Innovation and enterprise blog

19 February 2021

Meet Yasmine Thomson, founder of YCM Events

YCM Events is a forward-thinking event styling business, specialising in balloon and floral displays. Providing creative theming and venue décor for social and corporate events. The innovative styling aims to meet every brief and budget, whilst reflecting the clients’ personalities and maximising the aesthetic qualities of a venue. Yasmine’s vision is for YCM Events to become the go-to event stylists for our style conscious generation.

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The catalyst for how YCM Events came to be was through the untimely death of Yasmine’s friend in 2020. As an Executive Assistant, Yasmine regularly organised corporate events, however her friend’s funeral allowed her to showcase her creativity and encapsulate his personality through bespoke venue decor and floral wreaths on a very limited budget. Everyone who attended the funeral was so impressed with what she was able to produce that this spurred her on to look into doing this professionally, especially as it was something that she enjoyed. Yasmine was also motivated to start her business after doing some research recognising that there was a gap in the market for her innovative ideas and designs.

'The Start-ups in London Libraries project helped me tremendously, I attended all three sessions and completed the programme. The sessions helped me to pinpoint my target audience, identify how best to access them, aided with building a business model canvas and receive advice from experienced entrepreneurs. The sessions filled me with confidence that it was possible to start up my own business.

I loved that the individuals running the sessions were experienced entrepreneurs as their knowledge and insight was invaluable. During the session breaks, we had opportunities to ask questions specific to our businesses. Loretta is amazing, she’s passionate and a walking book of knowledge for all things business. I’ve had 1-2-1 sessions with Loretta where she has answered my queries and steered me towards relevant resources. Loretta’s advice has really helped as I was incredibly hesitant to start my business given the nature and the fact I would be launching during a global pandemic. Amazingly despite this my business has really taken off. 

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Advice I would give to anyone looking to start a business- do your research! It is so important to know the details e.g. what insurance or licenses you may need and really underpin your brand’s identity and who your target audience are. I’ve also learnt it’s important to build relationships with businesses within your field, as in my experience I have been passed clients, jobs, added to networks and received great advice from seasoned businesses as a result. Another gem I’ve learnt is how invaluable marketing is. Promote your business! This has been my focal point and having a clear marketing strategy has opened many doors. I have been approached and commissioned by music artists, social media influencers, presenters and producers to curate beautiful balloon installations, floral displays (otherwise known as ‘Instagramable’ backdrops) at amazing venues such as the BBC Television centre, ME London and the Shard (just to name a few) all during a global pandemic. My work has also received recognition as I was awarded ‘TEC Best Balloon Display 2020’.

The first year for any business is always difficult, however adding a global pandemic into the mix makes it that much harder. With COVID19 restrictions hopefully easing up soon, I’m excited to see where we can take YCM Events.'

For more on Start-ups in London Libraries and how to register for our upcoming workshop, visit www.bl.uk/SiLL.