We are delighted to share with you our interview with “Questions & Answers” with Medina WILLIAMSON, Founder of KLM Events.
Carla MARTIN: Please introduce yourself for those who do not know you yet. Kindly tell us about your background and your business? How you decided to create your business?
Medina WILLIAMSON: I’m Medina Williamson, I started my career in London in the hospitality Industry mainly working with the food and beverage sector, I built up my experience with that and then transitioned into the sales and marketing sector which led me to securing the Director of events role with five star luxury hotels. It’s here where I discovered my talent and the vision to create successful and memorable events, I realised that my passion and talents were invaluable so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and created my event management Company.
CM: What was your path to the role you have now?
MW: My path began at senior high school, I really enjoyed Home Economics, (cookery lessons) it was here I realised that I enjoyed working with people the most and I started to explore a career within the hospitality industry, I pursued hospitality at catering College this allowed me the foundation to become a successful person within the hospitality industry.
CM: What does a typical working day look like for you?
MW: My day begins with setting my mindset, this often includes watching Tony Robbins clips or listening to podcasts, this allows me to clear my mind and focus on my goals, I then break down my day into how best to achieve those goals followed by my daily briefings with the team in which I ensure everyone has the right tools and information to succeed and proposals are all ready to go. Meetings with clients take a big part of a day as building and creating new relationships is key.
CM: Tell us what is your success mindset?
MW: It’s really important to me that I remind myself of my worth, I think so many women in business convince themselves that they’re not worthy of the success without sacrifice and so I consistently remind myself that the decisions I make and the goals I achieve are well deserved. I also choose wisely, this means I am selective in the people I spend my time with, the places I go, the media outlets I listen to, I see my mind as a separate entity, if I feed it rubbish it will become sick, if it becomes sick it won’t work well and I can no longer expect to achieve or be successful.
I tell myself three things; I am worthy; I am determined; and I am highly driven. When I remind myself of these things I know that I can push through any adversity.
CM: What was your biggest challenge on the personal side also business side?
MW: My biggest challenge on both the personal front and the business side was trying to be in two places at once, when I became a mother I attempted to continue as if nothing had changed in my career, I was juggling between home and business and it was a struggle, as I never wanted to let anyone down whether client or colleague, I found myself compromising myself, my family and my work ethic, it took me a long time to learn that hard work doesn’t necessarily mean late hours at the office and that my priorities needed shifting occasionally, right now I feel that I’ve got the balance but it does take constant maintenance, I have to be mindful of the needs of both my career and family, as well as self-care, which I think is very important for balance.
CM: For a young entrepreneur, what advice would you give?
MW: Your business has your DNA, it should reflect your values and beliefs and know your worth! I would also say you should aligned yourself with businesses and colleagues who have the same values as your brand. Never give up even when you feel that you are in your darkest hour stand firm and keep going. Don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes, remember “to err is to be human” if you fall remember only you can define you and to learn from those mistakes and move on, swiftly with passion or drive.
CM: With everything you have achieved, what you would say your greatest achievement is?
MW: Really tough question, becoming a highly successful Director within the luxury sector of the hospitality industry is a major achievement and I am very proud of that however I must go on.
I would also add that I feel proud that I was part of history with organizing the only official Innagural ball for Barrack Obama Democratic Party in London for over two thousands guests.
CM: Who inspires you today?
MW: I am inspired by extraordinary people like JK Rowling, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Rochay, Baroness Doreen Lawrence Helene, Darroze Zoe Jenkins. Their professionalism drive for excellence, sense of compassion humidity with great success , for never giving up and still find the time to give back to society.
CM: Do you have a secret talent?
MW: Well, I’ve been told my secret talent is to know who’s in the room, friends and colleagues alike jest that I am always watching who comes through the door but in my opinion my secret talent is that I can bake a cake using my hand and not a mixer, I learned this skill at college and I am very proud of it.
CM: You found your passion, in your opinion how does everyone find their own passion?
MW: Your passion is what makes you most happy, it’s a sense of achievement that comes from within that makes you feel good and hungry for more, sometimes it’s not just a calling, sometimes you have to follow that feeling and then you happen upon your calling. I truly believe you can only follow your passion not find it.
CM: If you had the power to change just one thing in the world what would it be?
MW: Poverty, I would create a mandate that all conglomerate businesses and banks had to donate a substantial % of their profits to ensure that there was never a place in the world where a child went hungry or a person had no place to call home. to say my daughter far exceeds that achievement, I soon come to realise that my vision and value in life and what it all has to offer is made clear with her, my purpose in succeeding and to carry on is ultimately to teach my daughter then if she wants something, determination and tenacity will get her there.
CM: What was the most challenging moment in your life? And how did you manage to overcome it?
MW: The hospitality sector has a lot of routines or practices from a world we no longer live in, a lot has changed in the past 20 years and yet sometimes it feels as though Hospitality has not, as an example, when I felt my voice was no longer being heard by senior management I began to stand out because I thought differently, however it was like a square peg being forced into a round hole, I felt it was a compromise of my passion and ultimately my purpose got lost. I overcame this by reminding myself of what I have achieved both financially and in recognition through being awarded the best Banqueting team in 2012 and working in the number one hotel at the time, at the time it was a difficult decision to create my own business but it was also a testament of overcoming a challenge and realising that I have so much more to offer.
CM: From your entire professional experience, what was your most exciting project up to now?
MW: I do have so many but one that still make me smile was creating a fashion show for Emeila Wickstead at a Luxury hotel. the hotel was transformed into a runway against all odds of being constantly told this’ll not work it was a major success , I was proud because Anna Wintour attended and had a private viewing and it was shown on TV the next day. I was elated that my vision and determination was a complete success and viewed by tens of thousands around the world.
CM: What is your business current focus?
MW: My Business focus has changed, as I am sure it has for so many in these trying times, right now maintaining relationships is a very important role, and ensuring what we have to offer clients, is not only covid proof but that it empowers change to the environment and the industry.
CM: What charity do you support?
MW: Charities I Support are Sepsis UK & Prostate Cancer, this is due to the personal impacts I have had, such as the time… my husband fell critically ill with sepsis and this became life changing experience for my family .
CM: Thank you so much Medina for your time and kindness to answer my questions.