with something as hectic as a wedding,” says the wedding planner.
At Be Happy Events, her company, customers are a top priority because that is just the way it is. As she says it, without customers, there is no business. There are so many things that need to be well planned before such events.
“We might not be experts but if you come with an already planned program, we advise accordingly. Some customers already know what they want and simply need us to draw out a plan for them. We never turn down advice on how to be better or shy away from suggestions. Whatever the customer wants, the customer gets because we value them so much”, she says earnestly.
Since starting this line of work, the mother of two says business is good, and she attributes this to the good relationship she has with her customers.
“This job might seem simple but it needs more time and money than people realise. When I have an event, I have to have everything set at least a week prior to the event, but getting everything together is sometimes seriously stressful.”
Often, people refuse to follow their passions because of the fear of failure. However, Claudine did not let her passion go untapped.
“The super market was good business, however, it was more my sister’s passion than it was mine. What I do now is more than just a dream, it’s true passion because I believe I have that magic touch and nothing makes me happier than to see a bride smile from ear to ear on her perfect wedding day.”
“I know some people will succeed regardless of whether they are doing what they love or not; I just think following you heart’s desire is priceless,” says the cheery Claudine.
Her hectic schedule doesn’t get in the way of her other responsibilities as a mother and wife as she always makes time for her family.
“Most of my leisure time is spent with family especially the kids because I don’t want to lose touch with them. If I let that happen, my sweat and the fruits of my labour would be for nothing,” concludes Kayitesi.