Having been both agency and client-side prior to EAST VILLAGE., Tara has worked with local independent retailers, internationally renowned fashion brands, acclaimed entertainment and event venues, large scale exhibitions, and everything in between. She founded EAST VILLAGE. in 2013 with the ambition of creating an agency that centred around a strong team culture and delivering PR with personality.

Networks form the foundation of Tara’s career, having started out on the Birmingham Future Marketing Committee and then spending 10 years as a member of BPS Birmingham, including becoming Chair and sitting on the Board. Her commitment to making the city the best place to live and work is further seen through her involvement in Colmore Business District, where she sits on the Board and also chairs the Place Marketing Working Group. Through this, Tara leads on key projects and partnerships – from Colmore Life Magazine to financially supporting local arts organisations – with the aim of demonstrating that Colmore BID is about “more than just business”.

Truly passionate about fashion and retail, and helping brands thrive and survive in a changing climate, Tara also sits on the Midlands Retail & Hospitality Forum (MRF) committee. Through events, workshops and thought leadership, MRF champions the evolution of the retail and hospitality sectors by providing a local platform for education and engagement. Added to this, she co-founded Birmingham Sales and Events Forum; connecting sales and events professionals from across Birmingham’s hospitality sectors to encourage partnerships, collaborations, and the sharing of best practice.

Tara is passionate about giving back and sharing her expertise, and is regularly invited to speak at events; from guest speeches to panels. Her most recent speaking engagements include:

Tara has a number of upcoming webinars, as well as slots as a mentor for you people looking to get into PR and the media.

With a strong belief that we should help those who need it most, Tara is a founding trustee of Let’s Feed Brum, which works with local hospitality brands to supply food and drink to people living on the streets, as well as street mentoring to help signpost them to the great services across the city. She also sits on the management committee for iShelter, which manages Tabor House, a Birmingham-based accommodation project for people experiencing homelessnes, and is a patron for SIFA Fireside. In addition, she also sits on the West Midlands Development Board for Breast Cancer Haven.

Alongside EAST VILLAGE. and charity endeavours, Tara also owns Details Event Prop Hire; helping to provide finishing touches like flower walls and table centrepieces to private and corporate events. She also co-owns UK News Group, which is run by her fiancé, Olly, and celebrates the success of SMEs across the UK.

Hattie D'Souza
Hattie D’Souza
Account Director

Since interning with EV. during the summer of 2015, Hattie returned as as a full time member of the team in the same autumn and is now second in command to Tara, as Account Director.

Having graduated from the University of Bristol with a degree in English, the written word is Hattie’s forte, which has benefited a wealth of EV. clients over the past few years. From creative copywriting that hits the headlines, to stellar social content that drives digital engagement, she’s the team’s go-to for proof-reading and grammatical accuracy.

In her role as Account Director, Hattie oversees team management and productivity, ensuring that everyone is working in the most effective way to deliver the best results for clients. Alongside developing senior members of the team, she manages accounts seamlessly to ensure that we’re always ahead of the curve and thinking creatively. She also supports Tara on identifying and driving new business.

An avid believer in Birmingham’s young people, Hattie sits on both the Diversity & Inclusion and Mentoring committees for BPS Birmingham Future. In addition to being a founding trustee of Let’s Feed Brum, a volunteer-led organisation that provides food, drink, essential supplies and friendship to those living on the streets of Birmingham. She goes out once a week with her fellow volunteers and was recognised in Birmingham Live’s 30 Under 30 for supporting the city’s rough sleepers.

Aside from being a pernickety grammar pedant, Hattie is an avid reality TV watcher. She lives her life vicariously through Gogglebox and believes that if you don’t spend time Keeping Up With the Kardashians you should probably just Bake Off.

Jodie Tipper
Jodie Tipper
Account Manager

Jodie first joined #TeamEV two years ago for a week of work experience during her studies at university, and returned in 2018 as a permanent member of the team after graduating from Birmingham City University with a First Class Honours in Media & Communications.

Jodie is now Account Manager, leading on both strategy and delivery for client accounts across hospitality and charity; including Hotel du Vin, Malmaison Hotels, Heart of England Community Foundation, and The Butchers Social. She excels in both local and regional PR launches, and high level national campaigns; focused on client objectives and delivering strategic ideas seamlessly.

