by Sukkum Chemjong Limbu

Brunches, birthdays, baby showers… Susmita Manandhar and Abhishek Adhikari have crafted it all with sharp insight on how to make the events they do extra special. The two college buds turned business partners started their event management company called ‘Gracious Designs’ three years ago.

How did you get into party planning?

Abhishek: We first met at Patan Multiple College in 2015 while pursuing our BBA degree. Meanwhile, Sushmita had her own DIY craft page on Instagram which she had started purely as a hobby. In between those years at college, Sushmita had managed to land a pasni event and that’s when she reached out to me for help. That was our first ever event planning experience. After that, we started getting a few small event decoration projects along with commissioned crafting projects. Fast forward to our final year internship, instead of doing training on financial institutions, we chose to convert this hobby into a small business. In 2019, after completing our studies and having a taste of what events are like, we started our business officially. However, we grabbed Zenisha Moktan’s personal event in 2019. And this was the major turning point of our journey.

How do you bring your client’s vision into reality and what is the process like?

Susmita: The main thing that makes the execution stand out is the materials and the elements we use, and their quality and refinement. The initial days were challenging in terms of not finding the materials and the lack of auxiliary industry needed for an event business. Now, we have managed to install our own machinery to meet the needs. Combining the elements of creative designing and coordinating with the different vendors, allows us to turn our clients vision into reality. 

What goes behind creating such amazing decorations?

Abhishek & Susmita: Quality materials, a client’s vision, and lots of personal and passionate inputs from our team plays a huge role in creating the decorations. The love and joy we find in our work and our willingness to try new and complicated designs makes it possible to do amazing stuff.

You seem to have worked mainly on children’s parties, any reason behind it?

Susmita: There isn’t any specific reason behind it except that from the very beginning, we kept on getting inquiries for kids birthday parties. We’ve also worked on weddings, engagements, anniversaries, and table setups but children’s parties are the most frequent celebrations that we get to be part of. 

What is the event planning and managing business like?

Abhishek & Susmita: From our inception to now, we have already seen a significant rise in the event planning business in Nepal. Although we have a very small market and an even smaller niche audience, we are growing in the right direction, our client base is expanding and people are spending more on celebrations.

What are the essentials to your business success?

Abhishek: The few things you need are creativity which allows you to connect the dots between your client’s requirements and the available resources, then there is hard work and persistence. Setting high standards allows you to always thrive for quality and stay on top of your game. You also need to be street smart and have the ability to compromise often on your personal life and family time.

What are a few trending themes for children’s parties?

Susmita: When it comes to children’s parties the themes are based around cartoons or movies. Some of the trending themes are Cocomelon, Butterfly, Frozen, Boho, Rainbows and Mermaid. There are a few themes that are evergreen and those are Spiderman or superheroes in general, Unicorn, Princesses, Mickey and Minnie. We get to see plenty of raw emotions of kids connecting to their favourite cartoon characters at their parties. Its

Instagram: gracious_designs

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