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Event Management Alumna Alice tells us about launching her luxury hamper business

After a recent change in career due to the Covid 19 pandemic, University of Central Lancashire graduate, Alice Cavassa, has launched her own luxury hamper business, Ribbon & Wicker.

“I felt as though this course would make the most out of my skills, my experience and interests. The fact that I have strong organisational skills, I am a people person, I am empathetic and I love a challenge, which made the course perfect for my needs.” explained Alice.

UCLan provided Alice with not only theoretical lectures but also workshops and practical working experience in the event industry.

After graduating from the Event Management, BA (Hons) course, Alice started in a role as a Project Executive for Hampton Medical, assisting with the planning of Medical Conferences. Her duties included providing support to project managers working on client projects and proposals and she was responsible for a variety of tasks including; registration management, customer/delegate enquiry management, client meetings, onsite event staff and team meetings and debriefs.

Alice commented: “It took me only three months to find the right job for me and my goals. People say I was lucky, maybe I was a little, however I persisted and carried on looking trying not to get demoralised when no results of my hard work was showing.”

After working in the role for three years, Alice was promoted to Project Manager, where she alternated between roles for Hampton Medical and their mother company, Rapiergroup, before moving on to gain experience in a different setting at Taylor Bennett Partners where she worked as an Event Project Manager, mostly for tech clients.

Alice Cavassa, has launched her own luxury hamper business, Ribbon & Wicker.
Alice Cavassa, has launched her own luxury hamper business, Ribbon & Wicker.

Alice was thriving in her position when the Covid 19 pandemic hit the events industry hard and unfortunately was made redundant from her role. Alice said: “Initially I tried to keep myself busy, doing lots of sewing/cooking and volunteering for a charity called The Cinnamon Trust, which supports people with dogs who are physically unable to walk their pets by providing volunteers to do so for them.

“Obviously this was a very difficult time for me, as it has been for many others in similar situations, with many low days. However, after a period of reflection I decided to do something about it. I have always been a foodie and love crafts and gifting so being able to make a living from something along those lines really appealed to me and I began researching ideas.”

"I will always cherish the memories of my time at UCLan, especially the great atmosphere, the exceptional tutoring from my lecturers and the excellent quality of lectures."

Alice reflecting on her studies at UCLan

Following her research, Alice decided to focus her business on her skills as well as things that are important to her; supporting artisans, small businesses, the environment and all things foodie. This is when her business, Ribbon & Wicker, was born.

Alice said: “Although my interest in events has not vanished, I am utilising my valuable experience as an event manager, and the skills I gathered over the years, to build my own little business. I adopted uni modules to build a business plan, a marketing plan and I have been approached by (virtual) event companies for bespoke corporate gifts.

“My insight in the world of events puts me in a strong position when working with such companies as I know what they are looking for and how they work.”