Feeling disconnected from her community after her son was born, Renee Collocott came to the realisation that she needed to be surrounded by like-minded souls that felt connected to the earth, the ocean and art. Blue Dust Collective was born out of a need to showcase the artwork she comes across in her life and benefit her local community along the way. She wanted to provide a platform to fellow artists who didn’t have the time to promote themselves. A creative soul, fueled by positivity and passion, her own works of art are designed and created to impact wellbeing, whilst showcasing the brilliant creations of nature. She draws from the colours of the ocean, the patterns of the mountains and rocks around her, and the perfect imperfections in flora and fauna. Here, she talks about the inspiration behind Blue Dust Collective and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I was disconnected from my community, especially after having my son Solomon, and my career was too unrealistic for how I wanted to bring up my child. I tried to live my old life for months and then realised I just needed to be surrounded by like-minded people who talk about art, the land and Mother Ocean – and sneak in a few questions about anxiety and depression and maybe I will find answers. Art and Yoga always channelled this for me in my non-work life, so I thought why not just gather the people and see what happens.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I started meeting other creatives over coffee and we pooled our creations together to form what is now the ‘True Colour Market’. It was all about showing your True Colours through your creations to the public and it was a hit. We held three and each time there were new creatives (all females with children, working from home). The markets were shut down due to Covid so we opened a small art gallery, held an exhibition and we are now on our third exhibit with packed-out opening nights each time.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
Having the support of other creatives. Without them I would not have had the confidence to do it and I would not have felt like I could open an art gallery. I was even afraid to show my own work in the beginning. I was always promoting others but it comes back around. Support is everything and once you find like-minded people, you are onto a winner.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
The golden nugget question. It has been the most challenging time of my life BUT I will say the most rewarding. I have achieved beyond what I thought capable on less sleep, and believe it is about saying NO to social engagements or work offers when you simply don’t want to. Treat your time like it is precious – every second, keep a gratitude journal every day, have a family member or friend that can back you when you are sinking and say I LOVE YOU every single night, no matter what. My son has more energy than most children and I used to get frustrated. But now I know he just loves to move his body so we are out 3-4 hours a day climbing, beach combing, playing – it makes all the difference when you react to their needs and not what you think their needs should be. Comparing is a killer!