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ENTERPRISING JOURNEYS

From dream homes to dream business

Two entrepreneurs smile while standing behind a counter in an art gallery. Both wear casual clothing: a black sleeveless shirt and a black short-sleeved jacket. Bright paintings with floral and abstract designs adorn the wall behind them, showcasing their creativity and passion as women in business.

Kim Burbridge & Claire Burke

Burbridge and Burke

The Business

Burbridge and Burke

The Founders

Kim Burbridge and Claire Burke

The Concept

The home of carefully curated Australian design. Burbridge and Burke believe in buying less, but buying well + following your own instincts rather than trends.

What’s Next

A continued focus on their creative processes, producing their own products, and exploring opportunities like wholesaling their brand, all while enjoying increased flexibility and more family time after working seven days a week!

From dream homes to dream business

“12 months ago the thought of closing the store would have made me cry. But so much has changed since then. So much so that when we made the decision to make a big change this year it just felt easy.”

The story of Burbridge and Burke is a tale spun from the threads of creativity, dreams, and a touch of entrepreneurial spirit. Co-founded by Claire and Kim, this dynamic duo ventured beyond the realms of traditional careers, chasing their passion for design and creating a business that embraces uniqueness and craftsmanship.

Their journey started with a shared love for renovating and decorating, crafting three stunning homes together. Filled with treasures from local artists, holiday finds, and unique gems sourced from garage sales, their homes became a testament to their creativity. However, the duo observed a troubling trend in the homewares industry, where disposability and trend-driven marketing overshadowed timeless design.

A person with curly hair and a colorful patterned shirt stands behind a counter in a boutique shop. The background has various artworks, a hanging tapestry, and shelves with cards and other items. The atmosphere is bright and welcoming, capturing the essence of female businesses thriving in creativity.

Enter Burbridge and Burke

Driven by a desire for change, Claire and Kim took the leap, fueled by the realisation that life is too short not to pursue one’s passions. In 2018, they sold their dream house, relocated to the sunny seaside town of Nelson Bay, and birthed Burbridge and Burke into existence. With a degree in Industrial Design and a penchant for minimalist design, Claire, along with Kim, who embraced color, pattern, and individual quirks, formed the creative backbone of the venture.

Initially starting with a creative side hustle making jewelry and accessories, the duo quickly adapted their plans. They set up a studio, engaged local makers, and opened a store in April 2019. Unveiling a “colorful coastal” aesthetic in a town known for its Hamptons/boho coastal vibe, their unique offering found immediate support from locals, encouraging the duo to expand.

The evolutions

As a regional town heavily reliant on tourism, Burbridge and Burke knew the importance of adapting. When COVID-19 struck, their online presence became a lifeline, showcasing the success of their well-prepared approach. However, amidst the successes, they also faced challenges, realising the need to prioritise their own creative work and eventually opting to close their physical store.

With the birth of their second child, the couple reevaluated their business model. The closure of the physical store marked a shift towards focusing on their creative processes, producing their products, and exploring wholesaling. A move to a spacious warehouse with a dedicated creative studio signals a new chapter for Burbridge and Burke, offering more family time and a platform for hosting workshops.

A colorful scene with a green, pink, and white striped rug that reads "NUDIE RUDIE" placed on a woven mat. Nearby are patterned towels, a fruit bowl, a plant, and leopard-print sandals. The backdrop has a mosaic countertop with various colorful items—a perfect setting to inspire business ideas for women.
A woman with blonde hair browses products in a colorful store. The shelves are filled with various toys, books, and gift items, including stuffed animals, educational kits, and decorative pieces. The ambiance is bright and inviting—a perfect business idea for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

The rewards and sacrifices

Starting a business in a small town brought unexpected joy through collaboration and community support. However, the journey was not without sacrifices. Family weekends were a rare luxury, and personal sacrifices were inevitable. Yet, the most rewarding aspect lay in the growth, both personally and as entrepreneurs, as they transformed from hesitant introverts to confident business owners.

A colorful picnic spread on a plaid cloth. The setup includes sliced bread, cheese, pear slices, strawberries, and jam on a marble board with a gold-handled knife. A green salad, citrus fruits, a drink with lemon slices, and patterned napkins add to the cheerful scene—perfect for women in business brainstorming ideas.
A newborn baby is swaddled in a light-colored blanket with pastel patterns. They are peacefully sleeping against a backdrop of red fabric with a colorful, floral pattern, symbolizing the beginning of life's journey much like an entrepreneur starting a business. The baby has a light complexion and very fine, light hair.
A colorful beach setup featuring three vibrant, floral-patterned cooler bags on the sand, showcasing perfect business ideas for women. One bag has ropes for handles, another has a pink zipper with a wine bottle peeking out, and the third holds cans. An open coconut and beach grass complete the scene.

‘If i can do it, anyone can’: words of wisdom

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Find a reliable accountant early on: Kim advises new business owners to prioritize finding an accountant at the outset. This early financial guidance can prove invaluable in navigating the complexities of business finances.

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Seek guidance from a business coach: The duo highlights the importance of seeking mentorship from a business coach. This guidance can provide valuable insights, strategies, and support in the early stages of entrepreneurship.

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Invest in advertising for tangible results: Emphasising the significance of advertising, Kim and team stress the need to invest time, effort, and money into effective promotional strategies. This commitment can yield tangible results for the business.

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Embrace challenges and push boundaries: Kim encourages fellow entrepreneurs to embrace challenges as opportunities for growth. Pushing boundaries and stepping out of comfort zones are crucial aspects of the self-development journey that comes with entrepreneurship.

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Passion for creativity and enduring design: Despite their journey's twists and turns, Burbridge and Burke maintains a clear passion for creativity and a commitment to thoughtful, unique, and enduring design. This dedication will continue to guide their path toward greater success.

“I will never forget the incredible experience or curating our beautiful physical store and seeing the joy it bought our visitors.”

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