Cynthia Mufandaedza never had any intention of becoming an event designer, but four years ago she seized on an opportunity to purchase the inventory of another event design business whose owner was leaving town.
Mufandaedza and her husband, Randy Moyo, have been running Best Movers since she and her husband came to Yellowknife seven years ago. Already owning and operating another business allowed her the space to store her inventory and the trucks and staff to take on the new venture.
But even after buying the inventory from the now defunct Fundamentals Unlimited, she did not have any immediate plans to put it to use.
“I was saving it for my daughter Ashley, hoping that she’d be a designer as she grew up,” she said. “That’s where the name comes from, combining design and Ashley. Soon after we bought the inventory, business started coming our way and things started to get interesting.”
She said she was going to stick with it when after she designed a couple of events and people around her started to say she had “the touch for design.”
Mufandaedza started taking classes in her spare time and has since become a certified event designer, florist, draper and balloon arranger.
All things combined Mufandaedza can design any aspect of a wedding or event, but is not involved in any of the planning.
“While, in the case of a wedding, the planners will be organizing the brides shoes, caterer, the disco and everything else, our role is to set up the tables and stages and make the event look beautiful,” said Mufandaedza. “We work to support brides and planners.”
She recognizes her company has the potential to expand in services but wants to stick with what she already offers.
“We are currently in a position to expand into other markets, we have the capacity to incorporate flowers and many other aspects into our business, but decided that we would rather work with other businesses instead of taking it all on ourselves.”
Dash Event Designs works with customers taking rough ideas someone would have for their gala or wedding and turning them into a reality.
“A lot of the time people come in with ideas from Pintrest saying they want to have something like a candy bar or to have their wedding decorated in a certain way,” said Mufandaedza. “Sometimes they will come in with ideas like ‘I want everything to be red’ but as a designer, you have to be able tell them no and work with them until they have something beautiful that captures their idea.”
Also receiving training in designing destination weddings, Mufandaedza says she wants to see Yellowknife marketed as a premiere spot for destination weddings.
“We’ve seen a few over the years but not as many as there could be,” said Mufandaedza. “We have such stunning lakes and unique scenery, there is a lot of potential.”
Weddings are a big business for Mufandaedza, accounting for roughly half of all events she designed last year, most taking place in the summer months.
“There’s something really special about putting on a good wedding,” said Mufandaedza. “There’s a greater sense of achievement when it all comes together. It’s a special day that I’m glad to be a part of.”