Nathan Wundersitz CKD Au, Designer and Cabinet-maker.
Ellen Wundersitz, General Manager.
Kelvin Sefton, Senior Installer.
Jalen Kowalick, Workshop Co-ordinator & Cabinet-maker.
Andrew Coombs, Cabinet-maker and Installer.
Nathan Beer, Cabinet-maker.
Joe Goodman, Apprentice Cabinet-maker.
Phillip Shillabeer, Cabinet-maker.
Jolanda Hazebroek, Production Planner.
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.
We love it when a plan comes together. So, when we recruited Andrew Coombs to join Andy Porins on installation, they officially became our A-Team. Although, based on his abilities to put things together, Andrew Coombs could easily have become the new MacGyver. With over 20 years’ experience in the building and construction industry, he’s made everything from furniture to a whole house. Yes: he did actually build his own home in the Riverland, where he hails from.
In 2015, he and his wife, Kylie, and their daughter, Addison, moved from the river to a slightly bigger body of water at Encounter Bay to be nearer to the rest of their family. Fortunately, that also brought them nearer to SpaceCraft Joinery, where we managed to attract the services of this quiet family man. But behind that quiet façade, you can see the brain whirring, and the occasional dry witticism will pass his lips to confirm that Andrew is indeed a thinker as well as a tinkerer.
Andrew has years of experience in cabinetmaking, shopfitting, wood machining, joinery, first- and second-fixing, tiling, painting, cladding, design, CAD and drafting. Actually, in retrospect, it may have been quicker to tell you what he can’t do. But the best thing he’s done with us is fit right in. So, for those who choose not to have their kitchens installed by the A-Team, in the words of the immortal Mr T, I pity the fools.
Just to demonstrate that SpaceCraft is truly an equal-opportunity employer, our new production planner, Jolanda, and her partner, Tim, are both Crows supporters. Having bridged that cultural divide, we genuinely welcome them both to our extended family. Jolanda joins us in this new and vital role to take over the reigns of each job from Nathan or Vanessa once the design and quotation have been accepted and it’s officially in production.
That means she will be the person who acts as nursemaid to your new kitchen, making sure it arrives on time and on budget. Needless to say, that’s a tall order. But on that score, she comes with the very highest credentials. Previously with Alan Sheppard Constructions, where she was a drafter, building designer and site coordinator, she is everything we were looking for and more: she’s a straight-shooting problem solver and negotiator who is a wiz with computer-aided design. (More than enough to compensate for her choice of footy team.)
In this role as our planner, Jolanda will get your show on the road by taking the final measurements on site, preparing the documentation, and liaising both with the trades and you to ensure any bumps are ironed out, and the manufacture and installation go as smoothly as humanly possible. As a recently retired and highly competitive sportswoman, Jolanda has experienced plenty of bumps in the past and even ironed out the odd opponent, having played top-level basketball and represented Australia in volleyball. She’s definitely someone you want on your side.
When she’s not making things happen here, Jolanda, and Tim, who’s a policeman, enjoy their hills lifestyle in Bridgewater with good food, good wine and good company.
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.