Here Get It quizzes the proprietor and founder of ENVIE, Tony Peng, on his events and wedding company’s stellar success over the last decade…
Tony, you’re known for your ‘Let’s do it!’ attitude and the fact that you are a tastemaker par excellence. How did these innate qualities lead to the birth of ENVIE? I’ve always believed that one can find lessons in failure and beauty within chaos and that has become the fundamental values of ENVIE. The ability to find uniqueness in something that is ‘ugly’ and transform it into something cool, edgy and fabulous is what ENVIE stands for.
What would you like ENVIE to be known for? We’ve always been known for our boldness and daringness to push boundaries in order to redefine what the “norm” is. I want people to think of ENVIE as a forward-thinking niche company, based in the heart of South Africa, executing international concepts, ideas and projects; a company that did not let its surroundings limit its dreams to become one of South Africa’s leading events, wedding and creative companies.
At ENVIE, you’re also associated with joining hands with talented creatives and professionals in Bloem and elsewhere, while building solid relationships with clients and industry experts. What underlies this philosophy? ENVIE started out when I was still living in a student house working out of a garage. Resources and finances were limited, but I always believed that collaborations were the key to gain great exposure for any business; even more so for startups.
What screams ‘an ENVIE wedding’? Effortless sophistication with a contemporary edge is the foundation and approach when we style and coordinate an ENVIE wedding.
Are you at ENVIE also prepared to help a bride-to-be with ‘shallower pockets’ to make her dream wedding a reality? Absolutely! There are always tricks to make an event or wedding successful. People have the illusion that style has to cost, but that’s not true. There are ways to create the illusion of luxury and that’s what we’re really good at. For brides who don’t have large budgets we offer creative consultation sessions to assist them in planning their own weddings.
Judging from your social media pages, the ENVIE team loves to travel. Yes, we love executing destinations events because it gives our team a chance to see what’s out there and what’s trending. I always take my team, if possible, to experience something different, such as a fine dining restaurant experiencing a culinary journey, so that we can bring some of those experiences to our events, or grabbing a few drinks at the coolest café/bar in town and chatting to the locals. It’s important to get inspired and for those who know us know that we work hard and definitely play hard.
You also do corporate events and all kinds of celebratory events – from a 60th birthday party to a bridal shower for your BFF. How does ENVIE approach each event? Every event starts with a thorough understanding of what the purpose of the event is for and what our clients want to achieve. We have a turnkey solution to all our events/parties and after ten years in the game, we often suggest things that our clients didn’t even think of.
ENVIE wouldn’t be ENVIE without Tony Peng. How would you describe yourself? I’m a dreamer in spirit, a creative at heart, and an entrepreneur by trade. I love life and love being able to explore every facet of who I am and who I’m meant to be.
Where did you grow up and what molded you into who you are today? I was born in Bloem in the late 1980s and being a minority (Taiwanese) and different from the other kids certainly taught me to adapt and to up my game in order to be seen and heard. My entrepreneurial spirit developed at a young age while working in my parent’s takeaway shop in Thaba ‘Nchu, which I have fond memories of.
ENVIE turns ten this year! What have been the highlights of the past decade for you and your company? Wow, where do I even start… I think one of the major highlights is definitely seeing my business grow, from working from a student house, to renting my first studio, to now owning our own premises. I think it’s every entrepreneur’s dream to grow and still stay relevant after ten years.
ENVIE is based in Bloem but could conceivably have been based anywhere in the world. Why did you choose to base ENVIE in our city? Honestly, I truly LOVE Bloem! There’s a sense of peacefulness and familiarity that I like. It’s central, which makes traveling easy and the major cities are already oversaturated with events and wedding businesses. So, Bloem was and still is my first choice for its location as well as its people.
Where to from now for ENVIE? After surviving two years of lockdown and restrictions, I believe the next few years will be extremely busy for the events and wedding industry, so we’re simply gearing up to take on bigger and more spectacular projects – so stay tuned.
What advice would you give anybody who wants to embark on a similar path as you did? It’s not a glamourous industry. It’s lots of late nights and literally blood, sweat and tears to create what we create. You need to be creative and know how to think on your feet. It’s a rewarding job when you see the results and see the smiles on your clients’ faces, but it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
Last question (and one I sure many other people wonder about) – where do you get your awe-inspiring inspiration from? I find inspiration in everyday living, whether it’s from my surroundings, to the silhouettes of nature, to the shapes and curves of everyday objects. I’m a visual person, so everything I see has the potential to inspire me to create.
Find ENVIE at www.envieconcept.co.za