A laurel is either a) any of various aromatic trees of the laurel family or b) a wreath of laurel foliage worn on the head as an emblem of victory. It’s also derived from the Latin, “laurus”, the male version of “laurel tree”. It’s a small step to learn that the “feminised form” of “laurus” is Laura, which brings us to “Bark & Laurel”, owned and operated by Laura, in Officer. Now, given that titbit of language derivatives, it’s fairly easy to guess that Bark & Laurel is all about wood – but not just any wood (and not limited to laurel, either!)
Laura first started Bark & Laurel in 2016, but put it on hold in 2018 to focus on being a new mum. Come 2019 and the itch had to be scratched again, and the business was reborn.
Like many home-based businesses, it all started from a single, personal project – in this case, a table, and a major learning project – but that’s about all the similarities Bark & Laurel has to most of its contemporaries. (Except, perhaps, the desire to expand into a workshop/showroom with a selection of handcrafted items from local makers, with coffee and fresh pastries). There are few, if any, other businesses like it in Cardinia.
It’s no surprise, given Laura’s family is also somewhat unique. While she and her husband both come from France, they grew up 12,000 km apart and met in Melbourne! Having been here for more than 8 years, they’re both happy to call Australia home (and I reckon we are happy for them to do that, as well!). Hubby is 100% behind Laura’s business efforts – even going so far as to find more tools for her, and spend hours sanding when she’s had enough! This between the pair balancing parenting their two year old daughter and looking after their staffie, “Elka”.
Furniture comes in a wide range of materials and styles, and Laura’s rustic “country house” look and feel is both friendly and affordable, and for Cardinia, quite unique. Even as you move further into the city, the styles tend toward Mid-century, Scandinavian or Contemporary.
My goal is to make and sell furniture that I could afford if I were a buyer. I want to sell to
people who are like me, and can’t afford a $3000-custom made piece. I don’t use hardwood for that reason: I
want to build sturdy and stylish pieces and sell them at an affordable price. That’s why I use mostly pine and
cypress. Long-lasting custom-made furniture doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg.
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