Meet the Tauranga woman making nurseries beautiful

After searching endlessly for the perfect nursery cushion, Jen Calorme decided to make her own, kick-starting a business in the process

If you’ve been on Instagram lately, you’ve probably seen one of Jen Calorme’s creations peeking through a cradle or nestled in a rocking chair. She’s the founder of online home decor store Lune & Co, which specialises in designing and making cushions and other beautiful wares for the nursery and bedroom.

From dreamy sky garlands, boucle dummy holders and decorative cloud cushions, there’s a whimsical essence behind Jen’s work that feels almost ethereal, like a nursery tale come to life. Her feeding pillows Milky Moon and Mama Moon, which come in two different sizes, are examples of the products that combine practicality and aesthetic for young mothers. Her products are soft, always, and come in a range of neutral colours to add warmth and texture to any nursery.

Originally from France, Jen moved to New Zealand 10 years ago, settling in rural Tauranga with her partner. She’s a mother to three beautiful children, Jackson, Brody and Zola, and creates content for brands alongside her full-time job running Lune & Co. “I really enjoy my coffees and I love catching up with friends in cute cafes. This would be my hobby for now, as this is the only time I can spare for myself,” says Jen.

A year on from its inception, Lune & Co is looking to scale up as it continues to grow and succeed, both domestically and overseas. Jen says, “The vision has always been to bring some extra love, joy and cuteness into a baby’s nursery or a toddler/kid’s room. Knowing my products are so loved by parents and their children is truly the best rewarding feeling.”

How did Lune & Co get started?

Lune & Co started just over a year ago when I was randomly scrolling social media looking for cute cushions to add to my kids’ rooms but I couldn’t find any and saw this big opportunity. We decided to sell them on social media and launched out of the blue, giving our followers (mainly friends) 24 hours’ notice. Little did I know what would happen next and that I would have to turn all it into a real business within 48 hours.

What does the process of handmaking your beautiful boucle cushions look like?

Being handmade, the process is quite involved. First, we hand pick all our fabrics, we then lay it all out and stencil each of our patterns, then begin cutting. Next step is to sew them together – most patterns have two halves, some have more. We stuff them and with a final hand-stitch, close them up, then they are ready to send out. There are a few more steps in between, such as adding extra details to certain cushions, some of them require more detailed sewing/stitching on some of the custom orders we provide.

What is the ethos of your brand?

We are always trying our best to bring as much joy and love as possible into someone’s home. Our unique pieces make people smile upon delivery, they are excited to add them to their home and excited to give them to their kids. That’s what keeps us going and wanting to always create more. And, if I can inspire more people, more women, more mums through our social media to keep going and chase their dreams, then that’s truly a bonus.

What’s the most rewarding part about running your own business? And what’s the hardest?

The most rewarding part would be that I get to spend time with my kids when they really need me. I don’t have to work to a schedule, so I love the flexibility. The hardest is definitely being a social media-led business, which means even if the physical work stops, everything else never does.

Has becoming a mother changed your approach to living and decorating?

The first few years of motherhood have changed me for the better. It has helped me slow down and really reassess my life and what I wanted to do with it. I had a lot more time to think and to be inspired by others. And, although I couldn’t see it myself in the past, I’ve always been creative. So, over the years of motherhood, my creative mind and styling skills online – and at home – have developed with content creation and the opportunity to style nurseries, bedrooms and living spaces.

What’s unique about your products?

Everything is unique about our products. The fact that they are all handmade and no two are the same. Each one of our patterns/stencils are handmade by us, which means they have their own specific shapes. And they are made with a whole lot of love, passion and hard work.

How has Lune & Co evolved since you started?

We have grown so much bigger than I could have ever dreamed of. We started with two shapes, four
sizes and one colour only. Fast forward a year and we stock more than 10 different shapes, ranging from various different sizes, and with approximately 20 plus colours. We are now doing collaborations with other small businesses and expanding our product range, which is very exciting.

What’s your top tips for styling a nursery?

Start with a neutral base and add some warmth to it, whatever style you want to go for. Begin with white or white and natural wood such as rattan, which styles really well, especially for items such as cots and drawers. Add some warmth to the walls with art pieces or accessories on a shelf, a throw in an armchair, a rug etc. Small details make a huge difference. But mostly, take your time. Good things take time.

It’s amazing to see a young Kiwi business being stocked overseas, as far as Canada and the Middle East. How was that process?

It is incredible. I feel very, very lucky to see my products sold overseas, especially in brick and mortars. Social media has definitely been my magic wand when it comes to marketing and being seen online and overseas. I always wonder how people find me in little Tauranga, but never underestimate yourself (or the power of social media).

What’s next for you? Any exciting projects coming up?

Yes, lots. The next big thing for us is to hire an extra set of hands to help scaling up the business and growing it overseas. But for now, I am concentrating on maintaining our growth and finding a better family/work-life balance.


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