In­spi­ra­tional story of suc­cess

Llanelli Star - - BUSINESS -

RUB­BING shoul­ders with Hol­ly­wood icons within the events and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try is many peo­ple’s dream job, but Llanelli’s Jessica Rice has suc­cess­fully made this work dream a re­al­ity.

Jess, 34, di­rec­tor of a num­ber of busi­nesses in­clud­ing JR Events & Cater­ing and JR Drinks Fes­ti­vals, has grown from a sole trader, through to em­ploy­ing over 100 peo­ple with a com­bined com­pa­nies turnover of circa £2 mil­lion.

‘’I worked in sales and mar­ket­ing for an in­ter­na­tional cor­po­rate com­pany and at just 21 ran the sales and mar­ket­ing for Wales and the South West of Eng­land, with rep­re­sen­ta­tives across the re­gion, be­ing the youngest man­ager within the com­pa­nies’ UK arm. In 2008, af­ter the birth of my son, not want­ing to con­tinue to work away so of­ten, I de­cided to com­bine my mar­ket­ing and event ex­pe­ri­ence and set up an event and cater­ing busi­ness with hus­band Jamie – who, be­ing chef, meant it was the per­fect com­bi­na­tion.

“We started small, mainly cater­ing for smaller-scale wed­dings – and here we are to­day!’’ says Jess. ‘’The events and hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try is de­mand­ing – don’t be fooled by the so­cial me­dia images of rub­bing shoul­ders with celebri­ties with a glass of Cham­pagne in hand,’’ con­tin­ues Jess. “The photo doesn’t show the six weeks of 18-hour days it’s taken to get to that point – it’s all about team­work, and we’re blessed to have the very best!’’

Along with hus­band Jamie Rice, Jess’s busi­nesses host events across the UK, in­clud­ing the UK’s first and big­gest prosecco fes­ti­vals, rum events and even a na­tional tour­ing 1920s speakeasy fes­ti­val. JR’s rep­u­ta­tion within Wales is un­ri­valled on the event scene in­clud­ing pro­mo­tions for the likes of Chris Cole­man, Wales’s big­gest wed­ding ex­hi­bi­tions, con­certs star­ring West End leg­end Elaine Paige, food and drink fes­ti­vals through to the re­cent “Evening with Catherine Zeta-Jones”.

The cater­ing arm of the busi­ness hosts a huge num­ber of wed­dings and events and in­cludes con­tracted clients such as Swansea Coun­cil’s Brang­wyn Hall.

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