Business

From battling business to building bird boudoirs in Yeppoon

Tom and Kay Mitchell with some of their birdhouses which started as a hobby but now they are looking to make it their business. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Tom and Kay Mitchell with some of their birdhouses which started as a hobby but now they are looking to make it their business. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison

A TURN of bad luck threw Tom and Kay Mitchell's life off track.

The couple lost their furniture and electrical business, and their home in Blackwater when the mining industry took a downturn last year.

They made a move to Yeppoon to try and recover from their ordeal.

But little did the couple know that it would be their passion of craftsmanship that would rebuild their spirits.

Their hobby of building birdy boudoirs began.

"When we got (to Yeppoon) we said what are we going to do for ourselves in the process of recovery," Kay said.

"My husband had built me a beautiful birdhouse for Christmas, so we thought we might play around with that idea and build them for friends."

With Tom having 30 years of woodwork experience, both of them were keen to get a hobby started and get life back on track. "All the timber we use is recycled and we go to op shops for other pieces," Kay said.

"Someone has given us fence palings that are 50 years old, they've got a great rustic and eclectic look."

Tom and Kay, both 56 years old, said their hobby has given them a sense of belonging again after suffering a big loss.

"Knowing that we're doing something that makes us happy has restored this sense of worth to us," Kay said. "We found that when we work together our ideas flow and we encourage couples who've been through hardship to work together, it can bring healing."

BIRDHOUSE HISTORY

European birdhouse - In the 15th and 16th century in Belgium and Holland, birdhouses were used to trap birds for food

American birdhouse - Native Americans built birdhouses to shelter birds from storms and help the birds breed and multiply

Topics:  blackwater business



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