From working in the military to being a master of events, Mukhethwa Mudzanani is a 31 year old woman from a village called Ha Muraga in Venda.
Despite the lack of exposure to event planners, growing up in Venda inspired her consideration into the industry.
“My mom would be asked to do décor and although it was not professional, people would still like the decorations she did because she had an eye for beautiful things.
Having ventured into entrepreneurship in Grade 9 alongside her uncle, the business they started selling sweets at school was an indicator that she had a knack for the career she would pursue later.
Considering her humble beginnings, Mukhethwa always imagined having a place to call her entrepreneurial home.
“After the business started, I always imagined having my own space to have a florist shop and have people come and buy flowers or arrange their events flowers and even sit together and plan and coordinate their events.
In her case, evidently that dream came true with Mukhethwa owning a florist shop called Ten Roses Florist. The only regret the florist has is that she didn’t embark on the journey sooner.
However grateful she is for the journey and how she has met people along the way who have motivated her, it has not been smooth sailing.
“When you are a young black woman, people tend to undermine you or think you do not know what you are talking about. But, despite that I speak my truth and stick to my brand and that is how I overcome any challenge that I come across.
The growth of her business has displayed just how what drives Mukhethwa and her work ethic is her passion for events, flowers and floral design.
“I truly love what I do, and I am always striving to create beautiful, unique arrangements that will bring joy to my customers. This passion pushes me to work hard and continuously improve my skills,” said the florist.
Alongside her passion, she counts integrity as one of the core values that guide her in her work.
“I believe in being honest and transparent with my customers and providing them with the best possible service and products. I take great pride in my work and stand behind every arrangement I create,” said Mukhethwa.
The florist added that another defining factor is her remarkable sense of creativity.
“I am constantly seeking new inspiration and trying out different techniques to keep my designs fresh and innovative. I believe that this creativity is what sets my work apart and keeps customers coming back,” said the businesswoman.
She emphasised the importance of customer satisfaction and how it remains a top priority at Ten Roses.
“I strive to exceed my customers’ expectations with every order, and I am always willing to go the extra mile to ensure their satisfaction,” said Mukhethwa.
Believe it or not, Mukhethwa is a healthcare worker by profession. She studied nursing in Bloemfontein while working for the military prior to venturing into entrepreneurship.
“Working in the military requires discipline and dedication. You are taught to take risks and believe in yourself more than anything and those are the teachings that made me today,” said Mukhethwa.
Having worked with a variety of clients with different needs and requirements, Mukhethwa maintains the importance of tailoring her offering to the needs of every client.
“I work according to the client’s specifications. I love clients that want something challenging more as that helps with me getting out of my comfort zone,” said the events guru.
Mukhethwa spends her days going to the market, attending business briefings and marketing her brand to potential customers. She adds that she also ploughs into the wellbeing of her staff and intervenes where they require assistance.
Apart from being an events guru, stylish florist and steadfast businesswoman, Mukhethwa has other interests that feed into the woman she has become.
“I love travelling, trying out new restaurants and learning new things. This gives me an opportunity to always be alert on new things that I need to implement or to formulate a new strategy,” said Mukhethwa.
Nounouche sat down with Mukhethwa Mudzanani and asked her a few questions to get to know her better:
What are three things you wish you knew earlier in your career?
The importance of having a solid network: Building relationships with other event planners, vendors, and clients is crucial in this industry. Having a strong network can help you to find new opportunities, get referrals, and collaborate with others to create successful events.
The need for flexibility and adaptability: Event planning involves a lot of moving parts and unexpected changes. Being able to pivot and adjust plans quickly is essential to ensure that events run smoothly. It’s important to be adaptable and have backup plans in place to handle unexpected challenges.
The value of time management and organization: Event planning can be a very fast-paced and demanding career. Being able to effectively manage your time, prioritize tasks, and stay organized is critical to ensuring that events are successful, and clients are happy. Utilizing tools and resources such as calendars, project management software, and checklists can help you stay on top of your workload and meet deadlines.
What message of hope would you give to your younger self and those to come after you?
To believe in yourself no matter how discouraging people can be. You will find the perfect people to support you and when you do, don’t be scared to put your dreams to test.
Dare to dream, that’s exactly what this businesswoman did and here she is living a life she could have only imagined years ago. However, the buck does not stop here for this booming entrepreneur, who has announced that she is expanding her Ten Roses business and will be opening up a branch in Thohoyandou, Venda. Inspired by the lack of event planners in the province, Mukhethwa is determined to make her mark in her homeground. She is also currently looking for stands where she will be opening a wedding venue and to get the full operation up and running. She says, the main aim is to service the people from back home and provide jobs for the community that raised her.