You are currently viewing Broken but Still Treasured with Graham Van Heerde – Episode 8

Broken but Still Treasured with Graham Van Heerde – Episode 8

Stories From The Bush – Our Stories are from our community of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business, stories of Australian’s who work and live in Rural and Regional Australia.

Graham Van Heerde and his wife Rosie, have Broken By Design, a business that takes discarded pottery and crockery and makes them new again, something to be treasured.

A Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business, Business Owner’s Story

 

Today we chat with Graham from South Australia about making treasures from discarded pottery and crockery.

This transcript was made by Rev.com – if you’d like to try it yourself click here: try.rev.com/3mmN2z

Transcript:

Jenn Donovan:

Wahey there. Welcome to episode eight of Stories From The Bush. I am, of course, the host, Jenn Donovan, our marketer, keynote speaker, social media strategist, and rural girl. Pretty much just obsessed with helping other rural Australian small businesses. I’m a farmer’s wife in the Riverina of New South Wales, mum of three and so passionate about sharing these stories of business and life in rural Australia. My business partners and I, Sarah Britz and Lauren Hateley, shout out to you guys, are the co-founders of Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business. If you want to hear more about our story, how a clinical psychologist, a web designer, and a marketer came together to create this movement, head back to the intro episode and hear how us three rural girls have got together to make a big difference in rural and regional Australia, or, of course, you can check out the about section on our website.

Jenn Donovan:

This episode is, of course, brought to you by our marketplace, Spend With Us – Buy From a Bush Business, which you can find at all the Ws spendwithus.com.au. It’s an online marketplace for rural and regional small businesses and currently, we’re supporting almost 1,000 small businesses through that marketplace, but we also have a Facebook group called Buy From A Bush Business which has currently about 310,000 members in it. So clearly we are supporting hundreds of thousands of small businesses via that platform.

Jenn Donovan:

If you could love to check us out, we’d love to see you there. Head to our marketplace or, of course, head to our Facebook group and maybe share both of those things with a friend or, of course, share this podcast with a friend who’d love to hear this story as well because today we have a gentleman… A gentleman, we haven’t had a gentleman on, or haven’t had a man on at all on the podcast so I’m super-excited for Graham to come on and have a chat to us about his business Broken By Design.

Jenn Donovan:

I love Graham and Rosie, who is his wife, I love their story. I love what they give back to their customers and the treasures they’re creating for generations to come. Graham and Rosie’s business is Broken By Design and he basically turns discarded and unused crockery into jewelry and other treasured pieces. It’s not what he set out to do in semi-retirement though as the story goes, but it’s 100% what he’s passionate about now. It’s another great story of life and work in the bush and I can’t wait to share it with you. So go and grab a cuppa and listen to my chat with Graham from Broken By Design. Thank you so much, Graham, for coming on the podcast today. I think you’ve got an amazing story and I can’t wait for my audience to hear all about it. But can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and where you’re actually from in this big, wide, brown land of ours?

Graham Van Heerde:

It’s a pretty great country, yeah. Thanks, Jenn, for the invite too. Yeah, we’ve set up in a small country town called Blyth, 12 clicks out of Clare, which is in the Mid North of South Australia, about two hours drive out of Adelaide. Part of Clare is very strongly known as a grape-growing wine-producing area, known for its Riesling in particular. And Blyth is just over the hill from Armagh and we’re down on the Wheatbelt, pretty large Wheatbelt area on the Adelaide Plains through to the Blyth Plains, so very much a farming area. 12 clicks out of the main regional town of Clare, so it’s a very handy locality to get all the things you need to do that only a reasonable size town can provide.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, okay. And you haven’t been in Blyth very long, have you?

Graham Van Heerde:

No, we’re blow-ins, three years young and loving it. My wife and I, Rosie lived in Adelaide and I’ve been Adelaide-born and bred, but we always talked about eventually a sea change. And I’m in my 60s now and we love caravaning and trying to get away when we can. And on our trips around Aus, we’d always come back through the Mid North of South Australia because my wife’s parents now live in a place called Merriton just out of Crystal Brook, which is a bit further north of Mid North. And yeah, we stayed at Blyth because they’ve got an RV camp set up there or a site, should I say, 12 clicks as I said out of Clare. So we leave the van there, unhitch, go into Clare and do our wine-tasting which we love to do still, and also have a chance to walk around Blyth.

