More Than An Event It Is An Experience
Antonio Blackman is the owner of Elite Memories which is a company that offers wedding and event planning, balloon décor, event rentals and DJ Services as well as planning baby and bridal showers, bachelor, and bachelorette parties.
The graduate of the Combermere school said he got into event planning from his life as a sportsman.
“I was basically thrown into the arena of events doing security and compliance and being a sportsman, I started doing sporting competitions in the community as I hosted two football tournaments in Haggatt Hall. From there I got into other events during the crop over festival and decided to make a business out of it. I originally started Iconik Events with my friend Danielle Frederick and the rest was history. We officially started using the name Elite Memories from September 2nd, 2009,” he said.
Blackman who is a holder of a Bachelors of Science in Sociology and Psychology from the University of The West Indies and is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Entertainment Management from the Barbados Community College said that he knew that he wanted to become an entrepreneur from a young age.
“I always had the drive to be more than an employee. I was always an idea person. I started my business, but I don’t think I was quite an entrepreneur as yet. I attended the YES programme in 2013 and because of that programme I moved from being a person with a registered business name to an entrepreneur. I began my catering business AJs Chill Grill and from that, I got a gig catering for a contingent that came in from the Cayman Islands for the Universal Expressions Arts Festival and at that point, I truly took my event planning business seriously. I got into stage management and soon enough was assisting the late Peter "Roy" Byer at the Super Gladiators Calypso Tent. From there I worked with Romp International & Passion Vybz kadooment band and High-Velocity Foreday Band. I was so determined that I enrolled in UWI Open Campus and BCC Hospitality Institute at the same time and completed my certification in Event Planning and Events Management,” he said.
Blackman who has been in business for the past twelve years said that one of the highlights of his business has been starting Elite Memories Academy.
“Every memory made is a highlight but if I was to single out one it would have to be starting the Elite Memories Academy where I teach the basics of event planning as well as adding to the team. At heart, I have a passion for teaching and helping troubled teens so I would love to be a teacher but being an entrepreneur is what works for me. To do both would be a dream come true and through the Elite Academy, I do that by tutoring pre-11+ and 11+ Mathematics. It was not always what I thought of but in my spirit is what I was meant to be,” he said.
The qualified events planner said that entrepreneurship has taught him how to be mentally strong.
“Entrepreneurship has taught me that it is not easy but if it was everyone would be doing it. It has taught me to be strong mentally, physically, and also to have strength in character. One thing I would love to see improved in the sector, however, is greater collaboration and appreciation for event planners,” he said.
Elite Memories very friendly staff is always willing to assist. They provide solutions to fit your budget. They can be contacted at 246 259-4888 or on Instagram and Facebook using their handle @daretobeelite. (Write Right PR Services)