Event Planner


Julia Bebiem is a shining example of innovation and sophistication in the event planning and decoration industry. With over 15 years of experience, she has distinguished herself as a true leader known for her excellence, creativity, and meticulous attention to detail. Join us as we delve into the extraordinary life and career of Julia Bebiem and discover the unparalleled contributions she has made to the world of events.

A Journey of Expertise and Innovation

Julia’s foray into the world of event planning began with a passion for creating unforgettable experiences. During her tenure at the South African High Commission, she honed her skills and expertise over five years, managing and coordinating a diverse array of embassy events with finesse and precision. Armed with a degree in English and an MBA in General Management, Julia possesses a unique blend of creativity and organizational acumen that sets her apart in the industry.

A Portfolio of Excellence

Throughout her career, Julia has orchestrated a myriad of events, ranging from corporate conferences to weddings, birthdays, and concerts. Notably, her role as a key coordinator for Trade Mission Events with the Western Cape Trade and Investment Agency (WESGRO) for over 15 years speaks volumes about her dedication and commitment to delivering exceptional experiences. Moreover, her instrumental role in organizing the Annual Christmas Carol, attended by esteemed dignitaries including the Mayor of Brampton, underscores her reputation as a trusted leader in the field.

Community Engagement and Decorative Expertise

Beyond her professional endeavors, Julia has generously shared her decorative expertise with various community groups, leaving an indelible mark on events of all scales. Her natural sense of style and meticulous attention to detail transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary experiences, making her the go-to creative genius for events of any magnitude. From Canada Vendors to the Network of Nigerians in Brampton and the Alliance of Nigeria Entrepreneurs (ANE Global), Julia’s contributions have touched countless lives and inspired awe-inspiring moments.

The Magic of Julia Bebiem: A Talent for Event Decoration

What truly sets Julia apart is her unparalleled talent for event decoration. With an innate sense of style and a keen eye for detail, Julia has the remarkable ability to turn visions into reality, bringing spaces to life with elegance and sophistication. Whether it’s a small celebration or a grand corporate event, Julia’s creative prowess ensures that every occasion is not just successful but truly unforgettable.

 Grandieu Events and Management

Currently serving as the co-founder of Grandieu Events and Management, Julia continues to push the boundaries of event planning and decoration, offering unparalleled expertise and sophistication to clients seeking extraordinary experiences. With a commitment to excellence and a passion for perfection, Grandieu Events and Management has quickly become a trusted name in the industry, delivering unforgettable moments that leave a lasting impression.

At Grandieu, creativity knows no bounds. Specializing in thematic concepts, the team customizes designs to suit each client’s vision and budget, transforming venues into breathtaking spaces. Whether it’s crafting exquisite floral arrangements or vibrant balloon displays, Grandieu’s dedication to excellence shines through, making it the ultimate partner for those seeking exceptional event management and decoration services.

Join us as we celebrate the extraordinary legacy of Julia Bebiem and the timeless elegance of Grandieu Events and Management.

Connect with Julia Bebiem
Phone: +1-438-226-8083
Email: Julia.bebiem@grandieu.ca
Website: Grandieu.ca

What does it take to stand out as a female mixologist in Nigeria? CEO of Lagos-based cocktails design and consulting company, Eventi Cocktails, Lara Rawa has beaten all the odds to become a key player in the male-dominated cocktail industry. An award winning certified mixologist with a passion for creating cocktails, Lara obtained a law degree from University of Lagos and a Masters Degree in International Business Law from Queen Mary University of London and was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2007. In a bold career move, transitioning from law to entrepreneurship, her transition into mixology was fueled by her passion for the art of cocktail making and ultimately inspired by a brief period of unemployment. She began building her mixology career when she decided to establish her very own mobile bar company. Eventi Cocktails is the organiser of Lagos Cocktail Week, a first-of-its-kind event in Nigeria. In this interview, Lara talks about how being unemployed led her to entrepreneurship, the upcoming Lagos Cocktail Week and what the government can do to support women entrepreneurs amongst other issues.

What does it take to be a female mixologist in a male dominated industry such as yours?
From my perspective, I think what it takes is hard work, dedication, perseverance and focus. Though it’s a male dominated industry as you rightly said, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t space for female mixologists. There is, but you just need to show that you’re up to the task, no pity party. Just do what needs to be done and do things the right way.

You switched from law to entrepreneurship, what informed this decision?
I would say it was due to the situation at the time. I always saw myself as a career woman; I never would have thought I would be an entrepreneur. However, at a point in time, I was out of a job, and I was trying to get another but it was difficult. I just thought to myself, “you know what? I don’t like being idle, I need to do something.” I was very versatile at my previous job. I did a lot of things, and I worked with a lot of event planners. So this experience came in handy when I decided to get busy while unemployed. First and foremost, I started to organize events, and then after a while, I realised that the event jobs were not coming in regularly. I just thought that there should be another way out. Then it occurred to me that since I love to drink cocktails, I could actually do some research regarding mixology and start mixing cocktails at events. I reasoned that by adding mixology to my workload, I would at least be working every weekend or every other weekend. So, in a nutshell, that’s how it all happened. I was unemployed and had nothing to do. I didn’t want to be idle, and I needed to get busy and that was how I started my business.

