On the year that I turned 21, my social media timeline was filled with photos of lavish 21st birthday parties almost every day.
At the start of the year, I was actually looking forward to celebrating it just as grandly. But it got to a point where I felt so jaded about birthday parties because I kept seeing these photos on my Facebook and Instagram.
In the end, I invited only my closest uncles and aunties and cousins to my home and had a quiet, cosy 21st birthday celebration.
Even for my 25th birthday party, I held it at a chalet in Changi.
On hindsight, it was also very inconvenient for my family and friends to come all the way to the east.
I wish I could’ve thrown a slightly bigger party so my best buddies could join in, but I had to consider entertainment, logistics, and most importantly, the cost.
Then, a colleague introduced Cloud9 Events to us, and now I’m already planning for my next excuse to throw a party.
The Party People
Cheryl (24), Sebastian (24), and Charmine (26) incorporated Cloud9 Events in July this year and started operations on 21 August.
In her previous stint in the corporate sector, Charmine noticed that corporate events were usually held at restaurants, bars, and hotel ballrooms which needed a lot of time to plan, organise, and ensure guests are entertained.
She was casually chatting with Cheryl and Sebastian, in the financial planning sector and an NTU undergraduate respectively, one day and they shared about their experiences at friends’ birthday parties.
They also noted that these parties were held at chalets, hotels, or function rooms.
This led them to realise that there’s a gap in the event space industry, which they thought had great potential.
So they pooled together just a little under $50,000 of their savings to start up.
Cloud9 provides for almost all kinds of events, from corporate to personal parties.
Their 2,900 sqft loft has a pool table, darts machine, foosball table, karaoke machine, and even a swimming pool and sauna!
It’s practically a Room of Requirement – but for events.
They received their first booking after a week of starting operations.
“We were really excited to welcome our first guest and thankful that they were willing to give Cloud9 Events the opportunity, even though our loft wasn’t fully furbished yet,” Charmine said.
Party Poopers And The Life Of The Parties
Of course, every entrepreneurial journey won’t always be completely smooth-sailing.
Charmine told me that some of the challenges they faced were getting manpower, limited funds, and lack of exposure.
“One of the greatest challenge we faced as a team is the tight startup capital as we needed to transform a 2,900 sqft loft unit into a unique and cosy event space with entertainment amenities right from the start,” she said.
They managed their budgets carefully and sourced their furnitures and equipments from places here and abroad, and managed to stay within budget without compromising the loft’s aesthetic.
To save costs, they roped in their friends to DIY the flooring and the walls.
The other big challenge they had was the exposure.
Charmine explained, “We believe that every good business idea needs exposure to get people to appreciate it. Other than social media and cold marketing efforts, we collaborated with several event spaces platforms to maximise our exposure.”
Although they are hosts of an event company, they are not event planners.
To provide their guests with an all-rounded, one-stop event solution space, they work with catering, photobooth, photography, and dessert table vendors.
With new startups, starting up without any support can be really tough. So collaborating is a good way to build relationships, and both companies mutually benefit from each other.
As a team, they would always try to “add a little personal touch” with their service.
They value their clients and would go down personally to facilitate the guests when they arrive and when they leave Cloud9.
Charmine said that their guests have come up with unique and different themes which were also an “eye-opening experience” for them.
The most memorable event they’ve had so far was by PoleLAB, a pole dancing school.
They held their third anniversary at Cloud9 recently, and organised a mini pole dancing competition within the venue with their portable dance pole.
“The entire performance was impressive. In short, it was ‘lit’,” Charmine remarked.
Ultimately, she hopes that Cloud9 will stay as versatile as possible and continue to provide a safe, happy place for everyone.
At the moment, they are in the midst of starting a costumes rental business and are looking to expand their operations overseas next year.
For enquiries and updates, visit their Facebook page here.
Featured Image Credit: Cloud9 Events