Kiri Whealey – Rosie Pose Events

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Kiri you’re a Coffs born and bred local. Tell us a little about your background?
My parents, David and Jenny, moved to Coffs Harbour about 35 years ago. My twin brother, Ashley and I were lucky enough to grow up with pristine beaches, close knit friends, and a sense of adventure.
Mum and Dad always told us to have roots in our community, but also to explore the world and see what’s out there. It’s been a major force in the person I am today. I met my husband, Nathan, during my university days in Queensland. We then travelled across the Nullarbor armed with a microwave, a bar fridge and a wish to see something new. After deciding to settle in Perth, we camped in a tiny tent for about four months, before finding a home. I’ll never forget trudging over to the shower block in my PJs and emerging in my corporate uniform, my hair still with a bit of conditioner in there, because my 20 cent pieces had run out!

You made the move to WA a few years back; what made you return to the Coffs Coast?
My family and friends, and just the laid back beauty of Coffs Harbour was a real drawcard to returning. It was such a great thing to move to different places, meet incredible new people and gain amazing life experiences, but there’s no place like home. My husband, Nathan, and I moved back to Coffs, bought an old cottage to renovate (that was four years ago, and we’re still going!) created our own little family with daughters Mya and Tessa and started Rosie Pose Events. It’s been an incredibly busy time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You have had a diverse range of experience in your career to date. Tell us a little about how it has shaped what you are doing now.
Yes! From being a Wedding Coordinator to Travel Consultant to Barista to Plumbing Assistant (yes, I can change a tap washer! I have done it all. I guess being a wedding coordinator in Perth caught my heart the most and sparked something in me that I truly loved. Working with each couple on something so special and personal was an extraordinary thing. Combined with my love of interior design, an event styling business seemed the perfect path for me. Plus, I can make a mean coffee!

It takes real determination and ambition to start your own business, especially one that requires significant start-up costs. What inspired you to begin this journey?
I wanted to really add something to Coffs Harbour … to be a part of it and to contribute. The passion was always there; I just found the courage to do something about it one day.
Rosie Pose Events came to fruition when I became engaged and couldn’t find anything that was special enough for our beautiful day. A plastic chair with a blue bow just wasn’t going to cut it! With a lot of late night caffeine fixes, my head was whirring with ideas – I was so passionate about delivering something that was fresh, unique and inspired to Coffs Harbour. So in July 2014, Rosie Pose Events was born.
We have had so much love and support from family and friends. I know it sounds clichéd, but I really couldn’t have done it without them. We’ve grown from strength to strength and have even welcomed a new stylist, Heidi, to our team. So we are looking forward to kicking some goals and making 2015 a great year!

You mainly specialise in event hire and styling (including weddings). What does this entail?
We are a new brand in the event industry in that we provide the materials you need (hire), as well as the spark of creativity and manpower to see a vision realised (styling). We wanted our couples to enjoy the process, love the result, and have the time to be truly present in those moments that matter.
The heart of our company is our luxe hire collection – a space where we seek to redefine the style opportunities available to our couples on a rental basis. Our shelves are brimming with amazing high quality pieces, including: rustic timber tables, crystal vases, classic chairs, generous floor cushions and copper tea lights. We seriously have a beautiful and unique range of standout and classic pieces to hire!
We also enjoy the creative styling process of events and are always seeking out new and innovative ways of creating outstanding and breathtaking event experiences. Styling is our real passion and underlies everything we do.

You are in a highly competitive market place; what do you think are your key success factors?
Client loyalty and word of mouth has been our biggest asset. I guess we offer something a bit special and unique that excites the heart, which makes it an easy sell in some regards, but we really pride ourselves on our service and ability to connect with clients and deliver amazing and memorable experiences for their guests.
And we work HARD! Late nights, months and months of planning, heavy lifting, running around in the rain or 40 degree heat; we put our heart and soul into every wedding we do. We work with the most fantastic people – both our clients and vendors. They are all so incredible and inspiring, most of whom are friends to us now.
It’s really a wonderfully supportive industry to be in and quite close knit. So although there may be competitors, each of us offer a different experience and as such, this creates a healthy market place.

How do you keep up to date with such a fast paced industry?
I am a creative at heart, who has an obsession with wedding magazines!
I have always loved interior design and fashion, and a lot of the wedding trends evolve from that.
Pinterest is a wedding stylist’s best friend! So I’ll often spend countless hours seeking out new and inspirational styling trends and designs. It’s a great tool for creative souls – and free!
It’s also great that the Coffs Harbour wedding industry is so collaborative and inspiring; we’re constantly dreaming up new ideas for our clients and turning their designs into reality, often working with multiple vendors to deliver an outstanding result for our client.

Tell us what you think the top three trends for events will be in 2015?
A key trend for this year is a strong sense of making it personal – with each couple wanting such different things to reflect who they are or represent as a couple. People seem to want to push the boundaries, and we love it!
We are currently working on weddings which include:
A Mexican Fiesta, a Hampton Estate Fair, a Rustic Barn Wedding, a Graceful All-White Wedding, a Backyard Garden Party, a Moroccan Boho Festival, and a wedding which will feature an enormous 10 ft wall of divine Babies Breath!
I think the three top trending wedding styles will include – Copper Hues, Floral Installations, and the return of Elegance.
Thanks Kiri.

Interview by Samantha Wardman of www.cornerpostconsulting.com.au

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