Small Business Spotlight: Midnight Dreaming

2 min read

Small Business Spotlight: Midnight Dreaming

Small Business Spotlight: Midnight Dreaming
Small Business Spotlight: Midnight Dreaming

SSE is proud to welcome Renae Lamb as Cultural Mentor and Satellite Facilitator. Renae is a proud descendent of the Wiradjuri/Wongaibon people of Central West NSW and the owner of Midnight Dreaming Studio, a fully Aboriginal-owned business showcasing Renae’s art and providing dance lessons for children.  

Renae’s art is reproduced in multiple different formats, from prints and larger commissions, through to swimwear, beach attire and accessories, while Midnight Dreaming’s studio dance lessons are tailored to be culturally safe and to encourage children to learn and embrace their spiritual connection to Country, and express their cultural identity through movement and storytelling. 

We caught up with Renae this week to look behind the scenes at what makes Midnight Dreaming tick. 

Renae, what made you want to start a business? 
I have always shined in the arts and been creative. I also love sharing and creating change around and showcasing my strong cultural connections to Country.  

I was very lucky in 2019, when I was studying to be a primary school teacher, I noticed the gaps in how children’s ways of truth telling was being assessed and realised the need for change in this area.  

Midnight Dreaming was borne from a need for more avenues than the traditional English views of the curriculum and syllabus through which to use professional practice to teach, guide, and nourish young children.  

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received, personally or professionally? 

Jack Ma (Chinese business magnate – he co-founded the Alibaba Group - investor and philanthropist) said “Never give up”. He is a firm believer that it is in overcoming failures that you learn your greatest lessons. 

But my father has been my biggest inspiration. I grew up watching him run his greyhound farm and he’s really instilled in me that sense of self-belief, achieving within the context of my Dreaming, and never giving up. 

In thinking about your role as an SSE Cultural Mentor, how does your Indigenous heritage influence the values, mission, or services of your business? 
Country gives me a deep sense of pride and belonging. When I feel my ancestors guiding me through my creations, and the connections from loved ones up above, I feel strong. I feel honoured. And I feel a sense of belonging and acceptance of the authentic and unique ‘me’, someone who loves to create and share my purpose and my Dreaming. 
My role as a Cultural Mentor is an opportunity for me to use leadership and mentoring to help create opportunities for others to pursue, to help them ‘have a go’ and achieve their dreams. 
Reflecting on your journey as a First Nations entrepreneur, what unique challenges have you faced and how have you navigated these? 

Being in such high demand has been challenging, so lacking the tools and recourses (finances) I need to really achieve what I want to is difficult. But staying positive helps me keep working towards reaching my goals and outcomes.  

Fortunately, both my local and wider communities have been a great support in helping create and drive not only my revenue but also my following.  

Could you share an example of a collaboration or partnership that has helped your small business survive or thrive? 

I have done many collaborations. I’ve worked with local schools in creating Aboriginal dance programs and cultural camps. My artwork and swimwear range has been showcased in Melbourne and globally.  

I’ve also worked with the University of Newcastle, collaborating with students in creating their own artworks, and on a commission for the university’s Office of Alumni & Philanthropy. 

Let’s talk tech. Any favourite platforms or apps you can’t live without? 

Yes! ChatGPT, Shopify, and Alibaba.  

What do you like to do to unwind after a long day? How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance, to avoid burnout? 

I love dancing and playing and doing any kind of sport with my children. 

Connect with Renae: