Marcus Lee Design
Marcus Lee Design is an Indigenous-owned, very experienced and nationally respected graphic design agency.
Owned and operated by husband and wife team, Marcus Lee and Donna Farquhar, the business is known by industry peers and clients alike as a service-driven agency, crafting unique and ward-winning communications such as high profile branding, Reconciliation Action Plan documentation for both corporate and government clients, websites, packaging and advertising campaigns.
The business works for corporate and government clients. In the Indigenous world, they are a certified supplier to Supply Nation and regularly earn glowing reviews from Indigenous clients in the private and public sectors.
To keep this kind of relevance, Marcus needs to have a contemporary approach to Indigenous design.
'I met a lot of likeminded people. I'm still in contact with many of them, we've networked and bonded professionally. We now collaborate and help each other out on a regular basis.'
'There is a lot of tradition in this world, and a lot of tradition to be respected in art,' he says.
'My constant goal is to find new, exciting and fresh ways of interpreting Indigenous art styles so that my work reflects traditional values but is relevant to a modern audience and messaging.'
The result is contemporary design art forms that transport Aboriginal art into the 21st century.
'In 2013 we were part of the Indigenous Workstars program, a national recruitment and support system, where we received help formulating our business plan as well as business mentoring,' he says.
'It was a turning point for our business.'
Again in 2013, they received assistance from Indigenous Business Australia – which runs programs to assist Indigenous Australians to own their own businesses and invest in commercial ventures – to attend the National Minority Supplier Development Council Annual Conference held in San Antonio, Texas as part of the Australian business delegation.
Marcus describes the experience as a 'game changer'.
In 2014 and 2015 the business attended Supply Nation Connect conferences and participated as part of the tradeshows.
Marcus and Donna's three tips for other small business operators:
- Working for yourself offers real flexibility around your family and commitments. Make sure you keep that balance in mind.
- Look after your suppliers and treat them as well as you treat your clients.
- Be true to your own style and maintain your passion, but remember to keep up with good business practice. If you have a skill you have built your business around, that's important, but you still need to be relevant with things like technology, customer service and operational skills.
Find information about Indigenous Business Australia.