Meet Kerry Anne Nelson of Our Place Melbourne in Camberwell
Article posted: November 23, 2018
Kerry Anne Nelson’s energy, positivity and genuine love of people are immediately obvious.
She speaks enthusiastically about her business Our Place Melbourne and about Camberwell, her new personal and professional home.
“This is a gorgeous area – a great fit for us (Kerry and partner Rodney Turner) and for the business,” she said.
“We wanted to be in a high quality area and Camberwell is that. We are among people that share our core values.”
Tragic event a catalyst for change
Ms Nelson’s niche business – a chic, intimate event space – has proven successful but it has its roots, sadly, in a family tragedy.
In 2014 Ms Nelson’s husband of 12 years had a heart attack and died.
He had been building up a business, working long and hard but was struggling to make it profitable.
Ms Nelson gave up teaching a year earlier to help him manage the business.
“He was great at sales, great with contacts and people but he needed a manager. There were no proper systems in place and the business was struggling financially,” she said.
“Alec was chronically stressed. He had gained a few kilos but no one knew his health was quite so bad.”
His death was, in its sadness, a kind of catalyst too for Ms Nelson.
“It was a difficult time. Our future, all of our plans were suddenly halted. I was left with this business which was massively in debt.”
She threw herself into the task of resurrecting the business, “took it by the reigns” and turned it around, implementing the systems and direction it desperately needed.
In six months Ms Nelson had paid off the debt and 18 months after she took charge, she sold the business.
Following that, it was time to take a step back and what followed, she explains, was “a year of reflection”.
During that time the seeds of My Place Melbourne were sown.
A new start
Ms Nelson’s years in business and retail had honed her passion for and ability to manage teams and resources and design business growth strategies.
“I trained as a professional speaker and I knew I wanted to be a motivational speaker. I realised I enjoyed speaking and I knew I wanted to use that and my passion for making businesses work,” she said.
“It’s a slow process but the skill set can be built to allow a business to thrive. I teach how to put the correct systems in place.”
With her speaking training complete and her first book published, Ms Nelson began looking for a stylish venue to host her talks, presentations and workshops.
During that search she came into contact with other people who also were often on the hunt for a suitable venue for classes, talks and business meetings.
“So the logical step was to find a venue that I could use and also hire to others. Our Place Melbourne was born,” Ms Nelson said.
“We have all abandoned the cafes, libraries and halls and now have a five-star venue that’s intimate enough for small events.
“We have built up a client base and the venue has been a success.”
Ms Nelson runs Our Place Melbourne with her partner Rodney who, she says, “just makes things work”.
The couple dated briefly when they were 17 years old and recently found each other again on Facebook.
“He was my first boyfriend and now we are together again. Life can present the unexpected,” she said.
Our Place Melbourne is, as its name suggests, a warm, welcoming venue that is committed to providing space for established businesses and entrepreneurs alike.
It is a boutique, smart venue with all the technological needs a client could have for a presentation, class or workshop.
Ms Nelson and Mr Turner live above the venue and love it.
“Camberwell works for the business and for us. It’s an area where we can grow the business and where we can live a quality life,” Ms Nelson said.
Our Place Melbourne is available to businesses and the public for hire for meetings, training sessions, seminars and networking. The venue can be hired by the hour, by day or by evening.
Visit the business
949 Burke Rd, Camberwell
Phone: 0412 898 363.