How this couple’s mountain-change inspired an innovative business vision
Veteran event organisers, Dezley and her chef husband Michael have endured all the industry has to throw at them the past 28 years.
From the non-stop buzz of high-end weddings in Noosa, to the heart-wrenching cancellation and of all events in Melbourne’s COVID-19 shutdown, the couple has had their passion rekindled thanks to their recent Country Change to the Snowy Valleys.
“We are having a wonderful time with our country change and in addition to opening the store the Chapel has had a restoration and is now open and being used – and local feedback has been wonderful!”
Forage Merchant and Occasions is a store and event space where they host artists to visit and teach workshops alongside creating boutique weddings and events.
“We saw the potential of what could happen here. The first step was to start the florist and supply local business,” said Dezley, who remarked how the town’s people were a major drawcard.
“What do I love most about the locals? They are pioneers! They are quite progressive and independent and it’s lovely to watch it grow. It’s been a supportive embrace from the town to start a business,” said Dezley who is excited to launch phase three of their dream, which will include designing the gardens to host markets and night markets. Something she said the local community is behind.
“Local feedback has been overwhelming… When you move into an area you need to think about the community and what will benefit them too – FORAGE is that. We have a pool of people who are creative and artistic – now is a time to harness them and get them in. After the fires and COVID – this is what people need.”
Familiar with the area due to living and working one hour away in Wagga Wagga decades ago, she said she always had a ‘soft spot’ for the character-filled township.
“Tumbarumba really forced us to slow down and reassess. We really love the Tumbarumba to Rosewood Trail, it is a great walking and riding track. The backgrounds along the farms and access to wineries is absolutely stunning!”
Her advice to any creative considering a tree change?
“Just do it! The pace of the city just isn’t sustainable and when you allow yourself to breathe, you find you’re more creative in this space – where you can allow yourself to see the potential. So, I’d definitely say just do it!”
What are you waiting for? Make your Country Change happen…