Keeping busy with Culture

Minute With Carmen Conde-Raine, president Peregian Beach Business Association:

"I am a gallerist/retailer and run Culture + Shop + Gallery at Peregian Village Square.

It is a contemporary black-box gallery and retail space.

We sell art and design-related wares including contemporary jewellery by local and interstate designers, books, cards and cool magazines.

We also exhibit contemporary art work by established local artists.

The whole space changes every six weeks in support of the work on display.

Culture is the third business that my husband Chris and I have set up during the past five years we’ve lived on the Coast.

I trained as a performer and worked in the arts in Melbourne for many years before chucking it in to indulge one of my other passions, food.

We moved to the Coast and created Lavish, a European delicatessen, at Coolum. While I found that experience really satisfying and learned an awful lot about business, as you do on the first one, something was missing.

I realised if I was going to stay on the Coast, I needed something more creatively stimulating in my life.

Culture is the perfect opportunity to marry my creative and business backgrounds in one project.

We’ve built some really special relationships through our businesses.

Culture is no different, it provides a platform for us to support and nurture artists trying to cross the arts/commerce divide.

We’re now working in partnership with artists to create products for themselves and for sale in-store.

Peregian’s a very special corner of the world that we’re all passionate about.

My aim as the Peregian Beach Business Association president is to encourage businesses to protect and build on the unique village atmosphere by fostering constructive partnerships between business, council and community.

I’m keen to continue the work of the previous committee’s plastic-bag free initiative, and look at ways to encourage use of the beautiful public spaces.

We love the energy and vibrancy that initiatives like the markets and Peregian Originals provide the area.

My top tip for local business people is don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and go your own way.

Think about the impact of your next venture. Small businesses can have a big impact (positive or negative) in shaping communities.

Looking ahead, we look forward to a great summer in the square, with a dynamic mix of new and established retailers, a revitalised market, and increased family activities."

— as told to Nicola Kerkenezov

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