The Cost and Benefits of Making Products in Australia

Stephanie hand-painting Greenfin Parrotfish Christmas ornament

Recently it dawned on Amy and I that we were undercharging for our ornaments when accounting for materials and labour. We also began to see products advertised as hand-painted overseas in Southeast Asia and China costing more than ours. Not only do we buy all the materials in Australia and get the wood cut in Sydney, but we hand-paint each one, however we didn’t factor in the cost of our labour with this. To get to a finished product that we love and feel proud to sell knowing it will last a long time we go through several steps along the way including staining and sealing the wood and treating it at the very end to protect it long-term. Each ornament is hand-painted in our Darlinghurst studio using professional grade paints and brushes. We really love what we do and are so happy and lucky to be continuously inspired by native Australian plants, animals and birds. We make a choice to produce our work in a country with fair wages and safe working conditions. Additionally as sustainability is one of our core principles our work is not only made using only natural or recyclable materials, but we work with vendors and manufacturers who care about those things too. The end product is an ornament who’s creation doesn’t harm the planet, but rather, truly celebrates it including collaboration of partners and manufacturers interested in more than just a sale. We plan on continuing to expand our line and are so excited for the Christmas season. We hope you think where a product was made and how a product was made is important. The next time you’re out shopping, have a look closely - is it actually made in Australia or just designed in Australia? Is the product or packaging full of plastic? Are people making this being paid a fair wage? What kind of footprint are they leaving and how transparent are they? Our mission is to bring awareness to native plants, animals and habitats through our work. We don’t believe in a divide in how our products were made and what they represent when they’re complete. After all, shouldn’t products about native Australian animals, birds and plants not harm the actual native Australian animals, birds and plants? Perhaps it’s because we spend so much time outside birding or snorkeling or bushwalking, but when we make our ‘Souvenirs from Planet Earth’ we really mean it. And to make products with only natural or recyclable materials, as locally made as possible, with Australian manufacturers interested in sustainability does cost a bit more. We hope you’ll agree. If you have any questions about our new ornament prices or how we make things, please don’t hesitate to ask. We love answering questions and most of all we <3 our customers so don’t be shy!

Stephanie and Amy