A very crafty Christmas
Meet the merry makers putting a modern spin on traditional festive decor
Meet the creatives breathing new life into handcrafted gifts and decorations
From preserving a family legacy to turning a hobby into a solid little business, these creatives have each carved out their own path. What they share is a passion for producing handcrafted gifts and decorations that offer a point of difference at a highly commercial time of year.
Christchurch-based Jules and Stu Bradbury create plywood paper rollers, wooden signs and rimu height charts from recycled and new timber. They have recently introduced plywood Christmas wreaths to their mix.
When did you start your business?
Jules: We started Love Bradbury late September 2017, about a week before we were due to have our first baby!
What inspired you?
I have always been interested in homeware and interior design and Stu really enjoys creating wooden things in the shed. We were ‘babysitting’ a CNC router machine for a friend who didn’t have space and Stu was playing around with it. I had seen a handful of height charts around, but there wasn’t much in the New Zealand market in the way of solid, quality height charts and no one was personalising them by engraving names, so our first idea was to make those. We purchased the CNC machine off Stu’s friend after we had tested a few.
How did the idea for your Christmas wreaths come about?
Well, funnily enough, a client of mine (I’m an accountant) sent me a picture of something she had seen in steel which inspired us to try out a personalised wreath in plywood. But because we were so busy, and it was quite time consuming, the idea stalled until Helen Black, who works with us (@livingwiththeblacks), and her friend Erana Pound (@cultureofgrace), were chatting and came up with the idea of Christmas wreaths. So, a very organic process, much like all of our creations.
What do you love about this time of year?
Personally, I like that everyone is on holiday! Our families and kids get together, the weather is nice and we have relaxed barbecues and play a lot of Kubb (a Swedish lawn game).
What do you plan to do on Christmas Day?
We’ll probably head to both sets of parents, one for lunch, one for dinner, eat, play lawn games – maybe even swim, if we’re brave enough!
Tell us about working from home.
We live on a 50-acre block. We have heifers, some sheep and three goats (which Stu is trying to give away, so they are free to a good home!). I run my own small accounting practice, Fox Office, from home. Stu is a business mentor/ farmer/consultant and woodworker. Pretty much everything we do is from home, which is a pretty cool lifestyle for us and for our 1-year-old Lexi – we share the care of her, so we can both work.
What sort of background do you have in woodwork?
Stu: I have a degree in engineering (mechatronics) and I like to know how things work. I’ve always had an interest in working with wood, but essentially I’m just a hobby woodworker.