Up close and personal with Tara Tomes, boss of East Village PR, marketing and events
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m Tara Tomes and I run East Village, a PR, marketing and events agency specialising in retail, leisure and lifestyle brands. I set up East Village four years ago but I’m actually celebrating 10 years in PR this year! I’m a proud Brummie so am involved in lots of great projects across the city too, including sitting on the board of Colmore BID, being immediate past chair of BPS Birmingham Future and an ambassador for LoveBrum. I also own a small digital publishing company with my fiancé, Olly.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
We made what I like to call the ‘grown up’ move to the suburbs about eight months ago so I commute in from Dickens Heath every day. Most of the time I drive because I have so many meetings dotted around so it makes life easier.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
Having lived next to the Mailbox and behind Brindleyplace, I did wonder how I’d find the daily commute but it’s actually great, taking about 30 minutes. There are lots of roadworks in the city centre but I’m always willing to suffer short-term pain for long-term gain, and it’s improving daily.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
I owe every inch of success in the past 10 years to the people here and the opportunities they create. There are so many passionate people – Brummies and adopted Brummies helping each other to achieve great things.
You can usually find me in 200 Degrees Coffee or Java Lounge on Colmore Row or in the bar at Malmaison (depending on the time of day having a coffee or a gin).
East Village is in the heart of Colmore BID so we’re spoilt for choice, although we do have a bit of a Deliveroo addiction! I would never say no to an Anderson & Hill salad or amazing sushi at Sushi Passion in Great Western Arcade. I’m a fan of the Mailbox too so, as well as Malmaison, I’m often in Tom’s Kitchen or Harvey Nichols. I’m also a regular at Fumo in Selfridges.
We’ve got Earlswood Lakes by us which is a great place to dust off the cobwebs. We also love Clent Hills!
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
Colmore BID has everything – the heritage and history behind the buildings mixed with new developments and a thriving food and drink scene. I also love shopping, so Selfridges and the Mailbox always lure me in.
As long as they do a great G&T, I’m there! Usually Fumo, Waterloo Street or Bank, Brindleyplace, as well as any of my fave coffee and lunch spots too. I also love the JQ, so enjoy Ana Rocha and Saint Paul’s House.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
It’s constantly changing for the better but collaboration is the key to ongoing success – which is what organisations like BPS Birmingham and the Chamber are trying to encourage. There’s also lots of work being done by the mayor, Andy Street, and council to tackle homelessness, which is something I’m passionate about being involved with.