A little while ago we had the lovely Ruth Welsby and Martina Gemmola come and visit us in our workshop. The pair came to style and photograph us for Home Beautiful Magazine, which is out this month. The images are beautiful and they have definitely made a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. After all, our workshop does not look this good on an ordinary day!
Anyway, below is a transcript of the article, courtesy of Home Beautiful.
Home Beautiful Magazine – May, 2016
WOOD WONDERS – beeline design
Beeline Designs’ founder Adam Brislin has taken his lifelong love of timber and transformed it into a thriving business – handcrafting beautiful furniture – with his partner, Lucy.
WORDS & STYLING RUTH WELSBY. PHOTOGRAPHY MARTINA GEMMOLA.
The customisable ‘Calypso’ Victorian ash stool, available in 450mm and 680mm heights, was the first piece of furniture Adam Brislin created for Beeline Design. OPPOSITE: Adam presents a variety of his furniture finishes. The ‘Calypso’ comes with painted or copper edges and timber or copper rods.
“WE WORK WITH REAL COPPER AND BRASS AND THERE IS A SKILL TO THAT” ~ ADAM.
HAVING GROWN UP in Bunbury in Western Australia’s jarrah heatland, furniture-maker Adam Brislin has an innate passion for timber. He was hooked by the material’s endless possibilities as a teenager after attending a woodworking course, and an apprenticeship in which he learnt traditional carving and turning techniques followed.
Then the travel bug bit and Adam moved to the UK, where he met his partner, Lucy Grant. A former fashion designer from Melbourne, she tempted Adam to her home patch when they returned to Australia, and the garden shed of their inner-city home became the headquarters of what would one day be their furniture company, Beeline Design. “After returning home from the UK I worked for a couple of production furniture companies, while tinkering away at my own work,” says Adam. “A friend asked me to make a table for them and the rest snowballed from there.”
The business quickly outgrew the shed and they moved into Worco, a co-operative workshop in suburban Preston. Established in 1979, Worco is the second oldest co-op in Victoria and houses an array of heritage trades including a blacksmith, a luthier – a repairer of string instruments – steam benders, wood turners and ceramicists. It was a turning point and enabled Adam, who had been working for an architectural joinery business, to go full-time at Beeline and expand its furniture range.
With Lucy heading up the design, social media and wholesale side, he creates stunning, multifunctional furniture that ranges from stools to storage cubes and draws on influences from mid-century style to Art Deco flourishes. “Besides the quality, handcrafted nature of our work, what sets us apart is our ability to customise it.” says Adam.
A dedicated problem solver, he loves the challenge of creating furniture or mastering a technique. “I nearly threw the towel in on our light design as the angles were so difficult to work with,” he admits, “but I persevered!”
With a growing family – daughter Audrey is now three and another child is due any day – Adam wondered on several occasions if following his dream was worth it. However, his commitment and enthusiasm, along with Lucy’s unwavering support, have seen them through. “I always have such admiration for Adam,” says Lucy. “He’s known what he’s wanted to do from a young age, and to realise that dream is a huge achievement.”
Adam usually starts work at 9.30am and works through to late in the evening. “After the mountain we had to climb to get here, the business is allowing us some flexibility,” he says. “I work just as hard but now I work to my own schedule. Being your own boss is much more rewarding!”
For more information, visit beelinefurnituredesign.com.au.
ADAM’S TOP TIPS FOR… staying focused
1. “Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help,” says Adam. “I’ve been so fortunate to work at the Worco co-op where many of the members are experienced and knowledgeable. They’ve helped me immensly, guiding and mentoring me as I’ve built and developed the business.”
2. “Don’t give in. We sacrificed a lot – and worked harder than I ever imagined – creating Beeline Design,” says Adam. “Some days I doubted whether it was worth it, but I’m glad those doubts didn’t take over.”
3. “Create what you love and don’t get distracted,” says Adam. “there will always be someone doing something similar but run your own race.”
To check out some of our furniture collections, click below:
Styling by: Ruth Welsby
Photography by: Martina Gemmola