Kitchen Designs Adelaide | Award Winning SpaceCraft Joinery

BLD283896

We are SpaceCraft.

Nathan Wundersitz CKD Au, Design Director
Ellen Wundersitz, Managing Director
Kelvin Sefton, Senior Cabinet Maker
Jalen Kowalick, Senior Cabinet Maker
James Davis, Leading Hand
Kingsley Lang, Drafting & Detailing
Victoria Beare, Drafting & Design
Bre Parkes, Designer & Stylist
Andrew Coombs, Lead Installer
Karen Costa, Studio Coordinator
Matt Lightfoot, Cabinet Maker & Installer
Peter Larkin, Apprentice Cabinet Maker
Melanie Bush, Designer & Studio Support
Adam Power, Cabinet Maker & Installer
Riley Harrington, Apprentice Cabinet Maker
Kel Davis, Administration & Bookkeeping
Caleb Bielby, Apprentice Cabinet Maker
Adam Rich, Cabinet Maker & Installer
Jessica Miller, Designer

Directors

Nathan Wundersitz, CKD Au

Design Director

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.

Ellen Wundersitz

Managing Director

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.

Dedicated
Design
Team

Karen Costa

Studio Manager

As a famous man once said, this is like déjà vu all over again. It seems like only yesterday we were singing the praises of a new studio coordinator, Bre. And before you know it, we’re announcing a new one. The reason we’re delighted to do so is because Bre has unquestionably passed the audition in this role and shown all the talent we expected; so much so, we’re now easing her into a plum role in our design department. Bravo, Bre.

But, as we’ve said before, the studio manager role is one of the toughest gigs in our business: she or he (or whatever pronoun that person might relate to) is the lynchpin who just has to be across absolutely everything we do. So: why aren’t we panicking? It’s all because of Karen Costa.

In a rare moment of serendipity, we received Karen’s application for the role just as we were wrapping up Bre’s appointment. Bugger, we thought. It’s like buses: you wait ages and then two come at once. But when Bre demonstrated she was ready to rise, we knew we had Plan B. Or, rather, Plan K.

What immediately strikes you about Karen is her calm, composed and positive nature. We guess she would have needed all of that in her previous role as an administration assistant, sales representative and team leader at the Telstra store in Murray Bridge. After four years there covering three roles, it was time for a new adventure and all the roles she’ll perform with us.

Before that, Karen worked in her own family’s business, Surf N Chooks, in Mount Barker. So, a move to our family business suits her down to the ground. Especially seeing her parents still live here in Strath, where she grew up, and where she can now call in for a lunchtime serve of her mum’s magnificent spring rolls. (Jealous? Us?)

Karen lives in Mt Barker with her partner, Ninja Jim who works around the corner at Maidment Meats in Strath. If you’re wondering, he earned that nickname with an appearance on the Ninja Warrior TV show. And that tells you something else about these two: they are ridiculously fit. Karen loves running and hot yoga. (The only running most of us do is to get hot donuts.) She’s run nine torturous kilometres in the Dirt Wars obstacle course and seven kilometres in the similarly sapping Spartan Sprint. And, of course, she’s done the City to the Bay. She may not put herself in Ninja’s class but she’s got everyone here covered, that’s for sure. And throughout it all, her claim to fame is that she’s never broken a bone. (We’re more worried about breaking fingernails… and that’s just the blokes.)

As an avid traveller pre-COVID-19, who’s been to North America, Central America, Italy and the Philippines, Karen is longing to resume her wanderlust and add to her passport stamp collection. But, meanwhile, we’re very pleased this hard-working, bubbly and happy-go-lucky lady has agreed to drop her bags with us here in Strath. She looks forward to welcoming you through our doors.

Kel Davis

Administration & Bookkeeping

You know that expression, if you’ve got something you want done, give it to a busy person? Kel Davis, who looks after our Administration and Bookkeeping, proves it to be true.

