administratorLINKT Executive Profiles
When your work let’s you create new, unique and exciting events that get people trying new things and having fun… well, it’s hard to call it work.
That’s one of the perks for Melanie Mills – owner of Valli Rebel, a creative events boutique focussed on developing vibrant projects to inspire and encourage creativity, imagination and community connections.
The Tauranga mum-of-two is one half of the growing collaborative project, Cult Cinema Club, along with Kim Cleland from ‘Done By People’.
Cult Cinema Club is based at the Historic Village every second Friday and screens cult, arthouse, indie, classic and local films in the newly renovated Village Cinema.
“Kim and I worked together on a previous project and knew we wanted to collaborate again in the future. We were both keen to provide an event over the quieter autumn/winter season when social options are more limited compared to the busier months over spring/summer,” says Melanie.
The club also has an alfresco dining area outside the cinema in the main street, with street food, a pop-up bar and candy bar, and often live music for a couple of hours before the film starts.
And the idea is taking off!
“We launched the season in April and have had a wonderful, really positive response from everyone who has come along and our awesome sponsors,” says Melanie.
“Admittedly I’m a self-confessed cult/arthouse film-geek, so co-ordinating an event like this and deciding on the perfect films for our programme is far from feeling like work!”
Turning her passion into her job allows Melanie to maintain a healthy and harmonious mum/work/life balance, while stamping her mark on Tauranga’s creative event scene.
“My goals for the future are the same as my goals for the present…to always focus on that mum/work/life balance, maintaining I’m always present and accountable in everything I do, and to always be open to new experiences and adventures.”
Melanie moved to Tauranga in 2014 from Perth with her Kiwi hubby and two boys to be closer to family and give her kids the “barefoot freedom of growing up in New Zealand with family close by”.
“We love calling the Bay of Plenty our home and I still find myself gob-smacked by how beautiful it is on a regular basis.
“We’ve arrived at an exciting time in Tauranga where times are changing and welcoming to new ideas and innovation.
“There’s an awesome buzz in the Bay with many people developing amazing ideas, which I really think is putting Tauranga on the map as an awesome ‘go-to’ destination. Good times and more of it!”
Cult Cinema Club’s next screening is ‘Life of Brian’ on May 19 from 5.30pm. Like their page on Facebook for more information.
Quick fire questions:
Who inspires you?
My boys Rocco and Vinnie.
Best place to eat in Tauranga?
Hmmm…it’s hard to choose just one but I’m definitely a fan of Nomad and Post Bank, especially for a date night! Ooh and the fish tacos at La Mexica are insane!
Favourite place in the world?
Anywhere I find myself with my family on a weekend adventure and all along the West Coast of Australia at sunset is pretty hard to beat as well.
Number one professional goal for the next 12 months?
To continue co-ordinating new, exciting boutique events never before seen in the Bay – that resonate with people to want to go out, socialise, try new experiences and connect with their community.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
“Acknowledge your fears, then do it anyway!”