Sidi Ozara, the owner of ASPRA EVENTS Shd Bhd, an event manager and wedding decorator, is sometimes mistaken for Sidi Oraza, a Malaysian actor active in the 1990s. A free spirit by nature, Sidi at first dreamt of becoming a super model during his school days. But though that dream did not materialize, he went on to become an extraordinary ‘super’ in what he is now engaged in. Recently, Top 10 of Malaysia speaks with the easy-going and creative Sidi on his dreams and aspirations, and about ASPRA EVENTS.
“I had wanted to become a catwalk model, but alas, I have a typical Malaysian physique. That liability finally put paid to my initial dream,” says Sidi, laughingly. “Then I turned my attention to colors, makeup and fashion – these became my outlets for creativity and innovation. Foreign magazines became my source of inspiration,” Sidi continues.
Colors and makeup became an initial attraction for Sidi as Asian features and skin colors particularly are very different than those of Caucasians’, and thus would require different makeup treatments. Sidi then expanded his interest to hair styling, wedding designs and wedding decorations.
“I was fortunate to be able to travel since my younger days. After finishing secondary school, I studied design, fashion, makeup, hair styling, and interior decoration in London, Paris and Sydney. Later on, Mumbai also became a favorite destination – I have been able to visit Mumbai over 100 times. These cities are the world centers for fashion, innovation, creativity, trends and inspiration, so it is always a joy to visit them. Of course, movies from Hollywood and Bollywood are also a source of trends and popular culture,” adds Sidi.
New Orleans in the United States holds a special attraction for Sidi because of its cultural mix of French cuisine, fashion and language with the culture of southern United States related to racism, slavery and Christianity.
The establishment of ASPRA EVENTS was the result of turning all these loves of Sidi into a business proposition. ASPRA EVENTS has been in business for the past 18 years. Hard work and the impeccable reputation of the portfolio of memorable celebrations it has built through the years have been the driving force. “We have been fortunate in that we have a great portfolio of celebrated events. Therefore, we do not really need to advertise or market ourselves. Today, our business is generated mainly from word of mouth. Those who have been impressed with our event decorations or stage set-ups when they attended our events before,come to us when it is time to host their own events and we usually have repeat business from our existing clients,” reveals Sidi.
“One of the reasons I travel constantly is to get new ideas for designs as well as new materials for my event decorations so that my creations are always refreshing and unique, giving an ambience like no other for my clients,” adds Sidi. ASPRA EVENTS’ client mix is roughly an even split between individuals and corporations. Some clients come from as far as Australia.
On average, ASPRA EVENTs has to cater to some three events in a day. They vary from wedding events, corporate celebrations to product launchings. To maintain quality, ASPRA EVENTS has its own factories in several locations. “We have about 25 full-time artists and decorators in our employment. We also employ many part-timers at our Klang Valley factories in Bukit Jalil, Puchong and Overseas Union Garden. Our own factories allow us to deliver quality decorations, personalized services and cost effective event packages,” says Sidi.
Sidi personally has an immense liking for intricate designs – be it an intricate wall carving or an elaborate table setting. This is a part of Sidi’s basic nature of paying attention to details and a natural leaning toward baroque art.
One designer that Sidi admires is Steve Jobs of smartphone and ipod fame. Sidi marvels at how Jobs have changed the way we live. Jobs and Sidi share a common trait – they are both very meticulous when it comes to design details. Sidi also has a liking for fashion designers such as Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen.
But closer to his chosen field, another designer Sidi admires is Preston Bailey who is considered to be the premier wedding planner and event designer in the United States. Bailey is event planner to royalties, movie stars, politicians and star athletes. He is considered special in that he can translate the clients’ dreams into reality by transforming ordinary spaces into playgrounds of lush colors and heavenly sceneries.
Like Preston Bailey, Sidi aspires to extend the influence of his designs and decorations beyond the traditional setting. Besides the main event area, which is usually a ballroom or centerpiece stage, Sidi desires to decorate the whole premises, including the reception area and the landscaping work in the surrounding garden grounds.
As for the future, Sidi would love to do more events abroad and locations like Sydney and Mumbai hold special attractions for him. Never one to rest on his laurels, Sidi looks forward to expanding his training institution, ASPRA UK, where he can inspire budding talents to become all that they can be.