Events by MOD | An Interview with Mohammed Alhouri
Updated: Jul 1, 2021
A discerning eye for style paired with undeniable talent and a cult following. Events by Mod is the young and highly sought-after luxury event designer that’s slowly built a name for himself in the region. Today, on The Bride Blog we’ve managed to get a hold of the founder; Mohammed Alhouri, to talk exclusively on how he started his business, his plans for the future and why clients come to him for their special day.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Mohammed and I’m Turkish/Syrian. I’ve lived in Dubai since 2010, and I am the founder of Events by Mod.
What do you do and how did you start?
As I mentioned, I own my own company by the name of Events by Mod. The company is focused on creating the dream wedding/event design experience for Dubai-based clients. How, I began is an entirely different story but it all comes full circle.
In 2006, I was working as a florist which would eventually prepare me for my role at a flower shop when I came to Dubai in 2010. While my official title was that of a florist, I found myself intensely managing all logistical aspects of this business (along with the artistic components) and eventually this led to working with Sheikh Mansour for event design, dinning and special occasions. That’s how my foray into events began. At the time, I knew I was good at my job, but I also knew I was capable of so much more. Around this time, I met someone who recognized my talent, someone who could potentially be an investor in my ideas, but ultimately this arrangement didn’t work out and left me wary of future ‘investors’. That is, until I decided to start something on my own.
And, so with a 3000 AED budget, I went to Dragon Mart bought some artificial flowers, came home, arranged these flowers in my own way and posted pictures on Instagram. I made a plan during this process and that plan was to make 20,000 AED worth of sales on the first month, which obviously didn’t pan out. But, then (after pushing through the blues) I tried to achieve the same target in the following month and wound up making 22,000 AED of sales, and so for my third month I set a goal of 28,000 AED which I surpassed, ultimately making 30,000 AED. At the same time as the growing success of my floral arrangements, my Instagram followers were starting to grow each day, I did a few sponsored posts but the growth was primarily from client referrals. Soon, customers started inquiring if I could create my arrangements for baby receptions at hospitals. And so, for a time my business became creating these arrangements solely for baby receptions. It is during this time that an acquaintance first asked me to design her wedding. She insisted that my taste-level was something she wholeheartedly trusted and I remember thinking ‘How come?’ Because a wedding is an incredibly personal and deeply sentimental moment in a person’s life, but she insisted that she trusted my taste. And so, I designed the whole wedding, with 65,000 AED of my own budget to create the experience and when she saw the final outcome, she said “You can do all this, but you’re only doing flowers?!” Suffice to say she was delighted!
Following this, people started inquiring about my design services for milchas (a milcha is the word for Arabic engagement ceremonies) as my name was slowly starting to be associated with unique events. So, I rented a warehouse because my home wasn’t enough anymore to accommodate various client requests and the only two times I’ve held events for clients at home, it’s been unnecessarily hectic. To obtain the warehouse it cost 200k which I was able to procure thanks to some good friends, but I signed the contract on Thursday, and unfortunately Monday is when the lockdown began. I had already hired staff, paid the money and now what was I going to do? Thankfully, my overall costs were low, and so I decided to do what had worked for me in the very beginning which is to create mock-ups of events (primarily kosha styles) using the warehouse space and take pictures. Through creating different setups within this space, I was able to show people, how to decorate their homes for small events.
Post lockdown, my following had grown to 35000 and major wedding accounts online like Khaleeji Weddings kept reposting my work with captions saying look for Events by Mod for unique events at home. This is when the bigger companies started to hear about my work as their clients would often show them my Instagram as inspiration or to replicate a similar style. At this time, I also started recreating the concept of using artificial flowers in my own unique way for Koshas ( a Kosha is the background arrangement of where the bride sits) and the way I created them, my clients often couldn’t tell whether they were real or artificial.
Ultimately, I developed what started as a three-month plan into a five year one and during this time I continue to learn, grow and evolve. I think my success can also be attributed to caring about my clients on a personal level, when they see me running around on their special day making sure everything is perfect, they understand that to me, there’s nothing greater than seeing them have the perfect moment.
How do you stay inspired and ahead of the trends?
Inspiration comes from everywhere, but I particularly enjoy old films, videoclips and interior styles. To me, it all begins with the interior-concept and if you visit our Instagram page there’s no garden style really, it’s based off interiors. That being said, I’m currently working on a Kosha-design inspired by the towers of Dubai. So, yes, inspiration can come from anywhere.
What are the top two events that you have designed in your career? (tell us why)
MAHRA & AISHA. These clients didn’t know what went into developing a wedding design and executing it but they trusted me and my vision. Where some clients would kept ask me to consistently change things, they completely trusted my vision to achieve the look for their special day and I will always be eternally grateful for that.
What was the most difficult project you’ve handled?
I’ve never come across a project that’s been ‘difficult’ I always manage to work out how a particular project can be achieved before pitching it. So, thankfully there has never been a project that was too challenging.
Why should Dubai-based clients come to Events by Mod? What sets your company apart from the rest?
To be frank, not all Dubai-based clients come to me. Some people, feel like our aesthetic is empty or that it looks inexpensive (laughs) But, our aesthetic is modern not classic, and that’s why my clients seek me out.
Your plans for the future of your company
My plans are enormous! I’m currently in events and start my flower shop in July before I start to develop Mod Boutique which is home accessories, air fresheners and candles. I will work in everything that I love, that’s my plan. The ultimate goal is my own interior design company, but let us get through this current health crisis first.