Graham Van Heerde:

And one of the big things because we had been looking at places, and don’t take this the wrong way, a lot of smaller places you went into they’d seen better days, they’re almost just on life support. And it’s very sad because the other places and localities have taken over, or they’ve shut down a railway siding in this part of the town, but Blythe had something else going with it. And it reminded me a lot of being a kid back in the ’60s of getting told by Mum, “Make sure you’re home by the time the lights come on on our Stobie poles,” the old wires and electrical volts. And Blyth reminded me of that. We walked the town, no graffiti, kids still riding pushbikes, and, yeah, something drew us there. And on our third trip, so over three years we found a place and said, “Yeah, x marks the spot, we’ll now call Blyth home.”

Jenn Donovan:

Wow. It’s not exactly a sea change, when you said a farm change [crosstalk 00:05:51] change.

Graham Van Heerde:

… don’t call it a vine change either. [crosstalk 00:05:54] change and a vine change if you’re in Blyth, just quietly.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. And-

Graham Van Heerde:

A little bit of rivalry, happens a lot on the footy field, netball, and cricket. So, yeah. Positive competition, I think they call that, between the towns.

Jenn Donovan:

Beautiful, good old Aussie competition, Aussie country competition, sounds good. And, Graham, yourself and Rosie you operate a little business while you’re in Blyth which is a little bit different and I really love this story, so can you tell us a little bit about, first of all, what your business is called and what it actually is all about?

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah. We run a little business. Again, just probably two and a bit years, no, two years young… Be two years in May this year. That’s from the time that we actually said, “Right, day one, this is our first market,” so it’s two years in May. And we call it Broken By Design. This is a name that I came up with and fits the bill because we deal with broken crockery. A little bit quirky, a little bit different, a little bit out there. But the passionate side of it for me is that I deal with the old shards of china that every back paddock has through all the country towns, the old homesteads, the town sites that are no more. There’s always a plethora of those shards that just keep percolating up through the soil for whatever reason, I think just Mother Nature [crosstalk 00:07:23]-

Jenn Donovan:

Is that fascinating though that these [crosstalk 00:07:25]-

Graham Van Heerde:

It is. It’s weathering, rain, winds, and it just keeps coming up. So we call it harvesting, we actually harvest the old shards of pottery and china. And that’s where it started from [inaudible 00:07:40] in the metal detecting and prospecting and relic hunting, we were in a little place in WA called Toodyay, people may know it, it’s a lovely community and co-op town so lots of people doing arty crafty things. And we were there for a workshop or session where they were using old shards of pottery and china to do mosaics. And we also saw they had a thing there where they were making jewelry out of the edging of the plates and putting that there. So I don’t know, just quite fascinating with that but it never quite… Oh, I don’t know, solved, well, I didn’t think… Let’s put it this way, a seed was sown, that’s probably the best to say it.

Graham Van Heerde:

And about, I don’t know, two or three months later after that trip I was out metal detecting, walking over an interesting shard and I actually went down and picked it up. And from there, the metal detecting took a side shift to the left. And the harvesting of those shards of china started to very much occupy my life and time. And we then worked with the idea that, hey, we could make jewelry out of this. We do contemporary retro vintage and everything in between, but it certainly was that passion, that connection with people, place, and story, and reconnecting it with the present so the story can continue just in a new way is something that really drives me with what I do.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, look, it really is. And I love the way that these shards had always been there and meant nothing to you, then all of a sudden just some little seed just was sown, and all of a sudden it kind of flicked that for you. And I think that’s such a… I don’t know why our brains do this, but I see it in business all the time. You can tell someone something over and over again but every now and then it all of a sudden it just clicks, and it seems to have just clicked with you that this is what you should be doing.

