Mr & Mrs White – the young North Avalon couple you may not have heard of, but certainly will in the years ahead. From custom-making furniture for friends & family to establishing their Australian furniture-and-fitting brand, this entrepreneurial family has an inspiring story.
Their designs speak distinctly of the Avalon lifestyle and their craftsmanship is world-class, so, it’s no wonder Mr & Mrs White’s handmade products are gaining international traction. I caught up with them to hear more about life in Avalon.
How long have you lived in Avalon?
I’ve lived in Avalon since I was a teenager and then since Nathan and I got married in 2008 we’ve lived here together, except for one year in Newport! Now, we live in Avalon with our three children; Selah (8), Oak (5), and Clay (2.5).
Tell us a bit about Mr & Mrs White…
We started Mr & Mrs White around the time Selah was born, in 2011. We were a newly married couple, living in a small apartment and both of us were studying. Nathan was doing his shipwright apprenticeship and I was studying graphic design. Because our home was so small, Nathan was custom-making furniture to fit, and then we started making furniture for friends and family. In my spare time, I fell in love with sewing and I would make homewares for our place. We were both selling things under separate names… and then as sales started to pick up we realised we could do this together. And so we merged – Mr & Mrs White was born.
Since then we have expanded from a workshop in Mona Vale, to a Showroom and factory in Brookvale. All our pieces are hand made in our workshop in Brookvale. There’s a showroom next to the workshop, people can see through a glass wall and watch the furniture being made.
It’s been a gradual evolution and now we have an established furniture range, we are always working on new pieces and designs. We also do shop fit-outs where we work with brands, mainly Australian brands, on the design and fit-out of their store. Everything is done in-house from the design to manufacturing, production and installation.
How would you describe the style of Mr & Mrs White?
We describe it as ‘modern organic’. It’s minimalistic, clean lines, simplistic design. It’s also warm because it’s all made from timber.
Who would your customers be?
We sell directly to the public and also work with a lot of stylists, interior designers and architects. For our shop fit-outs, we usually work directly with the brand owner. We have a lot of local customers on the Northern Beaches, but over time we have gained a growing customer base in the Eastern suburbs, Melbourne and Western Australia. Even recently we have had some overseas orders. But we do love it when we get orders from Avalon and Palm Beach customers or do custom joinery for local businesses.
You fit out the Natalie Marie store in Avalon, tell us a bit about that…
We worked closely with the owners Dan and Nat who actually live on our street. They had a really good idea of what they wanted for their space. We worked with them creating all custom display cabinets, tables, counters and window displays. It turned out really well, I think they were happy.
What is your signature piece?
The box chair is probably one of our original and longest-standing pieces. It has evolved over time as it took quite a few years to get it exactly how we like, and now we are really happy with it. It’s been one of our best sellers.
Do you have a favourite product?
I think our new ‘Barrel Lounge’ which we are introducing later this month. We have a ‘Barrel’ range and I’m really excited about the lounge being added to this. We have the prototype at home, we’ve been testing it out with the kids.
What do you enjoy most about living in Avalon and running a local business?
We love living in Avalon. We love the beaches – Nathan surfs and the kids love being at the beach. We also love the community, especially since our girls have started school. There’s a lot of entrepreneurial families in Avalon who own local businesses. It’s great to have that connection and community with other people who are running small local businesses.
And… we have great food in Avalon! We live next door to Graze N Cakes, which is dangerous! I think we are in there every day, it’s our favourite place for coffee and pastries.
You can find Mr & Mrs White at 1/275 Harbord Rd Dee Why, or mrandmrswhite.net