Afia Bayayi is a florist, event designer, and founder of Afmena Events. Afia never underestimates the power of a beautiful backdrop, but her client's stories remain at the forefront of her approach to design.
Afia reflects on her journey into the industry, the importance of setting boundaries, and the timelessness of elegant design with the help of an old wedding day tradition: something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue...
Following a passion
I decided to pursue a career in event styling whilst on maternity leave with my firstborn.
I was thinking of careers that would enable me to work on my own terms and I had always done styling and flowers for friends and family, so it occured to me to work with what was already in my hands.
I registered the business whilst on maternity leave and have never looked back since.
An image says a thousand words
When I first meet a new client, it is important for me to know both what they like and what they don't like. I ask my clients to send pictures of their inspiration to help me vibe with them, their tastes, and their preferences.
At Afmena events, our signature style is "elegant". I've never seen elegance go out of style, elegance can be applied to any design era or movement.
Throughout my career, I have learned that it is important to learn how to say "no" to certain jobs and opportunities. Some jobs show red flags from the beginning, the signs are always there but we often pursue them anyway—perhaps out of desperation or wishful thinking.
However, it is important that we listen to our gut feeling because these are jobs that we'll end up resenting or regretting.
License to create
When building a colour palette, I consider my client's preferences and the complementary colours. I use these as a base and create from there.
It is always awesome when my clients give me creative license—it's so much more fun that way.
I'm expecting bold colours to be popular next wedding season, and I'm here for it. Blush is pretty, and white is classic but I'm a colour-burst type of girl—it lends itself to creativity a lot more.