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah. It was timing, I’d taken a redundancy package a little while before this happened too so I was a little bit of a lost sheep. So timing was ideal, even from the viewpoint as I said I love it with a real passion. So therapeutically, it’s really good, it’s good for the soul, good for the ticker. And it’s not that four-letter word, it’s not that W-O-R-K, it’s something that I just really love to do.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. You say you harvest these little shards of china or big shards of china that you find, but you do also do commission pieces for some people?

Graham Van Heerde:

We do. We promoted a number of elements as part of our business plan and what we saw ourselves doing and one of them definitely was the idea of commission work. Everyone has grandma’s plate or bowl sitting in the back cupboard somewhere. You love it because it’s that link to family and who you are, but it never sees the light of day. So it’s really in the same way, hidden in the wilderness as well. So we give people the opportunity to actually let it shine. It’s still being loved, it’s being welcomed in a special way and we’ve found that so often over a period of time. We had a lovely old plate that dated back to 1923, it was Royal Doulton Pansy collection, worth quite a bit of money today if you can get the whole set. And we’re able to fashion nine pieces of jewelry out of a broken dinner plate that went to this family’s children and nieces at Christmas just gone. No, two years ago, sorry, two Christmases ago. So, that’s a real great opportunity.

Graham Van Heerde:

And we had another one very recently just before this Christmas, that a stonemason working out of Sevenhill which is a town in the Clare Valley, established by the Jesuits where they produce altar wine, so not a bad pedigree their either. And the stonemason was working on one of the outbuildings through there and came across a shard of crockery that actually had a scene of vines and grapes so what a connection there, real synergy to people and place and story. And he tracked us down and asked could we refashion that into a pendant for his girlfriend for the Christmas just gone. So if people are curious have a look at our Facebook page there, we’ve got the pictures of the before and after. So again, something a bit quirky, a bit different. But it’s good to create meaning for someone. You do a job that you love to do but you realize you’re actually creating a connection with people to something they value as well so we really appreciate that.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, creating a timeless piece. And I know that we just spoke off air before we pressed record and I was just telling you that I’ve got half a cup and it means something to me, but it doesn’t really mean… I can imagine my children when, hopefully, I’m 102 and I pass away because I want that Queen’s letter. But my children, unless I tell them the story, that will get thrown out, but if it gets made into a beautiful piece then it will actually live on and the story of it will live on. So I absolutely love businesses just like yours that are creating that for future generations as well so that’s really beautiful.

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah. I think that’s… As I said before with what we do if we didn’t have the story behind the piece I think it would be at a loss. It’d be interesting to know what will draw people to it but I think once they start engaging with the story and that value as I said of a timeless piece. Especially with the old shards of pottery and china that we find because people literally back in the day over 100 years ago, well over 100 years ago, had their bread and butter on that, they celebrated, they commiserated, they went through good times, and tough times. Now they’re well and truly no longer, their houses and the towns that they were part of have moved on, but this is just a little reminder that they were there. And it’s that reconnection to people, place, and story that we can reconnect with now. I think it’s a bit like archeology, it’s that beauty that draws people into the past and recognizing part of who we are, we’re people with civilizations and we have that connection whether it’s 20,000, 2,000 or 200 years or 20 years, we still have that connection.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. I love before, again, when we were chatting off-air, you mentioned the word Aussie architect. Oh, sorry, Aussie archeologist I should say. I thought that was so true, that’s exactly what you’re doing is bringing up some history that has been long forgotten.

Graham Van Heerde:

What a great name for a TV series. We might have to get together on that.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, I think so. I think that sounds like a great TV series indeed.

Graham Van Heerde:

There you, note for self, put that down.

Jenn Donovan:

Yup. Anyone listening? You can get in contact!

Graham Van Heerde:

[crosstalk 00:14:51] sponsorship warmly welcomed.

Jenn Donovan:

That’s it, that’s it. Broken By Design is the name of the business. How does the business work? Do you do markets in and around Blyth? Or do you travel the country or have an online store? What does that look like?

