Nathan Wundersitz CKD Au, Designer and Cabinet-maker.
Ellen Wundersitz, General Manager.
Kelvin Sefton, Senior Cabinet-maker.
Jalen Kowalick, Production Planner.
Nathan Beer, Cabinet-maker and Installer.
Joe Goodman, Apprentice Cabinet-maker.
Phillip Shillabeer, Cabinet-maker.
Kingsley Lang, Production Programmer.
Brianagh Johns, Apprentice Cabinet-maker.
James Davis, Cabinet-maker and Installer.
Tony Murphy, Leading Hand.
Whilst he mightn’t look it, Nathan has been in cabinet-making for over 20 years. As a motivated youngster, he commenced his apprenticeship with Walls Brothers in 1994, after which he paid his dues mastering his skills with both Gawler Custom Cabinet Makers and Weyland Cabinet Makers.
Along the way, his talent grew and, inevitably, he knew he would only ever be satisfied working with his own clients in his own way to deliver a standard of product and service he could put his own name to. That’s why, in 2008, he and his wife Ellen lit the fuse and launched SpaceCraft Joinery.
Appropriately, the business took off like a rocket. And the reason is simple. Whilst Nathan has all the skills of a master craftsman who takes painstaking delight in perfecting every detail (we call it ‘SpaceCraftsmanship’), he is much more than a fine cabinet-maker. Indeed, after two years of study, he is now fully accredited by the Kitchen & Bathroom Designers Institute as a Certified Kitchen Designer.
But crucially, Nathan has that rare gift for connecting with you, your family, your lifestyle and your interests, allowing him to interpret your brief – even if it’s only the vaguest notion of what you want – and delivering something uniquely ‘you’.
With a designer’s eye for balance, proportion, scale and colour coupled with his exhaustive product knowledge, Nathan can guide and inspire you to achieve a result beyond your imagination, but not your budget.
SpaceCraft Joinery is truly a family concern. So, whilst Nathan is hands-on in the business, Ellen is the steady hand on the business. Nonetheless, having spent over a decade managing a number of high-profile graphic design studios, Ellen can offer her own creative input as well as the ever-practical family cook’s point of view to his kitchen designs.
Behind the scenes, Ellen drives the marketing of our business, as well as managing our staff and finances.
Our resident Kiwi, Kelvin, completed his apprenticeship in cabinet-making in New Zealand in 1975, giving him 40 years of experience to draw on in any situation. That’s probably why nothing surprises him and, certainly, nothing ever fazes him.
Although he’d moved to Australia in 2007, it took us till 2010 to discover him. That’s when we snared his services as an installation contractor. We finally convinced him to join us full-time in February, 2011.
The installation is obviously the critical moment when all our hard work back in the factory can be undone in a careless moment. That’s why Kelvin is our man: he’s rightly earned a reputation amongst our clients for outstanding workmanship, meticulous attention to detail and helpfulness. He’ll always take whatever time is necessary to get the job right. Little wonder, then, we keep getting calls from clients eager to sing his praises.
We always take great pleasure in building things from scratch in-house. And that includes careers as well as kitchen components. Take Jalen, for example. We first spotted him in 2010 at a careers expo, through the Doorways to Construction program, which he’d joined through his own initiative. We took him on as a school-based apprentice and were so impressed by his skills and commitment, we offered him a full-time apprenticeship.
Just as Jalen was finishing his trade, the business was growing rapidly and Nathan was juggling his various roles. We scoured the recruitment channels for a leading hand/workshop coordinator – twice – to no avail. That’s when we figured we may as well give the young man a go.
Well, we’ve never looked back. And neither has he. Jalen has taken over the responsibility for coordinating manufacture of projects and the workshop team.
A natural communicator with maturity beyond his years, Jalen is an integral part of SpaceCraft who’s always eager to learn and try new things. Exactly what we need to keep us all on our toes.
It’s now officially a problem to yell out “Nathan!” around the workshop, as two heads will pop up. Nathan the Second is Nathan Beer, which makes it also a problem to yell out his surname: all you get in response is everyone yelling back “yes, please!”. Fortunately, young Nathan does have a nickname: Magnet. We presume, of course, that stems from his footy prowess as a ‘ball magnet’. Although, he does also describe his marital status as “complicated”, which might lead to another interpretation.
Leaving all that delicately to one side, young Nathan started with us way back in 2011 as a fresh-faced apprentice, whilst still studying at St Francis de Sales in Mount Barker. Having completed his apprenticeship in May 2016, he is now a fully fledged cabinetmaker and a gun SpaceCraftsman. Not only does Nathan build cabinetry here in our workshop; he’s now also venturing out to help install his work under the tutelage of Andy and Kelvin.