Things have been so wonderfully hectic here at Spacecraft HQ that we needed some overflow admin and bookkeeping help. Karen, our Studio Manager, has been under the pump in her role. And while she’s tackling that with the same cheerful conviction she always does, there are only so many hours in the day.

Thankfully our Leading Hand Jimmy, he of the supposedly small feet, must have ears that work just fine. Because he came to us and flagged that Kel – his wife – might be interested in providing the help we needed.

Turns out Kel has a background in administration and accounts, and she’s worked as a nanny. Admin experience aside, I think we all know that managing kids requires superior organisational skills. And she also happens to have two of her own – Amos (5) and Indie (2). Tick. Tick.

So, what about competing for her time along with the photography course that she’s doing? No problem. Busy Mums are adept at prioritising their days and getting stuff done. Kel was already keen to do some work from home and has managed her time seamlessly.

In fact, she’s fast become an important part of the team. She’s very quick to learn and needs minimal instruction. As well as processing supplier invoices, expenses and preparing End Of Month payments, she’s being trained by Karen to assist with project-related invoicing and contracting. Plus, she’s helping to share the marketing/social media role by managing our Facebook feed. See what we mean about handing a job to a busy person. They just add it to their list and make it happen!

As well as being super-duper organised, Kel is an excellent communicator. We’re thankful that she blesses us with her bubbly presence in the office half a day a week too. When not wrangling kids, nailing the perfect shot, or sorting out Spacecraft matters, Kel loves a good take-away coffee while walking the dogs, and to renovate. We’re so thankful to make that list.

Bre Parkes

Designer

It only seems like the blink of an eye since that ‘oh-hell-no’ moment in 2020 – like so many more that year – when our studio coordinator decided to move on, followed just a few days later by the ‘oh-thank-heaven’ moment when Bre Parkes’s resumé arrived in our email. But in the short space of time since then, Bre (it’s short for Breanna) has blossomed beyond our wildest dreams. And, if you’ve seen our kitchen designs, you’ll know our dreams can be pretty wild.

So much has she blossomed, in fact, that she has already moved on from the role of studio coordinator, which is now more than ably filled by Karen Costa, to become a designer/stylist under Nathan’s careful nurturing. However, she’s still also producing our social media and online marketing as well as performing the styling and art direction for our photographic shoots. Which means she’s not only very creative but also a great juggler. Let’s hope Cirque du Soleil doesn’t hear about her.
This quick ascension is hardly surprising, however, given Bre’s previous experience running her own business, Gather & Graze, a catering company she created at the end of 2016. After just two years, she’d expanded the enterprise into a shopfront on King William Road, Unley. Through her marketing and social media skills, as well as hands-on in the business managing small- and large-scale events, G&G thrived. Indeed, the opening of her coffee space was proclaimed in Broadsheet, Glam Adelaide, the ‘Tiser, inDaily and the Adelaide Review.
Nothing, it seemed, could stop her. Except a little thing called Covid-19.

What’s extraordinary is the timing. Because at the same time we had our headache of trying to find a studio coordinator, Bre was swallowing the bitter pill of shutting up shop to seek a more stable and consistent industry in which to apply all the skills she’d gained. So, a problem created an opportunity for both Bre and SpaceCraft Joinery.

And that’s how Bre came into our lives. We just didn’t imagine her rise would be so quick. Then again, she really came to us ready-made for the role. Quite apart from her business nous, she’s studied design, interior design and decoration (which she used to render the complete design of her own shop’s fit-out), has skills in CAD, styling, photography, digital/social media and – last but by no means least – is a fabulous, bubbly human being to boot.

Even her faults are fabulous. We asked her a curve-ball question in our interview: what do you do that others might find annoying? Her answer: take over in the kitchen. Given how well she cooks, that’s never going to be a problem here.