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah, all the above. It certainly started [inaudible 00:15:14] was simply markets where as I said we’re still in Adelaide at the time but within… gee, what was it? Three months or something like that, four months, we’re in Blyth from the time of starting the business. And that was in May two years ago. The Christmas before that is when I actually started to play. I had a big birthday coming up in November, just a hit to everyone, November birthday, but I told my kids, right, this is what Dad’s looking for, and I told all my friends, I need vouchers for a very, very big hardware store where I can buy what I need to start this idea from infancy in the creating something that’s tactile and real. So that kicked it off.

Graham Van Heerde:

So the Christmas of that year, my wife and I went to a lovely place called Rapid Bay down south of Adelaide. Beautiful spot on the water where you’ve got million-dollar views for about $7.50 a night so no-brainer, it’s special for anyone that’s traveling down that way, those that know will give it a big tick I know. And we set up the caravan and we had the annex on, and that’s where I started. I started playing with my tools and working out with bits and pieces of crockery and watching them break in every direction except the way that I wanted it to. And started to slowly learn the craft and saw the value of water to keep the pieces cool while you’re carving and all the rest of it. And yeah, it started from there. And by May we’d started our first market.

Graham Van Heerde:

From there we saw, well, where could we see what we do fitting into other areas and one was the commission work and we’ve gone through that pretty well. The other thing we then looked at too, and we’re still waiting, there’s an outside chance this may be happening, we’ve had contact from a lady with regard to doing weddings because we think what we provide could be something special for the bridal party. So if you can imagine something old, something blue, or borrowed, or linked to grandma, grandpa, or whatever, that we could actually fashion to a number of mementos for each member of the bridal party, that would be something pretty unique and sweet. So that’s one thing we haven’t ticked the box in yet but that could be happening.

Graham Van Heerde:

We then to have an online store. And that initially started as well, not so much to go and reach out to people all over Australia, though that would be a great plus, but it was actually an opportunity for people that may have purchased from us at a market that wouldn’t be able to get to that market again or whatever, to still buy online, whether for themselves or birthday presents, anniversaries and the like. So that’s how that evolved.

Graham Van Heerde:

And we then have our Facebook page which is just very active. We have a website which covers the history of how we got into this gig if you like. And yeah, evolved from that. So now we’re doing markets and we cover our markets a lot in the Mid North but we still have connections within Adelaide. We also do the Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. So we’re around all the time and we give a listing too on our Facebook page of where we’ll be for the month that’s coming. So we try very, very hard to keep that communication accessibility open and try and keep our Facebook page fresh as well.

Jenn Donovan:

So before you were doing Broken By Design, were you involved in a business that had social media and had websites? Or has this been a huge learning curve for you also?

Graham Van Heerde:

It’s certainly been a learning curve, but back in my previous life I was a chalkie, I was a teacher at a primary school, and I loved that with a passion. And I loved primary too because you still got that R-E-S-P-E-C-T word happening in the classroom which was great. And again, I love that thing about connections and people and stuff. So yeah, I was very passionate with that, loved the whole interactive nature of mixing with staff, students, teachers, the whole gamut community. So yeah, I had a link to using social media and computing a bit, but my wife also who was a teacher still, high school sadly, poor thing, has also because she’s still active in the teaching thing she’s very savvy and au fait with the IT side of things.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, right. Because it’s always very interesting like there was another guest I had on the podcast a couple of weeks ago and she had always been in corporate finance for 30 years or something like that, and then she went into opal mining. So I love these little stories of people that get to a certain stage and they just want to do something a little bit different, a little bit creative, like you’ve come from teaching to making these beautiful keepsake pieces for people as well as finding your own history and making pieces. So it’s a beautiful transition.

Graham Van Heerde:

It is. 35 years I was teaching and as I said, seriously loved it, that was my vocation. But one thing I knew that when that door had closed and I moved on into… Well, what do you call it? A limbo existence, not knowing what to do, I knew I didn’t want to go back and spend the next 15 years continuing the teaching, that was something that I’d ticked that box, it fulfilled my needs as a person, and I wanted something new I just didn’t know what until Broken By Design came about.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. You were saying very early on that Blyth was quite rural and quite a small town, I think 350-strong population. How has the drought affected Blyth? Is it quite drought tolerant or are they really reeling from it?