You hold degrees from various schools both home and abroad. How would you say they prepared you for entrepreneurship?
My degrees have armed me with critical thinking and research skills. I would also say that my education has helped me to be very results-oriented. In law, there’s something called IRAC, Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion. I apply IRAC on a daily basis in everything I do, and this has helped me a lot. Most of the time, I do it subconsciously, as it’s become a part of me.
You organise the annual Lagos Cocktail Week (LCW),

how did you come about this?
Eventi Cocktails has been in existence since 2009. In 2014, I became really curious about what was happening in the global cocktail industry, so I did my research and stumbled on the London Cocktail Week, and I thought it would be nice to attend, not as a guest but as a volunteer, to work and see why they do what they’re doing. I sent them an email. I didn’t know anyone there, I just sent an e-mail to the listed contact person I saw on the website. I got a response stating that I was welcome, but I would not be getting paid for my volunteer work. I was like, I don’t mind, I just wanted to come. I bought my ticket, went down to London, took part in the event, and asked a lot of questions. When I came back home, I resolved to do something similar in Nigeria. In a nutshell, LCW was founded based on the premise that we also needed to do something similar to what I had experienced in London. I believed we needed to have an event, an experience in which we could inform people about cocktail trends, international trends, as well as local trends. I saw it as an avenue to educate people and sort of entertain them too. Those are actually the three pillars that LCW stand on, education, information and entertainment.

What will be different about this year’s edition and what can attendees look forward to?
This year is going to be very different. I am working with a couple of bars to create a “Cocktail Village.” We’re going to have a one-day conference that will have an international mixologist attend and facilitate some very interesting discussions and workshops. This year will also be different because we are giving out awards and we’re working with new partners as well. In addition, we’re working with Enterprise Development Center (EDC) to help upcoming entrepreneurs in the industry. We’ve got so much in store and in due time, we will reveal everything.

In your opinion, what are some of the key issues startups face?
I think some of the key issues are financial access and capacity development. When I started, I think funding was one of the issues I faced. But I started from where I was with what I had. I did not let inadequate funds discourage me. I feel that as a business owner/ entrepreneur, you can’t always wait till you have everything before you start out. I would advise aspiring entrepreneurs to start first with what they have, and then in due time, start looking for ways to access funds to expand. I also feel that capacity development is also another issue. This is where different platforms like the EDC would need to come on board to help people put structure into place. Developing an efficient structure in your business can be a huge issue with startups, because you realize that, as an entrepreneur, when you’re first starting up your business, you’re doing everything by yourself. As a result, you’re not sorting out your finances properly and other critical aspects of the business. And this always causes a lot of issues.

You have been a judge on several platforms, how did the experience help you grow?
Bailey’s Bake Fest was actually my first-ever judging platform. It was really fun. I had fun because I was working with chefs, and you know, they had their own terminologies for different things. It was quite fascinating being around them. When I did it the first time around, I was very careful about what I was saying and doing, as I had no prior experience with being a judge. But guess what, by the next one I already learned so much from the previous experience and so I felt very comfortable. I knew what I was looking for, and I knew what was expected of me. I would say being a judge has actually helped my business because in critiquing others, you also get the opportunity to look inward at yourself to see if you’re also doing the same thing or if you could do better. So this has helped me a lot and I look forward to more judging opportunities and speaking engagements.

How important is mentoring for women especially those in business?
Mentoring for women is really important. When I started, I had no one to mentor me; I just went into it without any real guidance. I think the first mentorship experience I had was with Weruche Majekodunmi, Executive Director Newton & David (we call her aunty Uche). She sort of asked me a few questions and she gave me invaluable advice I hold dear to my heart till today. I think what she said to me is actually one of the things that have brought me this far. She said: “You need to learn the craft. It’s not about the paparazzi or having a fancy bar; you need to know your onions, you need to go and study about it,” and that was the push I needed. The moment she said those words was such an invaluable time for me. I feel like if I had a mentor back then, probably, I would have done things in a different way when I first started out. So with the benefit of hindsight, I will say it is really important to have a mentor.
I’m part of the WimBiz mentoring program and I’m mentoring someone right now and I will say that I enjoy it because when you’re mentoring people you’re also learning. I sit down with her; we have timelines, deliverables and deadlines. So, if she’s doing that, then it means that by the time I see her again, I should also have met my own deadline; I should have followed through with my timelines and my deliverables. Mentorship is really important. You can’t take it away, especially for those who are in business. They need that extra push from a mentor. They can learn from the experiences, weaknesses, and strengths you’ve. So, it’s very important.

