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.

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