Graham Van Heerde:

It’s been, again, you’re talking to a city slicker who’s becoming a country bumpkin, I guess, but one of the key things about it, yeah, it’s been tough times. I think this is the third drought season and one of the… the last few years have been two of the longest… or the driest drought periods we’ve had, and it’s the first time we’ve had two years in succession of lowest rainfall. And in the Wheatbelt that’s things and we’re certainly hearing stories through the Mid North and we are talking Wheatbelt area is probably more familiar than I am, but they are very extensive. So depending where you sit in the Wheatbelt that drought could be even more daunting than we are.

Graham Van Heerde:

But yeah, we had a real dry season even to the point that they redid the reservoir that was going to be feeding into our local oval, football oval. So they did build drainage and irrigation onto the football oval and never got the rains. So we never had a game played on the Blyth Oval over last season at all so certainly stung that. But we’re amalgamated with Snowtown which is another community about 30 clicks up the road and we still pulled off the premiership in 2019 so go figure. [crosstalk 00:22:45]-

Jenn Donovan:

Woo hoo, wow!

Graham Van Heerde:

Pretty special. Told you we’re a great town, little town with a great heart. And I think on the footie field it shows it better than most places, yeah. [crosstalk 00:22:55]-

Jenn Donovan:

Do you think the drought is affecting the retail businesses and the small businesses in town? I always say if farmers don’t have money, towns don’t have money. Is it the same over there in Blyth?

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah, I think there’ll be pretty much, but again, not knowing close enough what’s going on, I certainly know there’s still harvests happening. We do know, just a very local, intimate story with the guy that I play bowls with, Steve. He’s a great bowler in a wheelchair, he’s certainly hard to keep up with sometimes, I’ll tell you that right now. But he has his own little winery, makes these beautiful wines, not far from the [inaudible 00:23:31], he actually plays around with Durif and does a sparkling Durif in his still. He’s the only one in the Clare Valley that actually does that.

Graham Van Heerde:

Now, he, with the drought and the conditions that we had and we’ve gone through weeks where it’s 46, 47, 48 degrees for a solid week, and then we have a respite for a couple of days and then we get hit with it again, and he lost his vines and he didn’t have the money to actually get water tanked in, his reservoir was empty, and he’s really fearful that he’s lost his Durif vines. So it’s just hoping, we did have seriously good rain, about 15 mil, I think it was the last day of January, and I’m hoping that may kickstart… Mother Nature’s so resilient. And even with the fires that we’ve had too, we can see Mother Nature is responding in the only way she can and that’s with green growth which is good.

Jenn Donovan:

Yes. And Mother Nature is responding in my podcast today, I’m not quite sure whether anyone will be able to hear the noise on my tin roof, but we are getting pelted with rain for the last two days which is just beautiful and will feel our very dry dams, but a little bit inconvenient for my podcast recording. [crosstalk 00:24:41]. Don’t tell the farmers.

Graham Van Heerde:

… we need it down south, fill that Murray River for us.

Jenn Donovan:

Normally, our weather comes past you before it gets to us, comes past South Australia.

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah, it does. [crosstalk 00:24:55]. Yeah, we didn’t quite get that. We had a little bit of a shower over the last few days, but nothing seriously big. A little bit higher up [crosstalk 00:25:04]-

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah.

Graham Van Heerde:

… I think it’s worked its way down, yeah.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, maybe. Very good. Well, Graham, we have met through my group on social media, on Facebook called Buy From a Bush Business to which yourself and Rosie are part of and selling and advertising your Broken By Designs. How did you actually find the group? Can you remember?

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah. It was actually Rosie connecting with someone that’s in the market business as well. Can’t remember actually the person that it was but they, again, put it out there and said, look, this is something that was really working for them, it’s something you can consider. And we certainly had heard the ones that responded out of the fires and the droughts, and we weren’t too sure if that’s where we fit but we found out we do on the other level. So being a small country town in the Wheatbelt and we’ve had the drought situations and stuff, even though we’re not on the land. And that’s where it started and, gee, not that long ago, I think it’s maybe three weekends with thereabouts. [crosstalk 00:26:13]-

Jenn Donovan:

Oh wow, so quite recently.