Running a business cannot be easy, what are some of the challenges you have faced?
Trust me, running a business in Lagos is not easy, especially when you’re in the service industry. Some of the staff I work with are not full-time but contract staff. So you’re always shouting, you’re trying to sell your vision to these people who really can’t be bothered about your vision really. Manpower is the major issue that I face. Also, when people apply for the job and you look at their CV, it is fantastic, but when they come in to work, you realize they really don’t know much. You have to draft the letters yourself, you have to type yourself, and you have to proofread everything. Yet you’re dealing with a graduate. To be honest, I’ve sat down with other people who are in my industry to discuss it and clearly, we all have the same issues. It’s always the staff. It’s a huge issue we face in this industry.
What do you think the government can do to support and encourage women- owned SMEs?
Things that can be done to encourage women, I think is training programs, capacity development and structure. When you go to school, you go to school to get a degree for a certain course. But nobody goes to school to learn to be an entrepreneur. So I feel like programs centered on entrepreneurship that would help women is key. You go for a lot of master classes and everybody gives you all these nuggets, “if you do it this way, you will be successful” but nobody is ready to hold your hand to make sure you actually put such recommendations in to practice. In addition, I think that the government should help entrepreneurs with low interest loans and, possibly, put up some other structures like agencies that could offer on-going support.

Tell us something that has influenced your life and career positively today?
What has influenced my life and career positively today is actually prayer. There have been times in my business when I just thought things were not going to pick up and I decided to be prayerful, to have faith. Another important driving force in my life is my mom. I’ve always looked up to my mom; she has been a positive role model to me. Growing up, I’ve seen my mom work hard and work smart. She never for once sat around folding her arms. Even till now, she’s always doing something. This has helped me so much in my work ethic, because as a business owner, I don’t wait for my staff to do things. I roll up my sleeves, and work even harder. Sometimes people say I did not attend their event, and they feel bad. And I’m like, yes, I might not have been at the event. But guess what, I was working behind the scenes. I know what goes on at every venue and I know about all the items taken to the venues. Why? Because either I sourced for it, or I was there when they were transporting everything. I’m there to make sure that the checklist has been followed to the letter, and this has helped me tremendously. Because I am very prayerful and dogged, I do not take no for an answer. I remember for Lagos Cocktail, there was a period someone had said to me, “No, you won’t be able to do it this year.” I said to the person, “I am going to do it this year. I am going to be consistent. Yes, the funds might not be there. I might have to use my personal funds. But I will be consistent.” And I did it. And later the person said to me, “Look, Lara, I respect you. You do not take no for an answer.” I have a positive spirit. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. No matter what the challenges are, I believe that I can always go over those obstacles.

As an experienced entrepreneur, briefly tell us three basic things women must do or avoid in business?
Three basic things you must do are always take a break, you don’t want to break down. So a break is highly necessary. Second, you must stay focused. You must always keep your eye on the prize. Don’t look left, don’t look right. Avoid distractions. You know why you’re in business, so maintain your focus. Finally, you must be prayerful. You cannot do anything without prayer. Whether you’re Muslim or Christian, prayer is key. Because when the pressure comes, the only way you can look is up and not down.

If you could influence change, what change would you effect for Nigerian women?
If I could influence change, the change I would effect for Nigerian women would be to make ways to see more women in politics and governance, especially in key positions. They understand better the concerns of women and would be able to advocate as well as make better legislations to improve the conditions of women and children in the country.

What do you do to relax? What is your guilty pleasure?
Honestly, having a lazy day is my form of relaxation, just being at home, watching TV, and sleeping. You know, those days when you’re not under pressure, nobody is calling your phone and you are in chill mode. My guilty pleasure would be a day at the spa.

How do you achieve work-life balance?
Work life balance is not easy, honestly, but I try. I have a daughter, and I try to make time for her. I drop her in school every morning, and that’s our mother-daughter time when we get to talk. Piano classes, I’m there; school activities, I’m there. In fact, I’m her class administrator, so I’m always there. And weekends I try to balance it out. I take her for drama school, maybe we have lunch, and I make sure I’m home. It’s not easy, but I do it.

What last words do you want to say to those that have been inspired by you?
What I’ll say to people who are inspired by me is, if you have any idea, any business idea, there is never a right time to start that business. Now is the time to start that business. Don’t wait till you have all the money. Whatever it is you have, start the business and maintain your focus. You should know why you’re in business. Yes, you’re in business to make profit. But also you should be in business to impact your world, impact your generation, and to impact that industry. So, make sure that whatever it is that you do, you want to actually create an impact, a positive impact. Remain focused. Do not take no for an answer.