So, at last, SpaceCraft has another kitchen whisperer on the rise. Bre is already offering clients her unique advice on their interiors and fitting selections, designing joinery for any room in the house and managing projects from initial consultation to turn-key completion. Oh, and of course, that means she’s also keeping Nathan on his toes.

Melanie Bush

Designer

Perhaps it’s a sign of the times: either encouraging, if you’re us, or discouraging, if you’re looking for work. But when we advertised a casual/part-time studio support role on the social network in the second half of 2021, we fielded a flood of responses from some pretty high-quality applicants. In the midst of this maelstrom, however, one stood out like the proverbials.

It was Melanie Bush: a Mount Gambier girl, who moved to the big smoke after high school to pursue her tertiary education. When we interviewed her, we discovered she’s a good person (a dog lover) who’s absolutely fearless (she plays in the roller derby) and she’s a good communicator (she hates a chat). So far, so good.

But, what was it that really got Melanie the gig? First, at the time of joining, she was about to enter her final year of Interior Architecture at university. Tick. Her previous employer was another joinery business in Adelaide and, prior to that, Beaumont Tiles, so she knows her way around a bathroom and the building/renovation industry. Tick. And she told us, “the reason I'd like to be considered is because I adore pretty much any project your team touches and I'd love nothing more than to be a part of that”. Gosh. Big tick. Which just proves flattery does get you everywhere. (We knew it was sincere, though, because she truly loves colour and quirky design, making her the perfect fit for SpaceCraft.)

Melanie was also prepared to drive up to Strath from Croydon Park without any hesitation for the opportunity to work here two to three days a week, fitted around her uni studies. You have to love that kind of commitment. And after barely two days, she was already assisting with design overflow. Wow. Accordingly, we hope Melanie will assume a full-time role here after she graduates from uni. And that would really tick every possible box for us.

Jessica Miller

Designer

Boss lady Ellen (our Managing Director) can vouch for the fact that a groovy set of earrings says a lot about someone’s creative flair. Yes, she owns many.

So, when Designer Jess Miller rocked up to her interview wearing a stand-out hand-made pair, it’s surprising she wasn’t hired on the spot.

Perhaps sub-consciously she was, we just needed to tick off a few job-related skill boxes to make the process official. Luckily that was easy. Jess also presented a great folio of work at the interview.

We learnt that she completed her Interior Architecture degree at UniSA in 2015. She’s worked at Agostino and Brown Furniture and has been Ikea Communication and Interior Designer since 2016. She’s learnt how to design joinery displays based on the target market and is all over the implementation of Autodesk Revit (a modelling software).

Lucky for us she was yearning to interact with and design for real clients with real briefs. Somewhere smaller with a focus on kitchens and joinery. In fact, Jess had been following us for a while and was a big fan of our style. It was she who approached us for the interview. We weren’t in the market for a designer at the time, but we’re so glad she did. It’s already clear that our clients are safe in her hands as she is highly organised, detail driven, methodical and incredibly thorough. She is highly proficient in Autodesk Revit, AutoCAD and SketchUp. And she’s incredibly creative!

In her spare time, you can find her tapping into that creativity sewing, drawing, painting or, you guessed it, making earrings. She clearly has a talent for mental imagery which might be part of the reason the drive from Flagstaff Hill to Strathalbyn doesn’t deter her in the slightest. As well as being a length of journey she’s used to, it’s thinking time.

Jess loves to travel and, as we write this, she is jet setting around Europe with her partner Clancy to celebrate her 30th birthday. She also enjoys quality coffee, a good doco and admiring great design. Including ours. Spacecraft earrings anyone?

Kingsley Lang

Drafting & Detailing

If you saw Kingsley with his shirt off, you’d be struck by several eye-catching tattoos. Most impressive is the massive word ‘awesome’ adorning his stomach. Now, ordinarily, we’d say self-praise is no recommendation. But in Kingsley’s case, we’d make an exception because he’s very down-to-earth, outgoing and funny with a well-developed sense of humour. On top of that, he’s exceptionally positive and loyal. All of which is definitely awesome in our book.