Apart from footy, Nathan loves surfing and, as a result of all this physical activity, is said to be strong enough to lift a car. (Maybe, we should just call him Jack…) There is another side to Nathan, however. A nature enthusiast and volunteer environmentalist, he has been to Indonesia to work with endangered turtles. And he has a real gift as an artist, leaving clever caricatures of us all around the workshop. Which just shows he’s one Beer with a good head on his shoulders.
We’re always searching for good men (and women) to join us. So when this Goodman – by name and nature – came along in January 2016, we snapped him up. A strapping young lad and a very hard worker, Joe hails from Murray Bridge: the perfect launching place for all his favourite activities like wakeboarding and camping, as well as soccer.
Sorry, ladies, but this quietly spoken, old-school, country gentleman and family man is engaged to marry his lovely fiancée, Mel. He’s also something of a dancer to boot, although the bridal waltz doesn’t appear to be in his repertoire. As an up-and-coming hip-hop dancer, we’ll often find Joe busting some new moves around the workshop.
But that’s Joe: he’s always eager to learn anything, whether it’s a new skill or a new break. And you know what they say: you can’t keep a Goodman down.
You’ve got to love anyone who’s not only got ‘a beer’ in their name but who’s also happy to put a beer in your hand. And we do love Phil. When this man of many talents isn’t displaying his cabinetmaking skills on our panel saw three or four days a week, he’s back running Sails at Clayton Bay with his wife, Nikki. So, no matter whether it’s cutting our boards or welcoming you aboard, kitchens are a big part of his life. If you haven’t tried their famous Sails Burger, you’d better cruise on down there. (And here’s a gratuitous plug: <sailsclaytonbay.com.au>.)
Originally, in 2015, Phil temporarily agreed to help us out at times when we were flat out. Unfortunately, for him, he soon proved himself indispensible and he’s now become a very important and permanent – albeit part-time – member of our team. Apart from his care for his craft and his attention to detail, he’s also unwaveringly diligent. And there’s a reason for that.
As someone who also owns his own business, he can’t help but ‘own’ every job. On a couple of occasions, it’s been Phil who’s discovered little mistakes that have crept into our cutting lists, saving both time and money. The best thing is that whilst he’s a straight-shooter who calls a spade a spade (rather than a manual excavational tool) he’s a great team player who supports and lifts everyone around him.
Working two jobs isn’t easy and Phil is a busy man. But with his wit and dry sense of humour, you’d never guess it. On those rare occasions when he’s not working, this dedicated family man loves nothing more than a spot of fishing on the Murray or hanging out with family and friends. And a beer, of course.
If you ever see Kingsley with his shirt off, you’ll be struck by several eye-catching tattoos. Most impressive of all is the massive word ‘awesome’ that adorns his stomach. Now, ordinarily, we’d agree that self-praise is no recommendation. But in Kingsley’s case, we might make an exception. Especially given that, apart from thinking he actually is pretty awesome ourselves, the guy is very down-to-earth, social, chatty, fun and has a well-developed sense of humour. (Hence, the tats.)
Kingsley was introduced to us when we suddenly needed a new production programmer by Andrew Coombs, who’d worked with him previously. (Thank you Andrew: our very own MacGyver has fixed another problem.) At our first interview, it suddenly became apparent he was our Mister Right: not only did he just happen to have experience in Microvellum, the CAD program we use here; he’s also a qualified cabinetmaker. When he started talking excitedly about the ‘back end’ of the Microvellum program and how he loves to work with formulae (yes, we’ve discovered someone who does) we had to interrupt him to tell him he was hired.
Of course, Mister Right can never be perfect: Kingsley lives in Pasadena, making commuting something of a commitment. No doubt he gets through quite a lot of his collection of metal, punk and grunge music on the drive, as well as during Kingsley’s very loud Hour of Power in the office after Ellen has left for the day. We just hope he enjoys the challenges we can give him at work as much as the challenge of getting here.
Obviously, Kingsley is very computer-literate and has immediately become our go-to guy for IT queries and problems, which is awesome enough in Ellen’s book. Just as good, he doesn’t try to blind you with science and always looks for the most practical, commonsense solution.
In his spare time, when he’s not working here or commuting, Kingsley is a late-night gaming ninja. (Naturally.) But he also plays korfball – which is, of course, as we all know – a dynamic cross between netball, basketball and handball, and the only mixed-sex team ball-sport in the world. (Thank you, Google.) Kingsley is a member of the North Adelaide Roosters’ A-grade team as well as playing in B-grade alongside his partner. His A-grade team won the 2017 grand final (if only the SANFL team could do likewise) and their winners’ chant was “cocks on top”. We can’t wait to see that tattoo.
