Back Story

2016-06-22 14.32.12Presently…

Viktoria is a resident of the City of Parramatta and will complete her Master of Gastronomic Tourism with Southern Cross University and
Le Cordon Bleu in February 2018. She is a self-employed contract customised experience design and online/offline marketing professional.

Food in the Blood…

In the 1970’s her mother was a pioneer in TV cooking shows for the Sanitarium Health Food Company on Channel 6 Shepparton VIC, where she presented a 5 minute weekly vegetarian cooking show. As a CEO’s wife in the 70’s and 80’s she hosted numerous dinner parties at home for visiting company business VIP’s.

mum

Education…

Viktoria was educated in VIC, QLD, NSW, NZ and California having completed a BA (Hons) in French Language and Culture at Loma Linda University, California.  After six months of a journalism major with a dragon-lady professor, she left university and ran away from home for a time to do a travel agents course.

Travel in the Blood…

Upon graduating this course, she was hired by Trafalgar Tours, California as a “paid” intern. As a reward for living successfully on $4.60 per hour was given a free trip to Europe on a 35 day luxury coach trip and first class Pan Am flights to London at the age of 18. “I fell hopelessly and helplessly in love with France – its language, its people, its culture, its food – Ohhhhh the food…” Experiencing Europe at such an influential age changed her forever.

Pathological Marketer…

She has been in marketing since the age of 18 and has worked in a diverse variety of multi-nationals, medium and small businesses in marketing roles caring for budgets ranging up to $1M in Australia and California. “I did not even know marketing existed as a discipline until that age and after having done several personality tests and being defined as an Analytical/Promoter/Influencer I now realise it is a pathological condition.”

Development Junkie…

In 1997 she undertook a tree-change and developed an heirloom timber rocking horse business. With her then partner, they became Australia’s largest and only fulltime makers and restorers of high quality heirloom rocking horses. They offered made to order rocking horses, kits, plans, accessories, 3-day rocking horse making classes for baby boomers, group tours with morning tea for seniors and a B & B.

Out of Necessity…

To market the business they did numerous interstate trade and Royal Shows. With school aged children and without a support network of grandparents, the travel and shows became impossible. She became very adept at writing press releases and stories about rocking horses and getting them published in national magazines, Sydney metro and regional newspapers. She also pitched TV show producers and had success with about half a dozen resulting in the business being featured on TV about 20 times over a period of 4 years.

Strategic Relationships…

During the course of operations, she successfully developed a strategic marketing plan that related to their particular tourism and hospitality niche – Residential Rocking Horse Making Master Class, over a 3-day Weekend. She developed strategic relationships with other accommodation, food providers and tourism products/experience providers to encourage participants to stay longer and explore the area further.

Events in the Blood…

She successfully conceived and conducted two large-scale “Open Weekend” Events on their 10 acre property. The first of which featured Iain Hewitson from Channel 10’s “Huey’s Cooking Adventures.” The event attracted some 50 paying artisan craft and food stallholders and 2000 paying visitors to the event. Huey and his team stayed in Hawkesbury for a week and filmed over thirty segments on the regional producers for their show. The PR and marketing coverage for this event was substantial. It appeared across, TV, local radio, several magazines and newspapers, the internet by way of their website, Huey’s website and Hawkesbury Harvest’s website. As a result of this event, the Rocking Horse Making classes were booked out 12 months in advance.

Love that Collaborative Marketing Thing…

Also during this tree-change she established an Antiques Trail, an Artisan’s Trail and a Regional Festival, in the Hawkesbury all based on co-operative marketing. She mentored many small business people, did public speaking for the Department of State and Regional Development, taught marketing workshops for Hawkesbury Council and wrote freelance artisan profiles and the country lifestyle stories for Australian Country Collections magazine.

She now pursues projects which crystalise her skills, experience and passion to bring together – People, Food Trends, Tourism, Events and Marketing that will benefit the community and leave a legacy.

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