Kingsley was introduced to us when we suddenly needed a new production programmer by Andrew Coombs, who’d worked with him previously. At our first interview, it became apparent he was our Mister Right: not only was he experienced in Microvellum, the CAD program we use here; he’s also a qualified cabinet-maker. 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. (And, yes, he loves a chat.)

Four days a week, Kingsley makes the long drive up to us without complaint from Findon, where he lives with his partner, Steph. In fact, he actually loves the drive as it gives him a chance to pump up the volume on his metal, punk and grunge collection, which also gets an airing during Kingsley’s very loud Hour of Power in the factory… after Ellen has left for the day. On Fridays, Kingsley works from home and we really notice his absence: it’s so quiet, you could hear a bomb go off.

Obviously, Kingsley is very computer-literate and 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 keeps fit by boxing and playing 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 plays with the North Adelaide Roosters in A-grade, as well as in B-grade with Steph. In 2017, his A-grade team won the grand final and their winners’ chant was “cocks on top”. We’re still waiting for that tattoo.

Victoria Beare

Drafting & Detailing

On those rare occasions we get a moment to reflect, it rather startles us at the calibre of the people who’ve seemingly come out of the woodwork to join our joinery. And that applies equally for our apprentices. Take Victoria, for example: in her second year with us, she’s won the HIA award for second-year cabinet-making apprentice and, at the time of writing, was in the running to become SA Apprentice of the Year. (More news as it comes to hand.)

Victoria came to us after completing year 12 at Cornerstone College (which, in a neat circle, is now attended by Nathan and Ellen’s eldest son, Kiefer). And they will certainly be very proud if he can emulate just some of her achievements: straight-A student; school house-leader; and recipient of a Citizenship Award from the Order of Australia Association, for a start.

Serendipitously, she was seemingly ‘made’ for us, with a passion for product design and – already – impressive skills as a hands-on craftsperson. In each of her last two years at school, her work was honoured: first, with a SACE merit in the Material Products (Textile) subject; then, a school merit in her Material Products (CAD) subject, having used computer-aided design to create a slick and sophisticated coffee table with a built-in marble maze that is nothing short of amazing.

That prompted Cornerstone’s Pathways Coordinator to recommend she talk to us. When she wrote a letter with a folio of her other designs attached, we couldn’t have got on the phone quick enough to snap her up. And, in our favour, she decided to take an apprenticeship under Nathan’s guidance rather than the place in Interior Architecture she was offered at UniSA.

Accordingly, Victoria’s apprenticeship was framed a little differently: after time on the workshop floor learning hands-on cabinet-making skills, she’s now advanced to the design studio to take on a drafting and design role under Kingsley Lang’s protective wing. So, she’s now involved in check-measuring, drawing up documentation in Microvellum CAD (a skill she’d already acquired at home), ordering and nesting. And once a month, just to maintain her hands-on skills, she follows a project she’s documented right through to participating in the installation.

For such an overachiever, mercifully she’s also very grounded. That might have something to do with being a Hills girl who still lives with her family in Crafers West. And it might also be to do with her love for sport, playing both tennis and netball (which she also umpires). However, she’s also quite lucky: in 2021, her A-grade netball team won its grand final cheered on by the team from SpaceCraft. Why lucky? Well, before the game she had a bet with Nathan and as a result, he had to get a tattoo of the team’s mascot – a puma – instead of her getting the tattoo of his choice.

As expected of this remarkable young woman, Victoria is going great guns in her current role and is now an integral part of our design team.

Manufacturing
& Installation
Team

Kelvin Sefton

Senior Cabinet Maker

Kelvin completed his apprenticeship in cabinet-making in New Zealand in 1975, giving him a colossal half-century 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 three years to discover him and it was like striking gold at that critical time for our business. We immediately latched onto him, originally as a contractor, and kept talking until we convinced him to join us full-time in February, 2010 as the backbone of our installation team. And we use the word backbone advisedly, as installation is very demanding physically.

