Tess Bosveld – Standing out in Busselton, WA
Tess Bosveld has always “loved organisation and seeing things come together for a bigger purpose.” She felt that there was no better way to turn that love into a career than to take the steps to move towards a career in event management. Easy. The one tiny little thing standing in her way was… the Nullarbor Plain. Yes, Tess comes from Busselton in WA, a quiet little coastal town on the southern tip of WA. A gorgeous place famous for its jetty and it’s whale watching but a world away from her chosen course on Australia’s east coast.
I was on my gap year from school and didn’t really want to attend uni as I was unsure that I’d get what I needed from that sort of education. So I researched event management schools and came across College of Event Management. It stood out to me. I was sure that it was where I wanted to study events.
So, at the ripe old age of 19, Tess packed her bags, made her way over the desert to Melbourne to pursue her goal of starting her own business in events. She put her head down, worked hard and took all the opportunities that were offered to her, both academic and practical. So, how was her CoEM experience? And what happened after she graduated? We recently asked Tess those very questions:
CoEM: What valuable lessons did you take away from your course?
Tess: A few things really stayed with me:
- To believe in your worth and the worth of your product and to never sell yourself short. A lesson that is now so relevant for running my own business.
- The event accounting/budgeting side of things which is so handy and so critical in a business.
- Our Major Project. We had to produce a document that outlined all the details of our own event concept. I loved doing the MP; creating an event from scratch and having to go step by step through all the details. That was where we all learnt so much as we had to put what we had been taught into practice.
CoEM: While studying, how valuable was the CoEM Industry Engagement Program?
Tess: IEP was really helpful. You get to see first hand what working on an event really looks like and the different roles that are out there. I’m glad it was a mandatory part of the course because we really learnt a lot on the job and saw everything that needs to happen to run a successful event. Most of the time you don’t realise how many people work behind the scenes and all the little jobs that need to happen to make the big picture work.
CoEM: Where do you work now and what is your position?
Tess: I own a company in Busselton called Hide and Feast which focuses on grazing boards and styling. We use all local produce and service southwest WA.
CoEM: How did you come to own a business at the age of 20?
Tess: I knew the previous owner of Hide and Feast before I went to Melbourne to study. There had been talk of me working for them at some point but while I was away, they decided to sell. When I came back home I was looking to start something up of my own. They contacted me and we had a meeting to see if it was the right fit for all of us. Luckily, we hit it off. They loved my ideas for the future, thought I had a good energy and trusted that I would keep the business in line with their vision.
CoEM: What does a typical work day look like?
Tess: There is nothing typical about my work days! They are all over the shop; from doing bookwork, social media, research, invoicing, lots of grocery shopping and of course the actual set up of the grazing boards. Depending on the size of the board we either set up at the venue or transport it there. If we do the set up on site we get there about an hour early to create our masterpiece. I get to see lots of amazing places in the Southwest which is definitely a highlight of the job!
CoEM: How satisfied are you with your current role?
Tess: Excited beyond belief.
CoEM: What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
Tess: I’ve done a few really cool events but probably my favourite would be the proposal events. I have a ‘couple’s tent’ which we style and set up in remote locations like on the beach or in a forest. We supply the grazing board, wine, music and make it all quite cosy. Twice now, people have hired it for a proposal! So that was really cute to be able to share in their special moment!
CoEM: Did the college contribute to you securing this position?
Tess: The College definitely gave me the confidence to be able to go out there and showcase myself without having feelings of doubt. The college taught me a lot in both practical and theoretical ways but also with the group we had, there was such a strong sense of community and we were all there to support each other and see each other flourish.
CoEM: Do you have any advice for other event management graduates?
Tess: I never thought I would be a business owner at 20, never in my wildest dreams. Everything can change in an instant, so keep working hard, don’t forget about your passions and believe that you are worth it! There was a reason you left your old job to pursue a career in events so keep at it!
CoEM: What does a future in events look like for you?
Tess: Growing my Hide and Feast is my main aim at the moment and to be able to switch to full time business owner is my goal. I would love to see Hide and Feast put on it’s own events so I’ll keep working hard towards that goal.