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Touted as the economy’s engine room, small business has an integral role in driving Australia out of this recession.
That is why we must look to support businesses – such as newly founded NooK – with an Australian-first focus to ensure our money remains on home soil.
When Sydney’s Olivia and Patrick Rudomino found themselves stuck at home during lockdown with their three children, it was immediately apparent their furniture arrangement was no longer serving them.
Charlie, 14, Carmen, 8, and Hugo, 6, were literally tearing apart the furniture to use in their imaginative play – and a business idea was born and MyNooK was created.
“Like everyone else, we ended up with what felt like children everywhere constantly yelling at us they were bored and needed to be entertained,” Mrs Rudomino said.
“We realised how we had set up our home didn’t really work for us anymore. We were running from ballet to parties to sport, then suddenly we were just at home, all of the time.
“We had adult’s furniture in the kids’ playroom so I was looking to purchase something more suitable for them. Abroad there are other options, there are companies that do kids’ furniture but nothing you could get here, obviously with shipping something that size, it was impractical.”
Mr Rudomino had lost his luxury retail job working for Louis Vuitton due to COVID-19 so the husband and wife duo had time to put their heads together.
“In collaboration with our children, we said guys, if you were [making your own furniture], what would you prefer?” Mrs Rudomino said.
The design they landed on is simple – 10 individual cushions consisting of two triangles, four squares, two circles and two rectangles – but the building opportunities are only limited by a child’s imagination.
Since receiving a prototype in May, the family have built trucks, fortresses, obstacle courses, quiet spaces and geometric structures as well as beds and couches.
“Our main priority was to create something Australian Made because so many people during this period have lost their jobs,” Mrs Rudomino said.
“We use a Melbourne company for the fabric, which is imported, the upholstery is from a Sydney company and the foam is made in Sydney. We chose also to have our cardboard boxes made in Australia. It’s more than just about the cost, a lot of our business is about supporting Australian.
In exploring their options and costings, the Rudominos had a prototype sent from China but the quality was not up to scratch.
“The first thing we did was make sure we got our Australian Made certification because that’s so vital. Our customer feedback has absolutely need that they are happy to pay for that Australian quality,” Mrs Rudomino said.
The newly created business is part of a growing trend of companies shifting to an Australian first model.
According to an exclusive Humaniti survey for News Corp Australia’s Buy Australian campaign, almost 90 per cent of Aussies would be more inclined to buy an Australian made product if the country of origin was clearly labelled.
And while 30 per cent said COVID-19 had not changed their desire to buy Australian Made products, 70 per cent said they were now more likely to make it a purchasing priority.
When it came to price, 75 per cent said they would always choose an Australian Made product over an imported one if they cost the same and while this number declined as the price-difference increased, 50 per cent said they would be prepared to spend an extra $50 on an Australian Made product.
Originally published as Sydney family create ultimate kids’ cubby furniture
Source: Daily Telegraph