So, whilst again and again, year after year, our clients have volunteered to compliment Kelvin’s outstanding workmanship, meticulous attention to detail and helpfulness, we finally had to admit to Kelvin’s seniority, even if he won’t. Accordingly, we’ve welcomed this master craftsman back to the workshop as a senior cabinet-maker.

The great thing is nobody loses: our installation team now boasts a young team who’ve learned from the master, whilst Kelvin is now happily attending to the construction of our most detailed jobs in-house and passing on his vast knowledge, not only to the apprentices but also to everyone here who holds him in such high regard.

Jalen Kowalick

Senior Cabinet Maker

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.

After a decade of admirably handling what can be a highly stressful role, he’s passed the baton to James Davis and taken on the role of Senior Cabinet Maker. This allows Jalen to apply the multiplicity of skills this exceptionally well-rounded craftsman is constantly teaching himself, such as his mastery of polishing.

A natural communicator with maturity beyond his years, Jalen has become a valued mentor to our apprentices and an integral part of SpaceCraft.

James Davis

Leading Hand

Originally, James (or, Jimmy, as he’s invariably called) was spotted by one of our staff to join SpaceCraft’s installation team. At the time, all he told us was that Jimmy had small feet. And that could have been a problem. After all, our installation team’s reputation meant there were big shoes to fill. Fortunately, Jimmy fitted in as comfortably as an old pair of loafers.

And that’s despite the fact he’s both a Kiwi and a Crows fan. (At least it meant fellow-Kiwi, Kelvin, had an ally at Bledislow Cup time.) Having emigrated from New Zealand’s North Island in 2012, Jimmy now lives in Nairne with his wife, Kel, their son, Amos and daughter Indie.

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. And, boy, did he nail it, so to speak, becoming an exceptional installer. But when Jalen Kowalick decided to relinquish his role in October 2020 as the workshop’s leading hand to do what he loves as a lead installer, we knew just the man to fill the bill.

What this role requires is someone unflappable, calm and easy-going: a steady ship in a sea of crises. And that’s Jimmy all over. A natural leader, problem-solver and manager, it’s his job to coordinate the workflow and make sure your project is ready for installation in full and on time. Not only that, he’s also in charge of training our apprentices.

Whilst he’s very approachable, Jimmy’s actually quite quiet. But he does have a deliciously dry sense of humour, with a well-chosen wisecrack for every occasion. 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.

Andrew Coombs

Lead Installer

They say that when one door closes, another opens. However, when Andrew left us in 2018, we were devastated to watch him walk out our door. But, to be honest, we always hoped that one day, he’d return to us. So, the door was always left just slightly ajar. And sure enough, guess whose head would pop through it every now and then to chew the fat? And who do you think we invited to the HIA Awards in 2018, because we missed him as much as he appeared to miss us?

That’s why we’re absolutely beyond excited to share the news that Andrew Coombs is back where he belongs at SpaceCraft Joinery. And this time around, he’s been promoted to the role of Lead Installer alongside Jimmy, becoming an invaluable member of what we can now truly call our installation Dream Team. Lock that door: nobody’s leaving.

Coombsy, Coo-cumba, Maverick: he has almost as many nicknames as he has skills. And even more reasons why we love him to bits. The most obvious professional reason is his vast experience, with over 20 years in the building and construction industry, having made everything from pieces of furniture to his previous home in the Riverland, where he hails from. (He now lives just down the road at Chiton with his wife, Kylie, and their daughter, Addison.)

He really has been there, done that and bought the T-shirt, including cabinetmaking, shopfitting, wood machining, joinery, first- and second-fixing, tiling, painting, cladding, design, CAD and drafting in his skills. (Actually, in retrospect, it may have been quicker to tell you what he hasn’t done.) Having tasted the life of a supervisor over the last couple of years away, he was super-keen to hop back on the tools with us and lead his installers from the front.

