Chris Byrne

Left Hand Make | Email | Website

Where and what did you study and what year did you graduate?
Furniture Design and Manufacture, 2003, Glasgow College of Building and Printing, Scotland.

Where did you head after graduating?
Shortly after graduating I shrugged off the Glasgow rain and headed for more hospitable shores. Upon arriving in Sydney I started Left Hand Make and began to work on a series of individual commissions and some commercial work.

When did you launch your own business?
I began Left Hand Make in 2004 with a twinkle in my eye and my socks pulled right up. It was part time then and very exciting.

What motivated you to start your own business?
I had a fair idea of what I thought I wanted to do and was hungry to get started. Probably the biggest reason was that I felt that working for someone will earn you a wage but with your own business there are no boundaries – either the sky or debtors’ prison.

How would you describe your business to someone who didn’t know you?
Left Hand Make is a designer and maker studio that produces products for adults and children that speak with integrity and personality. We take responsibility for the impact of our work on the community and the environment.

How would you describe the products you design to someone who hadn’t seen them?
Our small one products are children’s furniture you don’t need to hide.

What are the most challenging parts of being a designer running a small business?
That I don’t just get to be a designer and maker. I’m the marketer, retailer, distributor, project manager, delivery boy, that bloke with the broom.

What inspires your design projects?
With small one it was the lack of good quality locally produced children’s furniture. In general I am inspired by trying to find a simple way of being unique and offering something which is not too driven by the here and now.

What are the next steps for you?
Aside from the obvious goal of world domination, a Milan Furniture Festival stand, I’d like to see us with a few more products and a bit of penetration into overseas markets. I’d like to get bigger but not too big and staff, I’d love staff.

Published 15 July 2008.

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