It’s not everyday that a new brand joins Flaunter and the whole office stops to stare at the images – but that’s exactly what happened when Valerie Moreno from Bastille and Sons decided to share her beautiful interiors brand with us. Valerie possesses that enviable French flair (and famous good taste) that has established Bastille and Sons as a firm favourite amongst the Australian media, and today, we learn more about her story…
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF?
I am Valerie, the founder and director of Bastille and Sons, a new online boutique offering exclusive and contemporary French designer furniture, lighting and accessories. Every curated product is original and unique rather than mass-produced, created by young French designers and crafted by artisans that have a common passion for quality and attention to detail.
I was born and raised in Toulouse, South West of France, studied (business school and master in market research) and worked in Paris for 12 years, 2 years in London, and few months in Argentina and Brazil before moving to Sydney with 2 very young boys and my husband. I clicked with Australia straight away, especially the life style and the people. We were supposed to stay 3 years but 12 years later we continue to call Sydney home, although, I tend (and need) to travel back to France once a year.
WHAT’S YOUR BACKGROUND & HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?
My background is in marketing: I spent 20 years in big companies, from product manager to marketing director on categories of products as diverse as floor cleaning, facial tissues, toothpaste, and vitamins across 3 continents! A couple years ago, I was ready and brave enough to change career and follow my all time passion for design and interior decoration.
Since moving to Australia, I had the strong feeling that the distance between our two culture subsides when it comes to our love of interior design and our desire to create a beautiful home. It was obvious to me that the beautiful French brands I loved when living in Paris would fit really well here. I wanted to introduce them to Australian design lovers, share the brand stories and the know-how behind the products. So 2 years ago, I did the big scary jump, quit my marketing director job, went back to study colour and design for a year and launched Bastille and Sons.
WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE?
Owning your own business implies a lot of multi tasking and the good thing is that not one day looks like another! Having said that, I try to maintain a little bit of routine in the morning, so usually it goes like that:
- 6.30am – wake up and breakfast with my boys
- 7.30am – clear my emails, check social media and organise/prioritise the day ahead
- 8.30am – leave for an hour yoga at Humming Puppy (so good!) and a chai with my yoga buddy
- 10.30am – the multi tasking starts: I could be at the warehouse preparing products for shipping, working on a photo shoot, meeting with journalists, working on a strategy for new projects launch, looking for new designers, meeting with my accountant, talking with clients on the phone or via email…
- I usually have a break between 6.30 and 9pm to spend time with the family and twice a week or so I will be back on the phone with France in the evening as it is the part of the day we cross paths.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS?
Apart from some technical challenges like freight and logistic (but you learn quickly!) I would say my biggest challenge is to stay focused daily, and be rock solid when facing obstacles. There are ups and downs, and when you start your own business it can be a bit lonely and isolating – I was used to being surrounded by lots of people and part of big teams in my previous life. Now when I feel lonely, I get out quickly, meet with likewise minds, other entrepreneurs, designers and friends to bounce around ideas, find solutions and re-focus!
ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE STARTING OUT IN THE INDUSTRY?
I am learning every day (and loving it!) but so far my advice would be: take risks because when you throw yourself in the deep end you have no choice but make it work. Follow your intuition and stay focused, remain patient and have fun… (is that too much advice?!?)
WHAT ARE THE NEXT BIG THINGS ON THE HORIZON FOR BASTILLE & SONS?
Our big exciting news is that we have just launched the Maison Sarah Lavoine collection in Australia, exclusive to Bastille and Sons. Maison Sarah Lavoine range of furniture, soft furnishings, tableware and lighting is now available here for the very first time. The collection is classic and elegant with a palette of dense colours that often enhances the ubiquitous black and white. Plush, luxurious textures like velvet, wood and brass create sophisticated but always welcoming decor. We are so excited to introduce you to her range! Check it out on Flaunter!
WHERE DO YOU DRAW YOUR CREATIVE INSPIRATION FROM?
My inspiration comes from everywhere – People (I really enjoy observing and learning from how people live) and travel, but mostly arts: any form of arts. I like analogies and being exposed to new things. Right now, I am fascinated by Loris Greaud installations, Bill Viola captivating video installations and Olafur Eliasson‘s work with lights.
From a design perspective, I love how Lecorbusier changed the course of 20th century architecture, India Mahdavi and Sarah Lavoine for their love and work with colour, Matthieu Lehanneur‘s inventive spirit and Joseph Dirand for elegant interiors.
WHAT IS YOUR ALL-TIME FAVOURITE PIECE OF FURNITURE OR LIGHTING?
The list is endless…I’m always lusting after pieces of furniture or accessories for the house. Now that I’ve finally ticked off two favourites – a Le Deun light and an Honore Deco velvet Croisette chair – I am dreaming about a Charlotte Perriand chair or two, a chandelier from Magic Circus Editions, few piece of arts for my walls, and anything Isabel Marant, always. I am not too attached to objects and I quite enjoy rotations!
WHAT ROLE DOES FLAUNTER PLAY IN YOUR LIFE?
Flaunter came as a saviour to me: I knew too well the benefits of PR but couldn’t afford the services of a PR agency. Flaunter makes my life organised and easy, all the important people have access to my images and information. I can communicate and inform about novelties in a professional and time effective manner and most importantly, I can track results and build on the insights provided. The site is super user-friendly!
The other big plus is that Flaunter is more than a website, there is a team of lovely and very professional humans happy to help and support you along the way.
WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST ‘WIN’ SINCE COMING ONTO FLAUNTER?
Being able to reach a broader range of media, especially weekly and daily ones. Being featured twice in a month in the Saturday SMH (Good weekend and Spectrum) made me be very proud! But I am sure there will more wins to come as I’m still exploring everything Flaunter has to offer…
Media can find and download all hi-res images from Bastille and Sons here.