In fact, when we started looking for a replacement for our previous Lead Installer, George, who resigned to work closer to home, a little bird told us Andrew had seen our ad on social media and was sorely tempted to reapply. (That ‘little bird’ being Kylie.) A couple of days later, we caught up with Andrew in the pub and had a little chat. Before you could say ‘whose round is this?’, we’d made a formal offer and he’d accepted.

And now he’s back, it’s like he never left: he’s such a comfortable fit with the rest of our team. When you meet him, he may strike you at first as being rather tight-lipped. But when the moment is right, through those lips pass the kind of comments that are well worth waiting for, confirming that the very level-headed Maverick… er, Andrew, is a thinker just as much as a tinkerer.

Matt Lightfoot

Cabinet Maker & Installer

It seems almost inevitable that a man named Buzz would come to SpaceCraft. But we certainly didn’t have to go to infinity and beyond to find our new cabinet-maker/installer: he lives just around the corner in Willyaroo. We just need to find Woody now to complete our real-life Toy Story action-figure set; I mean, surely, there’s a cabinet-maker called Woody…

Of course, Buzz isn’t really Buzz. But with a surname like Lightfoot, Matt was always going to catch that fun handle and he’s certainly not alone in this place, where a nickname is worn as a good-natured badge of discernment and acceptance.

In fact, we’ve been trying to snare Matt for some time. In 2016, we had a little chat but as a mark of his character, he wanted to remain loyal to his former employer. Since that time, we’ve kept bumping into his wife, Carly – also a local – and her parents, Graeme and Jane, whom we know quite well from the Strathalbyn Footy Club, where Matt used to play. We always seem to see Graeme either walking the dog around Strath or having a round at the Ashborne Golf Course.

Cut to a little earlier this year. And, who does Ellen run into while picking up lunch at the Bean Machine? It’s Graeme, Jane, Carly and her kids. As always, it’s delightful to stop for a chat with these lovely people. So, Jane asks about how our new premises are (were) progressing and Ellen fills her in. Then, sensing the moment, Ellen casually mentions to Carly that we’re looking for another team member (in fact, we’d been looking for nearly six months).

Well, according to Carly, she’d been trying to get Matt to talk to us for ages. Like comedy, it’s all in the timing. Just a few days later, we talked to Matt and got our man. Thank you, Carly! Funnily enough, most of our recruiting these days comes by word of mouth from clients, staff or Strath locals. And isn’t that the best way?

Since Matt’s joined us, it’s all too clear why it was worth the wait. Backed by all his years of experience, he’s an exceptional tradesman, with meticulous attention to detail and a no-fuss, methodical approach. Importantly, this has been noted by the rest of the team, who relish having someone of his calibre alongside them. And he’s fitted in as closely as the joins on his cabinetry.

Outside of work, Matt’s a quiet, caring, family man, who now has much more time to spend with Carly and their two sons since he gave up the one-and-a-quarter-hour slog to get to work at Lobethal for the one-minute drive to us in Milnes Road. We truly hope Buzz stays with us for many years to come. And, by the way, if you do know a Woody, please get him to call us.

Peter Larkin

Apprentice

We may never win X Lotto or Powerball. In fact, we can’t even remember a scratchy ticket that came good. But as long as we hit the jackpot with our apprentices, that’ll do us. Consider our latest acquisition, Peter Larkin, who may just be one of our best apprentices ever. (And given how happy we are with both Vic and Crabby, that’s a pretty big call.)

With the expansion to our new Milnes Road headquarters, we advertised on Facebook for a new apprentice and it wasn’t long before Peter’s mum saw it and tagged him. As it turned out, our opportunity was exactly what he was looking for. Peter was at a crossroad in his young life and really wanted to put his hands and his mind to better use.

