Hi, I’m Annemaree and I’d like to give you a huge welcome, and an introduction to Chookapeck.
Here’s the lowdown on the who, what and why of how all this came about.
the short version
Who – Annemaree Clementson.
What – marketer, blogger, talker and walker…
Chookapeck is a home for marketing, communications, photography, resources and more…
When – although Chookapeck is a new name, I’ve had my own business for 15 years, working with clients on websites, marketing and communications, specialising in digital media. Prior to operating Barossaweb and Chookapeck, I worked in education (please see my LinkedIn bio for more professional background information).
Where – mainly Barossa, South Australia, but other regions including interstate and overseas as required.
Why – because all roads have led to Chookapeck.
and the longer one… an introduction to Chookapeck
I come from a big family where gardening, cooking and collecting are considered hereditary traits. I was lucky enough to grow up in a small country town in Victoria where both sets of grandparents and our extended family lived. We were a close-knit family and the word Chookapeck comes from my grandfather, Arthur (known as Pa). Read more about the origin of the word in the blog post here.
My (occasionally) angsty teenage years were spent in Ballarat. The cold weather and a tendency towards moody English music by The Cure and The Smiths led me to beg my Mum and very talented Grandmother to teach me how to knit. Knitting is something that I’ve taken up again with gusto. Be warned, there will be knitting talk here!
On the move…
After high school, I couldn’t wait to get to the big smoke and moved to Melbourne at 17 to study a BA in Archaeology at LaTrobe University. Melbourne was my happy home for ten years and during that time I also received a Post. Grad degree in Adult Education from the University of Melbourne.
Whilst studying at LaTrobe I worked in hospitality, and it was there that I met my husband. It was also when the travel bug bit and like many others, I worked to travel and headed overseas as often as my budget allowed. Our early twenties were spent working, travelling, studying and becoming overly familiar with Clifton Hill pubs and Fitzroy restaurants. We loved inner-city life (we used to joke we wanted five acres with a babbling brook in Fitzroy), however, we took a leap and bought five acres an hour from Melbourne at Ballan.
Our block was the perfect empty slate and we designed and built our first home (well Dad built it, bless him). We commuted each day to our jobs in Melbourne, happily returning to ‘the country’ each night. Weekends were spent carving out a garden from the paddocks, and we were always grateful to friends and family who helped us (often in exchange for some of my husband’s amazing cooking). Not long after moving in we had our first daughter, and three years after that, our second little blonde baby.
My husband has always worked in the wine trade and his role took him overseas and away from home for up to six months of every year. In 2000, his employer’s business was expanding and he was asked to head up the new Asia and Middle East office. Six weeks after the birth of our second daughter, much to the dismay of my family, we moved to Singapore. We lived in Singapore for three years, and while it was very hard to be away from friends and family, it was an amazing opportunity to live and immerse ourselves in another culture.
Back to Oz…
When the time came to move back to Australia we didn’t want to walk straight back into the lives we had left three years earlier. So rather than moving back to Melbourne, we took another left turn and moved to the Barossa wine region in South Australia. We figured that a stint in wine country would be a nice change from Singapore. And having grown up in the country, it would be a great place for the girls to have a similar experience.
I envisaged that our stay would be short. Like Singapore, we’d have two or three years here and then return to Victoria. Well 16 years later we’re still here… Here is Tanunda in central Barossa, where we have a hundred-year-old home, two cats and a garden that always needs attention.
When we moved to Tanunda, I sought to fill a gap in the local business environment. Factoring in a travelling husband, small children and the fact I’m a night owl, I started Barossaweb. The aim was to provide website, marketing and communications services to other small businesses in the community.
In addition, for nine years I worked with regional peak bodies including the Barossa Grape & Wine Association and Tourism Barossa. This included working on the ‘Barossa. Be Consumed’ campaign and events such as the Barossa Vintage Festival, Gourmet Weekend, Wine Auction and Barossa Wine School.
The next stage
Six months ago our lives started to take another slow turn. Our two babies are now grown and have moved out of home to work and study. The change to being ’empty-nesters’ happened sooner than anticipated. We now find ourselves with time on our hands and food left in the fridge. This change in living arrangements has given us time for reflection, thought and planning. Thoughts that led to analysis and reframing of what we want to do and how we want do it.
So it seems that all of these turns and paths have led to here.
A new home for projects and an opportunity to offer a broader range of services and resources.
So thanks for joining me here and reading this introduction to Chookapeck.
I’m so excited to be walking down this new path with you.