The Houtkapper Story
Houtkapper is a small family-owned and operated business (husband, self and 2 dogs – I can’t leave them out, they are very helpful ;-), located in Maryborough, Queensland.
It all started…
We were looking for a place where we could put our timber working equipment as we didn’t have a shed. I had just started woodworking as a hobby and my husband had been working with timber on and off since school. Whilst looking for a reasonably sized shed to put our gear (me: looking for the size of a small shed; my husband: looking for the size of a football field, c’mon guys, you can never have enough shed space!), we came across an old building for sale that had lots of character, needed plenty of repair work, but had loads of space. Well, that pretty much sold it and so it seemed like a good idea to quit my job a few months later so I could help with the renovations and then start a woodworking business. In retrospect, I was crazy!!
Well, we renovated a section that we converted into a workshop and once that was done, we built a beautiful wooden boat (an Acorn 15, Ian Oughtred design, for those who know wooden boats) to take down the Murray river. It turned out to be a gorgeous boat and we had a fantastic trip. The next step in the plan was reasonably simple; start the woodworking business…
The humble, but honest story…
What seemed like a simple thing to do in theory, wasn’t. At work I had been a well organised person, meeting deadlines, getting work done, you know, all those great things designed for success and now I had turned into a headless chicken – my husband definitely gets the medal for dealing with a ‘headless chicken wife’. I had this perceived pressure that I needed to make and master everything in and about the business to the point of perfection – it was making me nuts. I was so overwhelmed that I became half paralysed and wasn’t even making anything! However, as you would all know, the basics of selling ‘stuff’ is that you need to have ‘the stuff’ to sell, which wasn’t looking too good financially which in turn just escalated the erratic behaviour of the aforementioned headless chicken wife. In all honesty, I almost gave up on a number of occasions but, thankfully, that also never became a reality.
So, back on my knees again, I was starting from scratch, asking: what was my original in-tention, what did I want to make, what was I able to make and where do I start to improve my skills? I re-evaluated my business plan (yes, I did have one) and tried to simplify things to be less overwhelming. I scrapped the idea of social media, found handmade markets where I could meet the people I sell my products to and found a wonderfully talented designer (with plenty of patience) who redesigned my branding and website. This gave me the headspace to get back into the workshop, amongst the tools and wood chips, and be excited about my work…
Products that inspire
Products that inspire
Love for Houtkapper Products
Where to find
Most of our Houtkapper products are currently sold by word-of-mouth, through enquiries on our website, our newsletter and at handcrafted markets. If you are interested in knowing what products are available, as well as when we will be attending markets, please sign up to the newsletter so we can let you know. Due to the limited number of handmade products and the time taken to make them, we cannot support an online shop. You are welcome to visit our Gallery Page and if you see any items there that you like, please send an email via our Contact Page as we can sometimes also make products on request – depending on the timber and resources used.