When he left school, Peter wanted to be a chef and he really lucked-in, becoming an apprentice to none other than Simon Burr at The Olfactory Inn, which was one of Strathalbyn’s pride and joys. When The Inn sadly closed (yes, we still get pangs), it’s testimony to Peter’s talent that Simon took him with him to the McLaren Vale Hotel. Not long after that, however, Peter decided the chef’s life was not really for him. But you can take it as a mark of the young man that he stuck it out, completed his indenture and got his certificate.

At school, however, Peter did woodwork and studied computer-aided design. (Did somebody say ‘SpaceCraft Joinery’?) He loves to work with his hands and in his spare time enjoys nothing more than wrenching on cars. So, thanks to his Mum’s intervention, it wasn’t long till Peter was sitting down to talk to us and even less time before he was here working with us.

We did speak to Simon Burr (sorry, but The Olfactory Inn isn’t coming back) and he couldn’t have given Peter a better reference. In fact, Simon said we should hire him as he’d be a GREAT fit for us. And, of course, you always do what Simon says…

As it turns out, Peter is a great fit. Not to mention a hard worker and quick learner, who uses his initiative to get stuff done with minimal instruction and with exceptional attention to detail: those exquisite kitchen skills he gained under Simon will now be honed as kitchen-building skills under Nathan.

But is this hard worker as hard work as the famous chefs he sought to emulate? Not a bit of it. Peter is friendly, easy going and always up for a chat. In fact, the only negative we could find at all came back to us from his weekend soccer team. It seems every game he’s played in this last year, the team has lost. The two weeks he didn’t play, they won. Let’s just put it down to bad luck. Like when we play X Lotto.

Adam Power

Cabinet Maker & Installer

Some time ago, we started our search for a new cabinet-maker/installer with ads in all the usual places. The result: diddly-squat. At that point, someone came up with the brainwave of tapping into our social media followers and our Tag-a-Tradie promotion was born. What we asked was, if you knew a woodworking tradie, to tag them for a chance to win a night at Eos by SkyCity.

Well, a lovely lady named Veronica tagged Adam Power for us and one look at his Instagram profile (https://www.instagram.com/woodworksbyap/) told us all we needed to know. (Have a look: it’s pretty cool work.) Originally from Melbourne, where he worked at a company called Sawdust, making clever custom cabinetry and furniture pieces, he now lives in Coromandel Valley. In fact, the reason Adam headed over here was to follow his partner – also from Melbourne – who came to Adelaide for a teaching position. Her name? Veronica. So, we’ve won ourselves a great tradie, whilst she and Adam have won the bonus of that night on the town.

Adam is definitely one of our kind of people – a detail man – and he loves to throw himself into the high-end stuff, enjoying the satisfaction of a job well done. We’re absolutely thrilled to add his individual talents to our talented team, where he’s already slotted in as smoothly as a shelf in one of his cabinets. When he’s not here, he enjoys bushwalking and mountain biking in the great outdoors or simply tinkering away in his shed at home.

Of course, as someone recently observed, we had no choice but to hire Adam. After all, we’ve always been Power fans.

Riley Harrington

Apprentice

Ever wondered about the power of a quiet achiever? We think that you should. SpaceCraft now has one of them working as an apprentice and we couldn’t be happier with his mega-watt capabilities.
 
Our newest apprentice Riley came to our team after being referred to us by Pete. If you happen to have read about Pete already, you’ll know we named his as favourite. And you listen to your favourites, don’t you? So, when he suggested Riley, we took the leap of faith and invited him on board.
 
Riley started his apprenticeship with us on January 31, after doing some work experience in the lead up to Christmas last year. He’s just completed his probationary period in and under-stated but over-achieving style.
 
He commutes to us from Finniss but is very familiar with Strath having been educated at Strathalbyn High School (EFS). Plus, one of his favourite past-times is heading to the pub with mates, and The Vic (in Strath) is the venue of choice.
 
