On Tuesday 20th March a group of custom makers gathered together at Christian Cole’s factory in Coburg, Victoria.  Jointly hosted by House of Home and the AFA, it was a really great night –  this ‘REALITY’ event was an opportunity for people to come together, catch up, and discuss both opportunities and challenges in the industry.

Carlinea Williamson, Founder House of Home, spoke about community and connectedness both amongst makers, and consumers. “Consumers are wanting to understand and connect with where the things they are buying come from. People increasingly want to know the story of what they are buying, and working with a custom maker gives them a chance to be a part of that story.”

Guests were all inspired by Hendrikus Berkers, a former head of RMIT’s School of Design, who spoke candidly about business, collaboration and making plans.  He gave insights into his success as a designer maker and challenged everyone in the room to carve out time to really think about their business and reflect on where they want to take it, and find ways to work together.

Patrizia Torelli, CEO of the AFA, shared many of the positive things that the AFA is working on – from working with government on skills training, offshore design collaborations, and marketing opportunities, like a targeted international trade missions to showcase talented Australian makers to high net worth buyers and a new design competition for both emerging and established designers in conjunction with international partners.

It was a really fun positive night of great comradery and sharing.  And a very big thank you again to Fiona and Christian Cole for hosting this very special evening amongst the very REAL sights and smells of designing and making gorgeous furniture in their factory. Keep an eye out for the next event.

Want to host an AFA Event at your premises? Contact Edi Re, at membership@australianfurniture.org.au