Keziah Wildsmith is a renowned event designer and young entrepreneur on a meteoric rise.
She is the founder of event design company Heaps + Stacks. Keziah is on speed dial for some of the world’s best known celebrities and global brands, with her events being known for their unique flare.
Keziah’s career of over 12 years in the industry saw her start as a Fashion PR where she loved the buzz of planning the events and working with brands to bring their brand values and vision to life through events. Over the last 12 years Keziah has worked with some very well respected events companies before launching her own venture two years ago. Last year alone Keziah’s company planned and executed over 150 events globally.
Heaps and Stacks started from humble beginnings as a one man band from Keziah’s kitchen table. The company now employs nine staff and is continuing to grow and expand, their HQ is situated in the heart of London. The company is the leading events company in the UK for global brands with their client list packed with some of the world’s biggest brand names.
Keziah’s events over her extensive career have included her producing a flavour canon over the southbank and merman cabare with this list growing daily. This year in addition to overseeing events for her clients Keziah will also be launching pop up events such as the ‘Betterment Camp’ for consumers. Keziah’s clients include Google, Youtube, M&S, Soho House and Nike to name but a few.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
Hello! I am Keziah Wildsmith the owner and MD at Heaps + Stacks which is a London based events agency specialising in interactive workshops and programming cultural line-ups.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
No not at all. I knew I wanted to do something creative but in the credit crunch era of either get paid and do a undesirable job or don’t get paid and work somewhere cool (like a magazine)… I had to pick the former as my parents lived in Dorset and I suddenly had London rent to pay! Luckily I found myself working in a staffing agency, then slowly moved over to more of the set dressing and design around the staffing (which I found a bit dry).
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Oh gosh so many… everyday! However over coming challenges is what makes it such a rewarding career and keeps you on your toes (as well as awake at night!)
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Hiring and growing a sensational team of very talented people and creating a nice working environment which means people can achieve their creative best (I hope!).
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
In the beginning, waking up early to be able to fit more into the day, so in working hours I was there to support the team or do as many new biz meetings as possible and more recently I’d say reading and listening to lots of different business books and taking a few things from each of them and testing things out like a mad social experiment!
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
Not officially but I do try to do as much coaching as I can with my team. I think in a few years mentoring or coaching is definitely something I’d like to do more seriously, as its really been very helpful for me and could be quite fun creatively solving problems
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
I work in quite a female heavy industry (and have a team of only women) so don’t notice it as much as others, however I think just making sure women have the same freedom to grow and achieve and earn throughout their lives as much as men do would be a great place to start.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Don’t stick around in a job you hate for so long, it probably won’t get any better, no one cares if you’ve been there a full year or not!
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
The goal post is always being moved, with goals becoming bigger, or extra ones being added into the mix so its hard to know when they have been achieved or when to celebrate! However my main and constant challenge is finding excellent people to add into the team, so I guess doing brilliant work which gains us profile to garner a hefty pipeline of applications so we can continue to grow the team and our capabilities!