Growing up in Coolamon, I had driven past a tired, run down old cottage, hundreds of times before. The same cottage the town of Wagga Wagga and surrounding communities now know as Lumela.
People come from far and wide for our hand selected gifts and homewares I source locally, interstate and at gift fairs – from last minute presents, to the personalised shopping experience for those wanting a unique piece for their home. I wanted Lumela to offer something for everyone, look after the rural community with products that could often only be found in the city, while celebrating local products at the same time.
With my kids embedded in the sporting community of Coolamon and having grown up there, it felt right to bring Lumela Coolamon to life.
Inspired by the African word Lumela, meaning “believe” it became the mantra that built my dream into a reality and became my business name. People questioned my idea to renovate a 100 year old cottage, start up a new business, all whilst in a full time job requiring thousands of mandate travel miles and as a Mum to 3 busy kids – the odds were stacked against me. I believed I could start Lumela; in an industry that was different to anything I had ever done before and to somehow work this into my busy family/work life.
Flying around the country working for the AFL, provided time to talk with colleagues about the business idea of Lumela on the plane. The more I travelled the more I planned and dreamed. But never did I think I would have the courage to jump and make it happen!
I just realised, I needed to pursue my dream of Lumela (as well as working full time) and so it was that time in 2016 that I launched.
I went in with the attitude that Lumela will be mine, to make mistakes, challenge myself and push boundaries. That excited me!
Coming from a non-business background, I started and grew Lumela as a self-taught business women. I attended a start-up seminar where I learnt how and what to do with a new business. I remember leaving that seminar with a real buzz inside me, ready to make my dream of Lumela reality. It took me only five weeks to go from a concept to serving our first customer.
I broke every business rule, had no real plan, winged it and just kept pushing forward to make it work – I believed in what I was bringing to my community and what it would offer. The support of family and friends was vital in shaping the “little old house”, now my pride and joy.
Coolamon has become a destination on the map and I’m thrilled to be part of that. People love to take a drive to the regional town, grab a coffee, taste delicious cheese and discover what’s new in Lumela.
Lumela Coolamon has grown exponentially, we have a strong social media presence on several platforms allowing direct interaction with customers both locally and from afar.
Local handmade products are celebrated at Lumela and makes us unique. We work with incredibly talented locals and I never stop sourcing from far and wide, to give Lumela that point of difference.
Turning my idea and passion into a tangible business has been incredibly rewarding. To contribute to the rural economy that I care deeply for is equally rewarding.
And I still feel to this day, if you “believe” anything is possible. Bec McGowan Lumela Coolamon