Before the boom of the service industry, where services and products could be bought and ordered online, a certain level of skill is required to make and fix things.
In Victoria, there are still makers in the region practicing their trade and earning their keep in trades that may not be too common nowadays.
Kyneton chair maker Rundell & Rundell, brings back the vintage look through its rod back settee made from solid Blackwood from the Otway Ranges in Victoria. Owner Glen Rundell uses traditional tools that have the patina that is only achieved because they have been in use for decades (some of Glen's draw knives that he uses date back to the 1830's), showcasing the best of his craftsmanship.
For travellers wanting to try before they buy can head to Phillip Island and stay at Sheltered Glamping Co. where the owner hand makes the furniture with salvaged material that would have been reduced to firewood or wood chips. The eco resort is furnished with pieces from drift lumber and drift wood that wash up on the shores where guest can purchase pieces they fancy.
For the love of handmade Australian fashion pieces to dress stylish women, Mimi the Label was born in Bendigo. Mimi the Label, founded by Margot & Alan Spalding (of JIMMY POSSUM fame), houses a collection of distinctive, statement pieces of fashion fun where shoppers will find stylish, unstructured pieces, fabulous fabrics and distinctive designs to suit all occasions.
In the north of Ballarat, the original Brown’s Confectionery Manufactory was established during the gold rush in 1857 which then moved to central Ballarat in the late 19th century. In 1974, its traditional sweet-making equipment was transferred to Sovereign Hill. Today, visitors can watch Sovereign Hill’s famous boiled lollies being made right before their eyes. Lollies are sold at the factory, at Charles Spencer’s Confectionery Shop in Main Street and at the Sovereign Hill Gift Shop.
Those taking in the Great Ocean Road can make a leisurely stop in and explore Warrnambool’s past at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village. Stroll the cobblestoned streets and explore more than 40 buildings including a school, a fire station and even a blacksmith workshop showcasing the early trade of recycling metal products into something else - long before the concepts of environmentalism and conservation came about.
For those wanting to pick up a skill or two, the evergreen Country Women’s Association of Victoria offers different classes in various local areas.
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