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah. So it might be maybe a month, but don’t hold me to that, I think it’s under a month. And we’ve had an amazing response. One example, I play lawn bowls, not very well, but play lawn bowls and we had a game on last week and a woman from the opposing team from a town called Redhill, said, “Look, has anyone heard of this mob called Broken By Design that allegedly is set up somewhere in Blyth?” She was talking everywhere across the table at everyone and I was actually sitting directly across from her and I just put my hand up and gave a little wave and said, “Hi.” Yeah, she wanted to… she’d been following us, so that was pretty amazing.

Graham Van Heerde:

And we’ve also set up markets in Adelaide. Well, we have at the [Fringe on 00:26:59] and we’ve had people that have actually detoured and come in to track this down so they’ve obviously, looked at the Facebook page where we have a calendar of where we’ll be for each month and tracked us down to see the pieces in person if you like and put a face to the name I guess. And said, “Oh, we’re on our way to a Fringe show and thought we’d just come by and have a look-see and see who you are and what you do close up.” So yeah, all credit, I bow to your initiative, it’s working really well for us, absolutely.

Jenn Donovan:

Oh, look, I only provided a platform, it’s really the community that have just taken it and run. And I love the fact that people, maybe not everyone can afford to purchase because it is a bush group and there are certainly purchasers there for it, but there is a lot of people there who are there to try and help with their businesses. But I love the compliments that people give and the love and the encouragement and things like that. Is that what you’ve found as well?

Graham Van Heerde:

100%. Again, and it’s… I’ll draw an analogy with caravaning for those people that do that, that love to travel, every night you pull up it’s happy hour somewhere, and all of a sudden you start having that conversation and chinwag with people that you’ve never met before, but you feel like you’ve known them all your life, and it’s always a positive vibe. You’re sharing something in common. And I think this community works the same way. You’re somehow connected through tough times, through being a rural community, whatever the links are. And there is a real collegiality for want of a better word of support that you’re all in there knowing that in some little way, even if it’s just a positive comment about, “Well, that’s an amazing thing you’ve created,” you may not be buying it but that affirmation. And then others that have bought and then throw it back online and say, “Gee, we’ve received it and thanks for the little bit extra there, or the detail you put on the card about who you are and what you do and that personal touch.” And to get that feedback, I think we all grow from that.

Graham Van Heerde:

It’s not only food and water that makes us grow, it’s getting those positive feedbacks.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, no, I 100% agree. So yeah, thank you for being a part of it and giving as well as getting, being part of that community because it’s just… it’s very inspiring, and I love the fact that it’s connecting city and country.

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah. Look, there was one thing, we chatted a bit offline but it’s just mentioning that again through what you’re doing, but we did market way down south in Strathalbyn and as all over Australia we’ve been scarred by these fires over Christmas, and we had a lady that worked for the local CFS down there as a coordinator. And she got back in touch with us and she said, “Look, as a result of the fires, we’ve had a person that’s lost their collection of fine china and crockery. Do you do restorative work?” which we don’t but we were able to give them a connection to people that do.

Graham Van Heerde:

But my wife and I were thinking through that and we thought, well, gee, it’s a tough time and maybe we could do something. And it’s a bit bittersweet but the people may have a piece of crockery or china, to give an example, like an old Bunnykins mug that might have belonged to your firstborn child that was sitting in the cupboard, that’s now being scarred by these fires. We said we could offer a service whereby we could refashion that if it works for them into a piece of jewelry for no charge. And even though it’s bittersweet, if the meaning is strong enough and tangible that you want to keep it, we could offer that service, so we’re part of the registry of assistance with regard to the bushfire relief.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, and that’s just beautiful. And I suppose that that generosity that you’ve put out there is, A, exactly what being part of a Buy From a Bush Business is all about and being part of a country community, but also it might be something you see a little bit more of as time goes on. At the moment, people are sort of… Well, I wouldn’t know, I haven’t lost a house to fire, but I’m gathering they’re reeling and the ups and downs of emotions, and eventually, they will come and no doubt take up a beautiful offer like that perhaps when the pain has subsided just a little bit and they can see a little bit of sunshine.

