Today we’d like to introduce you to Siba Dalati.
Hi Siba, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I started out as a baby event decorator by helping out my children’s elementary schools. I was a fixture in their classrooms every other Friday for art projects and when I became more involved with the PTA that evolved to me helping decorate banquet halls for graduation ceremonies, outdoor casual teacher appreciation days, and even classrooms for Multicultural Week. Essentially, a lot of it, and my life really, revolved around my kids.
But eventually, they started growing up and I wasn’t as needed anymore. And being so attached to them, I started to worry that my attachment might cause me to be an obstacle in their growth and their path. So I was looking for an outlet for those feelings – a sense of purpose – and with that came the idea of turning that hobby into a business. More importantly, by starting a business later than the average entrepreneur, I wanted to set an example for my children; there’s no real timeframe for when you find your dreams or when you set out to accomplish them, that if you were passionate and determined that there was no age limit or obstacle that would prevent you from chasing after that goal.
But the real trigger I guess was the buildup of feelings that happened when COVID hit – it may seem cliche, but the way things changed so quickly made me feel like I didn’t want to waste any more time dreaming when I could be doing instead.
And now I’m just over a year into this crazy ride – and yes, I’m still calling it crazy because it is still very rollercoast-ery – but I couldn’t be happier getting the chance to throw myself into something I really, truly enjoy every single day.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I would not call this journey, no matter how wonderful, smooth at all.
One of my biggest challenges had a lot to do with the way I started out. Once I made the decision that I would be an event decorator, that I’d make a business out of it, I didn’t really do a whole lot of planning beyond that. I set up the Instagram page but I had no basis for the makeup or organizational structure of my business, any of the pricing, how to get clients, any of that. While there is a plethora of videos on YouTube on how to make a balloon garlands or how to create floral centerpieces, there was a definite dearth of people who would be straight with me about how they set everything up. So the learning curve was pretty steep but time and experience were far better teachers than I could hope for.
So if there’s any advice I would give people looking to get into the business is to try and reach out to people who have been doing it for a while because while they are in the same field, they don’t necessarily have to be your competitors. There is no lack of event decorators in LA but everyone, myself included, brings their own vision and touch to the table and that means that there will always be new clients for everyone depending on the style they want represented in their event.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am an event decorator. But honestly, that one title doesn’t even begin to cover the number of hats I wear every day when I am putting together an event for a client – I am also a woodworker, interior designer, balloon stylist, middle woman, graphic designer, and avid Pinterest aficionado, to name a few. So when people come to work with me, this plethora of roles allows me to offer them an all-inclusive experience from the day they first reach out to the day of the event that I believe helps to truly bring their visions to life.
One important motto I like to keep in mind when I approach an event or project is “Innovate, don’t replicate”. It’s a motto I know a lot of other people have and but it holds no less true for me. Like I said before, there’s definitely not a shortage of event decorators out there, or in Los Angeles, but what sets me apart is simply the fact that I always seek to create something new and fun with the client’s theme because at the end of the day I am a creative. It doesn’t take much effort for me to create a unique event for the client because in my mind, the ideal client trusts me and my vision enough to tell me to take their idea and run with it. It’s so easy on Instagram to see someone else’s lavish, gorgeous work and approach another decorator and ask them for that specific thing. I could 100% deliver that. But honestly, events like that don’t happen when a client is regimented in their ideas; it happens when clients give an idea to their decorators of what they want and what their budget is and then they let us have fun and just create something new and special that’s just for them.
That along with the memories I get to see my clients create at the events I’ve done for them has got to be my favorite part of the job, by far.
Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
You can check out some of my previous work on my Instagram @bysiba_ or on Tik Tok at the same handle. I have a link in my IG bio that lets you fill out a tiny questionnaire of what you’re looking for which you can find here at rb.gy/q4hrb3 and once you fill that out, I’ll happily get back to you ASAP!
- Instagram: instagram.com/bysiba_/
Some of the images are from the lovely Petra Persaud and the others have all been taken by me.