Be the Change Conversations with Claire De Lune

Author: BM Team
Issue 68

Be the Change Conversations with Claire De Lune

Be the purple cow in your industry! Young Sunshine Coast entrepreneur Claire de Lune is in tune with what makes her heart sing!

Welcome to our new section of the magazine, ‘Be the Change Conversations’, this exciting new section is to inspire you to think outside the square, to inspire you to be the change within your industry. Feel free to put forward someone either locally, nationally or internationally that you think is being the change in their world.

While pushing boundaries as a business pathfinder, Claire has learnt from experience that following her heart’s desire and working with passion leads to success. In fact, one of her many enterprises The Velo Project had a massive turnover in its ‘heyday, before it was sold to finance her next business endeavour.

This successful visionary has transformed her creative ideas into a stylish reality through diverse businesses such as creative agency Sage Creations,  Factory The Project (a Maroochydore nightclub) and Bespoke Habitats (container accommodation) to name a few. Her creative foundations came from a successful career working for The Moon Group in Sydney and London and a Bachelor of Business Communications from Queensland University of Technology.

Somehow her business authenticity, sincerity, and passion strike a chord with most people!

Claire’s organic and innovative process of setting up magnetic hubs are in tune with the community’s needs, attracting people from all walks of life to exchange ideas and share a common space.

This year Claire intends to create more passion projects in the hospitality and music industries. This versatile creative is constantly growing and up-skilling her abilities, with a view in 2015 to perform and write music for the piano, as well as singing and storytelling activities.

Claire walks the talk of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi:  “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”


What is your background?

I was born to conservative, yet creative and entrepreneurial parents, Sally and Tony Elliott. The early chapter of my life was spent fossicking in forests, taming wild kittens, riding horses bareback and helping my mum make a beautiful home on our large country property. I am the eldest of four children. Mum’s happiness was everything to me, so I would help her as much as I could with cooking, gardening and family-orientated activities.

My first business was Sage Creations, a graphic design, marketing and branding company that I started in Sydney. After working in the design/advertising industry in Sydney and London for the previous 10 years, I felt I had the knowledge to go out on my own. I believed my skill set could be quite valuable to a number of businesses on a consultancy basis. That way I could structure my life to suit my needs. When the company was thriving, I had three contract staff and 50 job numbers open. For a small design agency this was a huge accomplishment.

Where are you from?

I grew up on a large property west of Toowoomba. I went to a little co-educational boarding school in Toowoomba and an all-girls boarding school on the Gold Coast. At school, I excelled in the creative industries, being captain of drama in my final year.

Do you have any children?

I have two beautiful children with my husband Zeke. Our children are son Orlando and daughter Daisy. In the past,

Zeke was an aeronautical engineer, who designed simulator programs for Boeing fighter jets.

What was your first business?

My first business was Sage Creations.

What businesses have you had since?

When Sage Creations was successful,

I sought larger premises, which was the beginning of The Velo Project in Careela St, Mooloolaba. It was a side business, which enabled me to indulge in delicious, healthy food and drink the best coffee at work.

The Velo Project was also an opportunity to entertain my clients in a visually-inspiring space, which I shared with like-minded creatives, who were seeking connection and stimulation. This business thrived because it was the first of its kind and met the community’s needs.

Tell us about Factory: the Project?

Factory: the Project is a restaurant, bar, amphitheatre for live entertainment and a nightclub positioned in busy Maroochydore.

Has it always been your intention to be different?

I have always believed in the purple cow theory, which focuses on the need in business to be original, unique and different.

It makes sense to do things in a way which opens up new opportunities for people and challenges people’s perceptions of what ‘normal’ is.

How did Bespoke Habitats start?

Bespoke Habitats is a solution for modern-day people who want flexibility, self-sufficiency and freedom to explore, work and play.

The Australian market has responded very warmly to our new container product, as people realise it is innovative, practical and affordable. We simply can’t keep up with the demand, because it’s the most affordable by thousands of dollars - yet designed and hand-crafted on the Sunshine Coast.

Who do you think might buy the containers? What part do you play?

Our containers are purchased by people across a range of industries from agriculture to the mining industry.

The containers’ flexibility, ease of transportation and self-sufficiency, make them perfect living quarters for farm hands, contract workers, and ‘fly-in and fly-out’ labour force in regional Australia.

What is your design background?

My design foundation comes from advertising and design agency The Moon Group. I worked for Moon in Sydney and London as an Account Executive and Account Director on accounts from Seafolly Swimwear to Sydney Theatre Company, and Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

I consistently managed the design process for my clients from initial brief through to design delivery. I was also involved in the marketing and design strategy.  For larger-budget clients, I coordinated their team of agencies (advertising, digital, design and PR agencies across Australia) to ensure consistent and quality rollout of communications and design.

What advice would you give someone looking to step outside of the square?

My biggest advice to people is to follow your heart. Don’t take the job that has the higher pay cheque. Take the job that interests you the most, makes you feel alive, challenges you and makes you want to learn more. Analyse your versions of ‘successful people’ and take notes on how they got there. Ask lots of questions and put yourself in lots of vulnerable challenging environments where you learn the most, and push further toward your dreams.

Where did you get the inspiration for your ideas like The Velo Project?

I think my ideas come from the heart.

The objects that really move me are usually upcycled - that have history and an interesting story. I love travelling and seeing how other people create spaces.

What’s next for you?

I am always looking to challenge myself. The most important lesson I learnt in the past year is not to chase the dollar, but instead to pursue your passion. It is your passions that lead you to a life of success. This year I intend to create more passion projects in the hospitality and music industries. For me, music is one of the

most powerful creative outlets.

I am inspired to perform, write music and move people with my storytelling abilities.

I play the piano, am a strong public speaker and write. Singing is something I love to do. I know that if there is authenticity, sincerity, and passion behind the voice and the story - with practise and dedication - anything

is possible.

How would someone contact you about any of your businesses?

Call me on 0424 444 205. I enjoy meeting people and would love to discuss any opportunities for new business.