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news / skill-share 26.05.2017 Words: Catherine Tran

Inspirer: Adam Dossetor

In a world where business is driven by money and creativity stifled, Adam Dossetor, carpenter and owner of Dossetor and Co, is a rare gem. With the support of his wife, Alix, and daughter Stevie, Dossetor and Co have gone from strength to strength. For Adam, creativity has become a lifestyle.

Dossetor and Co specialises in custom furniture and fitouts. How did you get into carpentry?

My school never really told me that there were other options besides university. You either go to university or you’re dead. I was 20 when I started. Originally straight out of school, I did a graphic design course at the Australian Business Academy. I was trying to get into Industrial Design at university but I was just not good at school. When my car got stolen from the National Library I was like no, I’m not studying anymore. I was down there trying to study and it ended up getting f****d. I got it back but I thought nope, I’m not studying anymore. S**t goes wrong and that was that.

A family friend from a very long time ago owned a building company and they did renovations and they put me on a trial for labouring and I pushed through it and got an apprenticeship with them. That was it. It was probably about 10 years ago.

You found that you didn’t enjoy the books but the creative and hands-on side of it?

I had always been trying to make things but I didn’t have the proper skills. I wanted to do a lot more hands-on stuff at school but it was more like design and that sort of thing. It was refreshing to get out and just do it.

Where do you get your ideas from? Is it just people suggesting or telling you what they need?

A lot of the time it’s just people asking for what they need. I also get people to send reference pictures because I’ll come up with ideas that I want to go through with but they might have different ideas.

“I’m not a genius by any sorts, but I can just look at something and decide what’s the easiest way to make it.”

Was it was the challenge of not having a job that pushed you to do your own thing?

I had nothing else.

Did it put you out of your comfort zone and force you to figure out what to do next?

Definitely, I’d trawl through the internet if I didn’t have projects to do and see what else was out there. You know, at the end of the day I’m better at working with my hands than I am designing something from scratch. I sort of use whatever I see. I’m not a genius by any sorts, but I can just look at something and decide what’s the easiest way to make it.

Your work is everywhere; the deck at Mr Papa, the seating at Nookie, benches and seating at Alivio Tourist Park and the fit-out at Rhubarb and Me, which is exceptionally beautiful. How did people get in contact with you?

Alivio Tourist Park was crazy, I built eight huge tables there. I use Instagram and Facebook for marketing. We set up one Sunday for the Fix and Make Market at the Old Bus Depot Markets selling record crates and fruit boxes. Alix had made me a book with all my custom work too, so people could see. It was good for those people that don’t have social media. I got a lot of custom work from being there.

“I had nothing else.”

A lot of the people I do work for usually get me to do follow up work. It’s a good feeling. They appreciate what I do. If I make a mistake, I’ll do my best to fix it because it’s on me.

What drives and motivates you?

The biggest drive would be to make enough money at the end of the day to keep my family fed. I just love them so much.

At the beginning of the year I had a few jobs but they’ve gone in a different direction or have been pushed back. I just like working on my own even though I go crazy at some points from spending too much time by myself.

What and who inspires you?

I try and take something from everyone. You meet a lot of different people and a lot of people you instantly hate. I’m terrible socially, but I’ll try and take something from them. Everyone has something to add.

What advice would you give to young creatives?

I guess the biggest thing is to have a go. You don’t want to die wondering. What’s the worst thing you do? It’s not the end of the world if you’re committed to it. I’ve had times when I’ve wanted another job but I’m too tattooed, too ingrained in my own stubborn way to work for anyone else. A few months ago I was quiet on work and this landscaping company who I work for every now and then said, “we’d love to have you on board”. I said I love working with you but I’d be a terrible employee and I know that. I do better on my own.

Also, don’t expect people to help you. The only way to learn is to make mistakes, don’t expect anything. Don’t be afraid to make them. If I don’t know what someone is talking about I do some research. I even ask old people. Search out for the old dudes that have skills.

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