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Creative champions celebrated: Little Woodworkers

The Mornington Peninsula Business Excellence Awards recognise innovation, sustainability and excellence across all industry sectors.

With the 2023 program now open, we are taking the time to celebrate the winners from last year.

The Mornington Peninsula Business Excellence Awards recognise innovation, sustainability and excellence across businesses of all types. They are a chance to showcase the outstanding work of local businesses.

The Creative Industry Award recognises the exceptional innovation and talent of businesses producing products or services in this space. The creative champion for this category was Little Woodworkers

From humble beginnings in 2013, a kindergarten ‘show and tell’ planted the seed for this business venture. Founders Jim and Kerstin were approached by their daughter’s teacher who knew Jim was a Furniture Maker with a teaching background. She asked if Jim could make a workbench for the kindergarten.

Jim was amazed at how much the children enjoyed the process and impressed at how capable they were. The pride illuminating their little faces sparked the idea of sharing this memorable experience with more children. Fast forward a year to see Jim take a leap of faith, resigning from his job so that both he and Kerstin could focus on turning the idea into a real business.

In 2014 Little Woodworkers was introduced to the world. Impressively, by 2019 the business had facilitated one thousand incursions, and had enabled 25,000 children to make their own wooden toy and learn about the importance of trees.

The Mornington Peninsula Business Excellence Awards Judges chose Little Woodworkers for their uniqueness in the education space. Offering a hands-on experience for children with their innovative wooden self-assembly kits, they demonstrated an impressive ability to pivot during COVID-19 restrictions by developing tutorials, videos and designing their own tools. Additionally, the Founders must be commended for their overarching commitment to sustainable practices.

Our incursions help children explore their creativity through woodwork, developing skills that potentially spark an interest in a future creative career path. We have built great relationships with many teachers over the years. They frequently point out to us that our incursions are the highlight of their year. We are proud to blend a creative industry with sustainability education. Children participating in our woodwork activities are being made environmentally aware.

– Founders Jim and Kerstin

Winning the recent Business Excellence Award in the Creative Industry category felt like an official stamp of validation for what we worked so hard for over the last 8 years. As any small business owner knows, building a business can be a 24/7 task and can feel lonely and isolating. Winning the award was a huge boost and helped us get to know and connect with like-minded business owners living right here on the Peninsula.

Little Woodworkers

2022 Finalists – Creative Industry

A huge congratulations also goes out to the similarly impressive finalists for this category, including Gordon Studio Glassblowers an intergenerational family business which practices the ancient art of glassblowing. & Gallery Australiaa contemporary art gallery showcasing mid-career and senior artists who have dedicated their life to their creative practice, and PIER Marketinga boutique marketing agency that specialise in taking a strategic but creative approach to supporting businesses.

Article first published January 2023

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