Hear that? It’s a stereotype being broken. We’re delighted to welcome Brianagh Johns as our latest school-based apprentice cabinetmaker. In fact, it’s quite rare to find women in this male-dominated industry. But whilst we’re all for equal opportunity – especially our General Manager and co-owner, Ellen – young Bree was selected entirely on merit.
Ellen first met her on a careers day at Eastern Fleurieru High School here in Strathalbyn, where she revealed she could be interested in an apprenticeship. A few months later when we were looking to recruit, Ellen returned and the principal, Trevor Fletcher, recommended Bree. She contacted us that same day and the stars aligned.
Currently in year 11, Bree now works two days a week at SpaceCraft, learning the ropes under the guidance of Jalen and Joe. What has struck us has been her willingness to take on any task without complaint. (In fact, she hardly says ‘boo’.) But she’s a hard worker with a great attitude.
Of course, as the newest and youngest apprentice, it’s her lot to take on all the ‘fun’ jobs like sweeping the workshop floors, sorting hardware, sanding, loading the truck and washing the vehicles. But it’s actually a vital role because a) these jobs have to be done and b) if she does them, it allows apprentices and team members higher up the pecking order to apply their skills or learn new tasks. And one day in the not-too-distant future, Bree will have someone she will delegate to.
Physically, she’s quite a slight build, so Bree’s biggest challenge will be to build up the muscle and confidence to lift those heavy cabinets. But like everything else we’ve seen her take on, she’s applying herself and, if anything, we’ll have to watch out that she doesn’t overdo it. She does love her Powerade, so maybe that’s her equivalent to Popeye’s spinach.
When Bree isn’t at school or waiting on Jalen’s next directions, the industrious young lady is waiting on tables and serving the tapas at Smith Bar in Strath. So, if you’re passing by, call in and say ‘hola!’ to our newest star recruit.
Joe Goodman knew James (or, Jimmy, as he’s invariably called) and suggested he’d be the perfect man to join SpaceCraft’s installation team. All that he told us about him, though, was that he has small feet. Now, you know what they say about a man with small feet: he wears small shoes. And with our installation team’s reputation with our clients, it leaves big shoes to fill. Just as well, then, that Jimmy’s immediately fitted us as comfortably as an old pair of loafers.
And that’s despite the fact he’s both a Kiwi and a Crows fan. Of course, Kelvin is now happy he has another bro from the Land of the Long White Cloud. And anything that keeps Kelvin happy is fine by us. Jimmy emigrated from New Zealand’s North Island in 2012 and now lives in Nairne with his wife, Kel, and their baby son, Amos.
A qualified furniture maker, he came to us from another firm in Adelaide because he wanted to work locally as well as take on a new challenge. As soon as we met Jimmy, we could tell right away he’d be our kind of guy. It’s always a good sign when the good-natured gibes are being thrown around after only a few days. And he has the perfect skill set to complement our talented team.
Not only that, Jimmy’s another who’s quiet and reserved but with a dry sense of humour. (He can craft a wisecrack as well as a kitchen.) Speaking of cracks, Jimmy does love a renovation project, putting his skills to very good use. At home in between these projects, he likes nothing better than throwing a barbie and hanging out with his mates, one of which is a four-legged canine friend who enjoys long walks with his energetic master.
When we set out to find a new leading hand for our workshop, we didn’t know quite how well we’d fulfil that title: in Tony Murphy, we have both a born leader for our production team and the safest pair of hands in which to entrust our quality control. With the volume of work we’re now generating, he fills the bill perfectly to free Nathan from production headaches. And being a local, we didn’t even have to look very far.
As a result, Tony now manages our workshop team and the production workflow, as well as being responsible for safety and the continuous improvement of our production capabilities. And for all of this, he is eminently qualified.
Besides a swag of nicknames, the man who answers to ‘Murph’, ‘Tones’ or ‘Cobber’ has a wealth of knowledge. After completing his apprenticeship at Marleston TAFE way back in 1980, Tony’s built his career and a fine reputation in both commercial and residential joinery.
Old-school? You bet. And that suits us just fine to make sure the craft of SpaceCraft joinery never varies. When Tony reaches deep into his bag of yarns to tell us how he used to find a level with just a piece of hose and some water, however, the kids around here just shake their heads. Mind you, if the computers go down, we know there’ll be one bloke who won’t miss a beat.
Importantly, Tony is eager to share his knowledge with our apprentices, Joe and Bree, and this straight-shooter with a dry sense of humour has proven himself to be a great mentor. Not to mention a great problem solver. After all, he’s well aware that anything that can go wrong will go wrong: it’s Murphy’s law.