I often wonder what it takes to be a real ‘boss babe’ and the journey behind a success story. Meet Yasmin Kurt, a twenty-something who recently went out on her own to start her own events business ‘The Wonders of…’. The full-time receptionist based in Cardiff, who runs a successful monthly blogger networking events business says she initially, she “didn’t really know where to start, how to contact companies to collaborate with them or didn’t have anyone around who was also blogging so it all felt very daunting.”
Yasmin, who also enjoys going out to dinner and cocktails with her friends, describes them as her “support system”, a much-needed asset to the pursuit of happiness I say. I think when you’re on an adventure that involves your dreams, it’s important to surround yourself with humans who are going to help you, whether that’s collaborations, mentors or in fact as Yasmin points out, her friends.
In this interview, she tells me what initially drove her to go it alone from her event job in London, exactly what it takes to run a business on your own and the empowerment you can feel when you get it right.
Hi Lovely, you’re the owner of The Wonders of… what made you initially think of starting your own events business?
It’s going to sound so cliche but it really was a lightbulb moment. I was going through a bit of an ‘I don’t know what to do with my life’ phase. I had been living in London for 2 years working in Corporate events and all I really knew is that I wanted to do something more creative. I had recently quit my job and had booked a one-way flight to Asia to do more travelling and I had this idea that I would blog more while I was travelling. I found starting a blog quite difficult, I didn’t really know where to start, how to contact companies to collaborate with them or didn’t have anyone around me who was also blogging so it all felt very daunting. I had 8 weeks back home in Wales between leaving London and going travelling and I was doing some temp work and it was actually while I was on the motorway driving home from that temp job that the idea came to me – I just thought if I’m struggling with this, there are going to be others struggling as well so why not build a supportive blogger community through events. I did some research into Blogger events and found that there weren’t many out there unless you lived in London and even then I didn’t come across many. I then went off on my travels for 3 months and didn’t do anything with the idea but as soon as I got home I enrolled on the Prince’s Trust Enterprise Course to learn about Business, got my logo designed and got to work organising my first event which was in April this year and it sold out within 2 weeks. The feedback has all been so positive so there’s no way I’m stopping now.
One of the lessons that I’ve learned from this whole experience is that you always need to take time to think, I can honestly say that if I stayed in that job in London or went from that job straight to another job this idea would never have the chance to come to me. It’s so easy to get to a place where you think you are too busy, but I think we should all be taking time out of our days for ‘thinking time’.
How do you think The Wonders of… mission is different to others?
I find that a lot of Blogger events/communities out there are focused mainly on established bloggers & brands and are invite only, whereas with my events I want everyone to be included so whether you are just starting your business/blog or whether you are highly established everyone is welcome and able to purchase a ticket. Basically, I just want to build a supportive community while creating a fun & friendly environment.
You’ve worked with brands like ‘Delicious Monster Tea’, a British based bespoke T-Shirt business, have you got any more amazing collaborations lined up?
Yes, Claire (owner of Delicious Monster Tea) is an absolute babe & I love what her brand is about. I reached out to her when I was organizing the launch event and she donated one of her T’s as a giveaway and then she agreed to speak on the panel at my 2nd event. I’ve been so happy with the brands that have got involved with the giveaways & goodie bags at the events like Spectrum Collections, Cole & Co, Flamingo Candles, Pop a Ball & Miss Patisserie to name a few. There will be more amazing collaborations but I don’t want to give too much away just yet.
I think it’s an amazing thing you’re doing; holding down a full-time job and running your own events business, what’s been highs and lows so far of your journey?
Aww, thank you. I work part-time, 2 days a week (a girl’s got to live while starting up ha) – I’m fortunate that my mum has let me move back in with her while I’m building the business.
The highs would be the adrenaline rush I get while running an event, it’s always so exciting to see the event all come together and every time I see that a ticket has been purchased I still do a weird happy dance. It’s also amazing and a bit of a ‘pinch myself moment’ when amazing brands want to collaborate on the events. Especially for the Launch Event when all I had was an idea to tell people but so many brands got involved and I’ll forever be grateful for them believing in the idea.
I think the main low is that it can be lonely and if you’re feeling demotivated or overwhelmed there is no one there cheering you on to pick you back up. There are times when I’ve sat there & thought should I just call it a day but then I remember my whys and it kicks me back into action. When you run a business you will experience the highest highs but also the lowest lows.
You’re a CEO B.I.T.C.H (ha!) what advice would you give to anyone wanting to be their own boss?
Ha! I think my advice would be that if you have an idea that you are really passionate about, just make a start on it. The thing is no one is ever really ready or knows 100% what they are doing. It’s all about learning as you go along & surrounding yourself with a supportive group of like-minded people. Networking is so important for you & your business.
A massive tip I would give is to get every single idea down on paper – When you’re just starting you are always going to have new ideas and what I was doing so that they were out of my head was to start working on them straight away, but then I found I was working on all of these ideas and couldn’t keep up with everything and felt ridiculously overwhelmed. I couldn’t keep up so I just took a massive step back, refocused & now I write everything down on paper so that there is more of a structured plan rather than ideas floating all over the place and it has helped so so much.
How do you feel other aspects of your business, like your interviews, adds to The Wonders of…?
They help build a sense of community and set the tone of what The Wonders of… is all about. I want people to feel comfortable to purchase a ticket. A lot of people are putting themselves out of their comfort zones coming along to these events so I want the events to feel like a catch up with friends rather than going to an event full of strangers. I think that being present on Social Media & the interviews all help with that.
You’re currently based in Cardiff, do you see yourself expanding to, for instance, events up in Cheshire in the future?
Yes, definitely – I will be taking the Bloggers to meet Brands events across the UK so watch this space 🙂
You have a beautiful theme and I think it really suits your aesthetic, how did you come up with the design?
Thank you so much, I really appreciate that. I really wanted my logo & branding to reflect me and for as long as I can remember I’ve always been obsessed with Aztec/Mediterranean/Turkish prints. I’m actually half Turkish so I feel like my logo represents that as well as my love for travel. Turquoise & pink are my favourite colours so I always knew that would be the colour scheme.
The style of my logo is actually really on trend at the moment, a lot of restaurants/bars are using Turkish style tiles as decor as well as people having it in their homes as bathroom/kitchen tiles so the timing has worked great for me haha!
Okay finally, just one more thing I want to know…suppliers…where do you get your stunning backdrops and decorations for your events?
When looking at venues, I like them to already have something quirky about them that can be used as a backdrop. A lot of the decorations that I use, I actually just find on eBay. I have also purchased backdrops and other decorations from Ginger Ray – they are a party supplier and have some amazing Insta worthy products. I would love to work with local suppliers in the future though.