Source: Guardian Woman

Temitope Omotoso is an Event Planner,Trainer and a Jewelry stylist. She studied Marketing and Sociology at Olabisi Onabanjo University. She is the Manager of ToshEvents; a solution-driven company that offers quality event planning/consultation services for its clients, either social or corporate within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
Read about her inspiring interview with Women Of Rubies.
My childhood prepared me in many ways. I grew up in a family of 6 ( five girls and a boy) and as the 3rd child, I grew up fast as my elder sisters went to a boarding school. I had a fun childhood because my house was a ‘girls’ hostel’. My dad would wake me up three times in a week, as early as 4 am, to read(he would also read) and I would cry that I had no exams in view. He always said “I am preparing you for your future”. Now I truly understand all that sacrifice.
During our annual family thanksgiving boxing day parties, I was your go-to-girl because I was always up and about, coordinating.That was when my Event Planning skills started playing out. I would hoard meat and drinks such that guests who showed up days after our party would relish it. My sisters started calling me “iya meto” and it was from their mouth to the ears of God Almighty. I inherited hard work, honesty and diligence from both my parents which has become strong attribute for this entrepreneurial journey.
Meet Me
Temitope Omotoso is a Passionate Event Planner,Trainer and a Jewelry stylist who has a vision of owning a one-stop event Boutique. I have a background in Marketing and Sociology from Olabisi Onabanjo University. I also went ahead to run a short course on Strategic Business Management. With experience in Consulting,Business Development and Real Estate sector for close to 4 years.
My core quality is the ability to multitask and meet very difficult deadlines. I love to take on challenges as it builds me up.
I was the Head of Business Strategy at my last job and it prepared me on how to switch roles as a team leader and team member. I am a natural logistics person with excellent interpersonal skills.
I also honed my business skills at EDC of Lagos Business School which keeps me grounded in this tough clime
Inspiration behind ToshEvents
All great ideas come from God. I sought God’s face in prayer and fasting on the way forward and He brought me back to my first love-Event Planning. That’s how ToshEvents came to be. Prior to this,I had done so many businesses from University days. I sold clothes, I traveled up to the North to buy and sell gold jewelry, with my mum being a strong support system. She sold more stuff for me than I did. Her friends,church members were eagerly paying for my wares. I traveled to Ghana to buy Ankara fabrics immediately I left the university while waiting for NYSC call up letter. I stopped Fabric business when Daviva came to Nigeria. I had learn how to cash in and cash out early enough. I learnt venue decorations and I decorated at my sisters wedding five years ago. I planned two of my sisters’ weddings and also did free event planning for some friends to garner experience. Some of these businesses were done to make ends meet, some I did so I won’t be idle, and some to fulfill a particular purpose at that time. I had always had an entrepreneurial mindset. I resigned my job to settle in to my business properly. It is not a sin to start small but it is a sin to remain small. I started really small and was tempted to go back to paid employment but because i had divine instruction i forged ahead.
Human capital- Having the right people.Allocating the right resources with the right skill is an everyday challenge. Another challenge is Budget- as Event planners we need to provide our clients with creative solutions to combat shrinking budget.While the Economic downturn continues event managers are having to constantly offer unique inspirations on tighter budget. Also, we have unprofessional vendors. I think it is not enough to be talented,the right skills have to be learnt to stay in business. Especially because it is a team-based industry so this can’t be wished away. There is a need for some people to be immersed into Customer Service Training. You can teach people technical but you can’t teach people personality- Walt Disney.
Projects and activities
We are so excited about our project tagged”High Performance” training in 2017 and the great part is the first and second batch will be absolutely free. We are partnering with some industry professionals.We believe so much in giving back. Some people gave their time, resources, contacts,prayers and encouragement to get us to where we are now. Who are we not to give?
Greatest reward
Asides from the cash and gift reward…when I get positive feedback from the men who were not so particular about Event Planning during consultation. They suddenly become expressive,praying and wishing me well. Tears of joy flows freely from my eyes. It is an awesome feeling to win people over by giving excellent service. Also when they refer us to friends who need our services. They become an Evangelist of our business.That’s so gratifying.
Nigerians appreciation of Event Planners
Yes, I think Nigerians are getting to appreciate Event Planners. We work with all industry sectors so our importance can’t be under estimated. People are more enlightened that the Event Planner ensures that the multitude of vendors are simultaneously doing their part at a stipulated time frame towards achieving the one common goal to execute a successful event.
I am a Woman of Rubies
I consider myself a Woman of Rubies because God loves me so much. I love people and derive so much joy in putting smile on their faces. I am so selfless that I give with all my heart.
Final Words
God expects multiplication for every talent he gave us so there is no limit to what we can be and achieve.
Stay true to yourself always.Keep learning so as to build capacity.We need to pay attention to our physical bodies,eat healthy,exercise and take enough rest.