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Meet the Aalponaa Event Designers of Greater Houston, Piyal, Sailaja and Mumu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Piyal Sen Gupta, Sailaja Bandyopadhyay and Mumu Choudhury.

Piyal, Sailaja and Mumu, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
We are three friends who had been active volunteers in our community for many years. Planning an event for friends and various organizations, selecting a theme and working out its logistics, arranging for decorations, setting up and helping with the execution were a part of almost all our weekends for the past 10 years! This was in addition to our regular jobs, kids and other commitments on the home front. Events of any kind and any scale demand a lot of detailed planning, research and time in general. At one point we realized that sometimes people were taking us and our time for granted and that we could pool in our creativity and resources and start a business that would allow us to do what we loved and generate a modest income as well.

With a passion for meticulous planning, creative designs and detail-oriented execution, we three friends came together to create ‘Aalponaa ‘, an event management boutique in the Greater Houston area. At Aalponaa, our goal is to understand what our clients envision as their ideal event and design a perfect event to fulfill their wishes. We plan every event, be it a birthday, a wedding or a corporate fundraiser, with equal enthusiasm and sincerity. We always offer an initial consultation before we start planning your event. We do extensive research to find the best venues, catering services, decorators, DJs, print designers and florists for our clients. Once the event design and budget are approved, we ensure a perfectly coordinated and a seamlessly executed event.

This merger of our friendship with our hobby and business brings us a lot of joy.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
A smooth road…far from it. The minute we turned our hobby into a business, our own community became far more reluctant to support us since they now had to pay for our services…that was disappointing since it is quite acceptable to pay for any kind of service in this county, then why should there not be a value for our hard work, expertise and time? On the other hand, many of our friends did stand by us and support us which gave us confidence and the will to go ahead with Aalponaa.

We are planners and designers, our goal was to be able to design unique and customized events for each of our clients…yet, many come to us with images of what has already been done by others and have us recreate it…that is often a challenge in our quest to remain unique!

It is also quite difficult to compete with the big decorators who declare that they do event planning as well…Since we pool in the best of resources from the florists, caterers, decorators etc. as per the client’s’ budget, sometimes it becomes a direct competition with many of our own vendors!

Often, we get requests for events with a small budget, but the clients want the venue to look grand, this disparity between expectation and reality is a constant challenge for us. At the end of the day, apart from the actual materials used, our creativity and time also have some value and that getting our clients to understand that is a constant struggle!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Aalponaa Event Designers – what should we know?
Our Business:

Aalponaa is an Event Planning, Event Designing and Event Management company. We help our client’s vision of their ideal event come to life…From venue to menu, we plan all our events down to the last detail and ensure seamless execution. We recognize that planning any event take a lot of time, patience and experience and not everybody is confident or has the time to do so, that’s where we bring in our planning, management and coordinating experience and ensure that the attendees leave with the right impression, intended message and unforgettable memories.

Our strengths:

Events like Fundraisers, Fashion Shows and Galas- We are 3 women who feel very strongly about causes like Education for underprivileged, Save the Tiger, Clean sanitation facilities that is still not available in many parts of the world and we do our best to use our skills to host charity events and fashion shows and raise funds for these causes. We also design and manage Fundraisers and Galas for several organizations.

Special Milestones in one’s life like Weddings, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Dance Debuts like Arangetram/ Mancha Pravesh

Social events like Themed Parties, Holiday Gatherings, Graduations, Dance recitals, Religious festivities…. pretty much celebrations of any kind.

Nothing is more pleasurable than getting together with your friends and loved ones and celebrate your special event, whatever the occasion may be. Aalponaa knows how to turn any party into a truly memorable event, creating memories that last a lifetime.

We always try to customize the decorations as per our client’s budget and vision…we do not believe in a ‘cookie cutter’ approach with just a few standard templates to choose from. We enjoy giving a unique touch to every event that we plan. We are not hesitant to work on small budgets because we value the hard work that goes into earning every penny, be it for our clients or us! We are proud of what we do, and our mission is ‘Designing your dreams’. At Aalponaa, our goal is to understand what you envision as your ideal event; keep in mind your budget and design a perfect event to fulfill your wishes in the best way possible.

We are three friends who enjoy interacting with people and like to serve with a smile. Our amiability, approachability and ease of communication in combination with sincere work and professional attitude sets us apart from many event planning companies who may be intimidating for some clients.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
We are grateful to have the support and love of so many people in our lives!
Our spouses and children are our biggest cheerleaders. There have been times when they have helped us setup and wind up events till the wee hours of the morning, with a smile on their face.

We have many friends who have implicit faith in our abilities and were the first to give us business or recommend us to their acquaintances…we are forever grateful for that. It is always heartwarming to have a new client say that they heard about us from a friend. Someone we may barely know…we must be doing something right!

We have been fortunate to build a network of happy clients who then recommend us to others, that is our biggest blessing. ‘A positive review’ is our best asset!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Biyani, Saurabh Sen Gupta and Murali Santhana

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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