Her contribution to the team goes beyond our discovery of Stoke oatcakes; Jodie’s flair for design and social media means that we’re boosted not just by targeted media relations, but also engaging digital content.

Outside of EAST VILLAGE., Jodie volunteers for Let’s Feed Brum and manages the charity’s social media accounts, as well as going out every Monday night to feed the city’s homeless.

When she’s not working, Jodie is often back in Stoke eating oatcakes (obviously), or socialising with a gin… or two.

Nicole Gauntlett
Nicole Gauntlett
Account Manager and Head of Events

Nicole is EV.’s Account Manager and Head of Events, priding herself on her passion for developing relationships, producing memorable events and creating campaigns that leave a lasting impression.

A dedicated and ambitious individual, Nicole works hard to deliver PR campaigns that ‘pack a punch’ and strives to bring fresh ideas to the table. Nicole is extremely focused on achieving success for clients; everything from initial brainstorming to day-to-day delivery.

Her greatest achievement however, is giving birth to her very own mini member of #TeamEV, Vivi, last spring. After returning to work at the start of 2019, Nicole found there was a lack of support for mums still looking to grow their careers and develop their skills. Nicole launched Grow Mama; a group providing support and resources for emerging mothers in business.

Nicole is also a coordinator of the Red Box Project Solihull, a charity that supports young women is schools experiencing period poverty.

When she’s not momming or drinking a cold glass of Sav with the EV. girl gang, Nicole has a passion for interior design and is constantly on Pinterest looking for new ideas for her house renovation.

Becky Weaver
Becky Weaver
Senior Account Executive

Becky joined TeamEV as a senior account executive in March after moving from journalism into PR. With seven years of journalistic experience under her belt, Becky began her career as a multi-platform journalism apprentice with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star, and trained with the BBC, which is where she discovered her love for lifestyle and entertainment writing.

Since completing her apprenticeship in 2016, Becky has since worked as an editorial assistant at a creative agency in Birmingham, where she created fresh content ideas and interviewed stars from Dua Lipa to Mel C, worked on major projects for the Mailbox and Style Birmingham, and formed strong relationships with businesses across the city and beyond. In 2017, Becky became a freelance journalist, creating engaging content as a commercial features writer at BirminghamLive and Reach PLC.

Lifestyle and culture are among the many loves in Becky’s life; she’s never not got a trip to the theatre or concert booked, enjoys a browsing art galleries and sipping on a cocktail or two in one of Birmingham’s many bars, which is probably why Birmingham Cocktail Weekend is one of her favourite events of the year!

When she’s not writing, you’ll find Becky in one of Birmingham’s many wonderful coffee shops, listening to podcasts, planning her next holiday to Orlando or beyond, taking many photos on her camera or binge-watching Gossip Girl.

Holly Young
Holly Young
Junior Account Exec

Holly recently joined EAST VILLAGE. as Social Media Executive, after graduating from the University of Birmingham in July with degree in English Literature.

She first entered the world of social media marketing and blogging during her final year of study, when began creating content for her personal blog in October 2018 to discuss her music taste, travel diaries and university experiences. As well as this, she also completed several internships in digital media organisations across the West Midlands, including Lightbox Digital.

A self-described Instagram addict, Holly loves photography and videography and finding new ways to document her memories online. She is constantly researching the newest cameras, editing apps and trends to experiment with, for both personal and professional use.

Aside from joining #TeamEV, Holly recently returned from working abroad at an American summer camp and has also began running the social media accounts and blog for VidereAquariums. When she’s not at work, she’s probably out for brunch with the girls, buying polaroid film, compulsively browsing holiday deals online, or watching Friends endlessly.

Bambus
Bambus
CEO (Chief Excitement Officer)

Bambus joined TeamEV in January, after stealing the hearts of our MD and her fiancé.

He moved up from Bristol to Brum (like his fellow TeamEVer, Hattie) at the start of 2019, and has been a local celebrity ever since… taking pictures with fans on his daily walks, and enjoy puppichinos from his friends at Starbucks on Colmore Row on the regular.

Full of fun and incredible at cuddles, Bambus is dedicated to increasing the profile of the chows.

He’s also prolific on social media and you can catch regular pupdates on his @olly_and_bambus account. What’s more, you can see the adventures of him and his sister on @colmorechows, as they enjoy life in Colmore BID.

You can also catch him on the TeamEV TikTok, where he currently has over 200,000 views!

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