August 1, 2016
IN FOCUS: COLLEEN ROSE & Catherine Leschkau
Lucy and Loo
For Colleen Rose, fashion runs in her blood. Her mother and her aunt had a flair for it, with both of them skilled dressmakers with a knack for creating beautiful pieces.
As a result, Colleen recognises quality fabrics and clever clothing designs when she sees them, and it is this that drew her to buy online clothing store, Lucy and Loo, in October, 2015.
“I’ve been in the retail industry for years – back in Ireland I worked at Topshop for quite a while. It was what I was doing just before Lucy and Loo that was actually out of place!” she laughs, explaining her role in managing several hotels in the outback – a job she had left her home on the Sunshine Coast for.
“I missed my family so I decided it was time to come home. Lucy and Loo came up for sale and I was looking for a career change so I decided to jump on the opportunity and give it a go.”
It was the versatile design of Lucy and Loo’s convertible dresses, along with the quality of their fabric, that convinced Colleen the business would be a winner. Suited to all body shapes and stocked in 26 different colours, Colleen says her dresses are most popular for bridesmaids, as they can offer the same dress in a style that can be tailored to any individual. But as she explains, their versatility means they can be used for much more.
“They’re the perfect maternity dress,” says Colleen. “They’re not overpriced and you get great wear out of them since it’s like a new dress every time.”
Colleen has grown the Lucy and Loo convertible dress into one of the most sought after items in Australian wardrobes, and having just released the new Celtic Collection range of colours, she’s showing no signs of slowing down.
For many parents, planning a children’s birthday party is the stuff of nightmares. In fact, when it comes to events in general, just the thought can send even the most organised into a meltdown. But for Catherine Leschkau, there is no greater joy than seeing her handiwork take shape.
Having become the go-to-girl among her family and friends for event planning, after organising her sister’s wedding, Catherine had her lightbulb moment while admiring her handiwork at another relative’s birthday party, deciding to quit her job as a project manager in the mining industry to start her own business, Driftwood Events, in August last year.
Discovering there was a gap for local children’s party planners, Catherine undertook her own study online and opened Driftwood Events for business, organising everything from baby showers and birthdays to weddings, anniversaries and beyond.
“I know planning events can be really stressful, so my goal is to take the stress out of the event,” explains Catherine.
“We’re a society that loves to celebrate milestones. We don’t recall weeks when we’re looking back on our lives – we just remember the big moments. I feel like I’m helping to make those memories happier.”
In addition to putting smiles on others’ faces, Catherine says the most rewarding part of her endeavour has been her involvement with the community.
“I am so appreciative of the Sunshine Coast community. From the minute I started the concept to where I am today, everyone has been so supportive. It’s not just the clients; it’s beautiful to experience how businesses support each other too.”
Catherine says she is in her element now, her only regret that she didn’t make the leap sooner.
“If you want to make a living out of what you love, do it! Life’s too short not to.”