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Known in her circle of friends as their personal “go-to David Tutera,” Amanda Saint-Val (pictured left) launched her events decorating business, Primrose Couture LLC, five months ago. Despite doing local events for free, Saint-Val’s business and clientele is growing rapidly with the help from her co-business partner and sister, Andrea Gilgeous (pictured right). Together, the two have crafted events for celebrities such as Nene Leakes, Lady Saw and Remy Ma to name a few. Because of their success so far, MadameNoire inquired about how a hobby became a full-time career and income for the newly-married Saint-Val. Below she gives us insight on how to build favorable relationships with clientele.

MadameNoire: Why did you launch your business?

Amanda Saint-Val: I had an epiphany one day that I cannot keep decorating events for free. I would always do birthday or milestone dinners and celebrations, but one day I thought to myself it would be better to start charging people. Also, my friend who is also in the business in Maryland helped and supported me to launch Primrose Couture LLC.

MN: What was your prior career? Were you afraid of transitioning into something new?

ASV: Prior to launching my own company, I studied and graduated from New York University’s Business Administration program. I also studied nursing at CUNY City Tech and became a Registered Nurse. I didn’t necessarily transition into a new career per se because I would decorate events on the side for a long time. Even for my wedding, I created the concept I wanted and decorated the various wedding events myself. The only transition I would say would be financial to be honest because I work on my business full-time; my husband didn’t mind me quitting my job to launch Primrose Couture LLC. He supports me, no matter what.

MN: How do you recruit and retain your clientele?

ASV: The majority of my clientele comes from social media especially Instagram. I highly recommend if anyone has a business to be present on social media in order to recruit loyal clients who can promote your work. Social media drives my business because the most calls I receive from potential clients say they saw my work on Instagram. Or if I am working at one of my events, potential clients speak to me about decorating an event for them because they admire my work. Because of all the promotion and recommendations, I have been working every weekend.

MN: What is the most challenging aspect of running a business?

ASV: The biggest challenge, currently, is getting people to pay the amount that I charge for what I know my work is worth. It’s been five months since my company has launched and I know compared to other decorators I am inexpensive. Sometimes I will do free events in order to showcase my work, to build client rapport so people won’t ask themselves, “She charges $5,000?! For what?!” I told my sister Andrea, who is also my business partner, that it’s important people know that we are also trying to cater to people in our community who want what they see on TV but at an affordable rate. So, I will charge between $600 and $700 minimum because currently my competitors are charging over $5,000.

MN: What demographic do you cater to?

ASV: My initial goal was to bring sophistication to Brooklyn-based events where I know people can enjoy their visions coming to life without breaking the bank.

MN: How has launching your Primrose Couture affect your marriage and other relationships?

ASV: Since launching my business, I have had to focus more on what I do during my day instead of going out and partying. But that transition also came with the territory of being married. I am finding that I bond more with other women who have businesses, so I am becoming obsessed with how to take my business to the next level. I still have my friends but our conversation has changed to more important things.

MN: If you were to gain a mentor, what advice would you give them about starting your own business?

ASV: My greatest advice to any woman starting a business is: Make your business your focus and be creative in ways to stand out. Also you have to make sure you have the business aspect together in terms of your Tax ID and business name registration. You should also give your business a trial run to be sure you want to be dedicated to it. Also it would be beneficial to have taken a business course in order to be up to date with what is required of a business.

Check out photos from PrimRose Couture Events on the next page!

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