We had the good fortune of connecting with Siba Dalati and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Siba, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I can’t say there was one specific “aha!” moment where it became clear to me that I needed to start an event decorating business. It was more of a persistent thought in the back of my mind – almost a “what if I…?” that was caused by multiple factors.
I first began event decorating as a hobby; I used to help out my children’s elementary schools with decorating 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.
I was very lucky to also have their support and the support of my family and friends, which has been crucial in helping me start out.
It also helped that COVID had hit and while it may seem cliche, 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.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
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 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 “Create, don’t replicate”. It’s a motto I know a lot of other creatives have and it holds no less true for me. 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 even when someone else would have already done a graduation party in certain colors, or a Frozen birthday party.
I can say though, that every event I do is a sincere learning experience, not just in the skills it takes, but also in finding the right connections to help cater to my clients’ exact wishes. I have never been asked to create two events that have similar themes whatsoever thus far, so learning how to do different styles and types of events has been both a sincere challenge and an enriching experience.
In terms of confidence though, it really does help that everything I do is memorialized on my Instagram feed so that it only takes a scroll to see how far I’ve come, and that never fails to fill me with immense pride.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ve always loved the vibe in the downtowns of cities, not just downtown LA. So if I had a best friend visiting, I would definitely try and do a tour of my favorite spots in different downtowns.
For example, downtown Claremont has my favorite breakfast/brunch place that I love to go to – Le Pain Quotidien. It has such a peaceful outdoor seating and the assortment of jams and spreads is genuinely delicious. It’s also right next door to a delicious pie shop, which is a huge plus.
Old Pasadena has a really cute gelato place on Colorado Street and I love to walk through that area while eating a nice cup of gelato.
When I was taking a roadtrip to visit some family in NorCal I passed through this adorable town – Los Gatos – where they were having a farmer’s market and everyone was walking and enjoying themselves. I would definitely love to head back here and stop for longer with a friend.
There are obviously so many more adorable gems but these are a few off of the top of my head.
And just as a side note, because I simply can’t resist mentioning it, C&O Trattoria was my absolute favorite place for garlic knots and atmosphere – my family used to take me there every mother’s day. If it hadn’t shut down, that would have been at the top of my list, downtown or not.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Like I said earlier, I was lucky to have the support of so many of my family and friends that if I really started listing them out – the list would truly go on a mile. I guess the shoutout should really go out to my personal community, because together their love and belief in me motivates me every day.
Other: Bookings: rb.gy/q4hrb3
Some of the images are credited to Petra Persaud, a photographer, and the others have been taken by me.