If Riley’s not at the pub, you’re likely to see him making a dent in the couch indulging in another favourite activity – video games. But it’s not just beers and games that Riley loves. He is devoted to his 1.5-year-old retriever Daisy. Rumour has it, Daisy is a bit crazy. But love is love and when she somehow managed to dislocate her knee on Riley’s first day of COVID iso (OUCH!) he did everything he could to keep her still. No easy feat!
 
He applies the same level of dedication and hard work when with us at SpaceCraft. He is methodical and just gets stuff done. Our leading hand Jimmy recently introduced him to the Computer Nested Cutting machine (CNC) and he took to the training with ease. Don’t beware the quiet achievers, embrace them. You won’t look back.

Caleb Bielby

Apprentice

Anyone who’s ever played sport knows how good it feels to experience a rousing speech as opposed to a spray. Caleb Bielby, our new apprentice cabinet maker, has graced the footy field for both Callington and Meadows in years gone by. We get the feeling he would have responded well to the sentiments of renowned American football coach, Vincent Lombardi, despite the different code.

Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.

You see, Caleb’s a self-confessed perfectionist. If anything, he’s working on how to align a productive pace with his personal expectations. He’s driven too.

Before he came to us, Caleb had already started an apprenticeship. He was training at Adelaide Built-In Joinery (ABJ), which was once owned by his Grandad, incidentally.

But when he bought a house in Strathalbyn, with his partner Chloe, this placement meant commuting back and forth to Pooraka every day. His trainer, Andreas (who has also trained for us) knew we were on the hunt for a new apprentice and that Caleb was keen to work closer to home. He kindly recommended we approach him.

Over at ABJ, Caleb was kept busy in the workshop running the CNC. He had done a bit of work with their nesting program as well as some install support work. And in keeping with his perfectionist label, he was a details man. He’s keen on a balance of workshop and on-site installation and we’re looking forward to getting him skilled up to support our own install team. We love sending helpful, smiling, polite, good communicators out to clients, and he’s all these things.

It's fair to say Caleb has moved around a fair bit in his relatively short life. He’s spent time living in Modbury, Pooraka, Nairne, Callington and even in Melbourne. Let’s hope he decides his house and job in Strathalbyn make it the perfect place to stay put.

Adam Rich

Cabinet Maker & Installer

When you seek to hire new staff, you have a fair idea of what you’re after. In the case of Adam Rich, a Cabinet Maker and Installer, he had a fair idea of what he wanted from us too.

He did his apprenticeship at Hughes Construction, where Matt Lightfoot (aka Buzz) also worked before joining us. Buzz wasn’t enough to lure Adam our way on his own. Adam called him to suss us out before applying for the ad he saw online. We’re grateful Buzz must’ve painted a pretty word picture for a fellow Cabinet Maker and Installer, because join us he did.

It helps that he now commutes from Mt Barker to Strathalbyn rather than to Lobethal, but we’re going to consider that a bonus. Surely it was all the wonderful things Buzz said about us that got him over the line.

As well as six years of experience in cabinet making and installing, Adam also knows a thing or two about preparing cutting lists and undertaking check measures. But he’s hungry to learn more. Being part of a team with some more senior team members to bounce ideas off and learn from was another drawcard for taking the role. How great is that? What’s not to love about a skilled young person who isn’t convinced they know it all already.

At present, Adam’s key role is installing, and he does this under the watchful eye of Coombsy, our lead installer. Friendly and approachable, Adam has built a good rapport with the team and clients alike. When not learning with us, and sharing his skills in return, he plays soccer and hangs out at home with his partner Niamh and his border collie Gus.

He’s also a lover of history and travelling (which was starting to feel like a historical concept itself, thanks to COVID). With England, France, Netherlands, and Italy already under his belt, it’ll be interesting to see which location he seeks out next. Wherever it is, we know he’ll have an agenda for heading there. And good on him!

Are you interested in accessing our renovation planning resources?