We are thankful every day that Handmade attracts such wonderful designers. None more so than Wood and Wax Studios, formerly Creations by Holmes and Ambience. Michael and Carrin have become part of the Handmade Landscape almost literally, as they crafted our trademark signpost and our pop up room.
Creations by Holmes was started as a way to keep Michael busy after early retirement due to a back injury. He started his foray into woodwork in Brisbane by helping his elderly neighbour handcraft antique style rocking horses and wooden furniture. When a transfer to Canberra was required due to Carrin’s work, he joined the market scene and expanded his range to incorporate children’s accessories including hobby horses, bookends, yoyos and money boxes. Over the years he has found his passion in homewares and enjoys putting together one-of-a-kind cutting boards from Australian wood (new and reclaimed).
Ambience began with Carrin’s love of candles and her disappointment when her favourite fragrance was discontinued. Although working full-time she spent her weekends and holidays experimenting with a range of fragrances, melt temperatures and wick sizes until she found the perfect mix. With her range including names like Elegance, Charming, Secret Admirer, Springtime, Summer Sunset and much more, Carrin picked names that conjured what came to mind when she took that first smell.
With Wood and Wax Studios they bring the best of both business together and have also collaborated on a range of new items including a quirky wine glass holder, elegant tealight holders (perfect for Carrin’s scented tealights) and rustic timber caddies perfect to hold your pens in the study, or makeup supplies in the bedroom. Michael hasn’t forgotten where it all started and still accepts the occasional rocking horse order or restoration project, and makes it a point to donate a horse to a local Canberra business each year for fundraising purposes. Last year he donated a beautiful unicorn rocking horse to the Canberra children’s ward, and this year the Bungendore scouts will be raffling off tickets for another of his creations.
Michael and Carrin love the friendliness of Canberra, the wide open roads, the gorgeous views of the lake, and the great places to grab a bite to eat or a cheeky cocktail or boutique beer. They also believe that the Handmade community is a friendly and nurturing environment that is extremely well organised. “We enjoy being a part of such a great team and have made many friends along the way. The Handmade customers are a great crowd who appreciate well-made items and are incredibly local and supportive to local business.” We’ll second that.
Caroline Leevers is responsible for the Handmade brand, including the website, Handmade Style, the newsletter and the online magazine. When she's not hanging out with the lovely Handmade team, she runs Callie & Co Design, a Canberra graphic design studio that crafts brands for small businesses. Her favourite things about Canberra are the seasons (especially Autumn), the big sky, the coffee and the great events.