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah, it’s… I found it a positive thing for me when we were in Adelaide and I decided to actually come back home to Blyth via the Adelaide Hills and follow the ridge from Mount Barker across through to Lobethal, Chain of Ponds which… Cudlee Creek was where the fire hit through the Adelaide Hills region and it’s not a bad reality check. You see things on TV and it’s daunting and bad as they are, but to go through the aftermath and to see what the towns have set up, little community groups just trying to get some money in to feed into the bushfire relief, these little centers that have been set up where donated clothing and goods that they can’t move onto people have actually set up as op shops just on the road, just trying to get sales on and to bring some funds in. And I found that confronting but also something that I think we need too. It’s such a tough gig, whether it’s going through the drought or flood or fires, people were being really, really impacted with that in ways that lucky enough, touch wood, we’ve not had to go through.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah, absolutely. Knock on wood. Graham, this has been a really interesting talk. I thank you so much for your time today. I love difference and I think you’ve got such a unique story of where it started and what you’re doing and what… the change, the tree change, the hill change, whatever it was. But if anyone has listened to the podcast and they want to get in contact with Broken By Design, how’s the best way for them to get in contact with you?

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah, the easiest way is brokenbydesign.com.au. Even just doing a direct Google, that’ll come up with our Facebook page and a link to our website. And we’re also on Instagram as well. So yeah, that’s the best way to get out there. I’ve got an email too graham@brokenbydesign.com.au. So yeah, many ways to get through there. And I must say as well, I’ve got to give 100% love and cuddles to my wife who steers the direction of where we go with our jewelry by saying, “Get out there and start doing it.” She manages the thing so well so she’s my chief coordinator. I’ve got the task of creating but she’s the one that actually puts all the structures in place and gets us out there. And also is one that is responsible for getting our online sales through Madeit out to you. We tend to always try and do that by the Tuesday so, hopefully, people have it by the week and full credit to my darling Rosie. Thank you.

Jenn Donovan:

Yeah. I’m pretty sure this podcast interview came from a comment that was like, “My husband would love to do this.”

Graham Van Heerde:

Yeah. Thank you.

Jenn Donovan:

So I think it was like, “We need to do it and I’m not doing it so Graham’s going to do it.” So definitely the organizer and the publicity officer.

Graham Van Heerde:

Behind every man is definitely a better woman, I know that.

Jenn Donovan:

That’s right, shout out to Rosie.

Graham Van Heerde:

Absolutely.

Jenn Donovan:

Oh, dear. All right, Graham, thank you so much for coming on. All those links will be in the show notes, of course, of the podcast. But it’s been really great hearing your story and I can’t thank you enough for taking time out of your day today.

Graham Van Heerde:

Cheers. I’ll say one more thank you too to my kids that, again, think outside the square a little bit. They actually, at Christmas time gave us a lovely gift and that was to actually get shirts made up with our corporate colors and logo. And I thought, wow, I never even thought of that seriously enough, and they went out there and did it. And yeah, we now wear something that promotes our brand. Looks a bit better than what I was wearing. So thanks, kids.

Jenn Donovan:

Ah, lovely. Shout out to them too.

Graham Van Heerde:

Lovely chat, Jenn. All the best.

Jenn Donovan:

All right, Graham, thanks very much again.

Graham Van Heerde:

Cheers.

Jenn Donovan:

I really hope you enjoyed that episode. Perhaps you’re going to go through your cupboards now and find that piece that you never use but you would love to display. And so now you can think about how you could use it as earrings or a necklace or something along that lines. What an inspiring business Graham and Rosie have, and what a story with a difference. It was such a great podcast to record with them.

Jenn Donovan:

Thanks for listening, I really appreciate you listening to this episode. If you haven’t checked out our marketplace, Spend With Us then head to www.spendwithus.com.au and support other rural and regional small businesses on that platform.

Jenn Donovan:

Don’t forget to hit subscribe to this podcast and if you have a chance, we would love a rating and a review because it just means that more people will get to hear these stories of life and business in rural Australia. Otherwise, I’ll see you next time on episode nine.

 

 

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