It’s always fun meeting new people, which is why we came up with the idea of The HTF Hot Seat – a regular post to introduce you to the creative dynamites behind some of your favourite hardtofind products. This week’s seller in the spotlight: Aussie designer/maker duo, David Bunic and Carol Jackson, from Manual Arts DEpt.


We’re known on hardtofind for our… authentic and memorable personalised gift products, crafted by us, in Australia, from premium sustainable Australian hardwood.

Right now we’re inspired by… our beautiful, ever-changing landscape.  We don’t think we could ever take these amazing surroundings for granted.

Our favourite part of the making process is… that proud moment of finishing an item and fully absorbing the end result.  A huge part of our process is done painstakingly by hand, so it’s a special feeling bringing each piece to fruition – and then sending it on to its new home.

We work from… our workshop located on our property in Tenterfield, in regional northern New South Wales.

A typical day for us involves… 1. Waking up early (never easy) and starting the day with a fresh juice, swiftly followed by a strong coffee. 2. Packaging and shipping orders created the previous day. 3. Breakfast and more coffee, usually coinciding with a daily Instagram post. 4. Catching up on emails and plan the day’s schedule. 5. Making as many current orders as we can fit into our daylight hours. 6. And on quieter days, working on product design, images, ordering supplies, bookkeeping etc. the list is quite long. When you work for yourself, there’s no time to sit idle!

Our proudest business moment was… receiving positive feedback and wonderfully warm messages from customers in regards to our products and service. We are humbled and so very proud of these moments that make our journey so worthwhile and rewarding. There is nothing quite like the boost that these responses give you!

When we started my business, we wish we’d known… the scale of the emotional investment required. And wish we’d been better prepared to handle the ebbs and flows, highs and lows of business life. We’re getting better at it!

We’d describe our personal style as… in regards to interiors: a bit rustic, a bit vintage and featuring lots of wood!

Our last purchase was… just yesterday! Some gorgeous hardwood from our wonderful local timber mill and some op-shopping for more work clothes!

The first thing we do when we wake up is… press the snooze button. And then wish we could do the same to the neighbour’s rooster!

The motto we live by is… to design and create products that are valued as meaningful and high quality. Supporting local industries and utilising local and sustainably sourced materials is hugely important to us, with our business practice and lifestyle reflective of our respect for the environment.

We’re hoping 2017 will bring… further inspiration, new adventures, continued learning, designing and laughing.

Everything tastes better with a little… David: Chilli. Carol: Greek-style yoghurt


1. Personalised Large Gumleaf Australian Hardwood Serving Board 2. Personalised Hardwood Bookends 3. Gumleaf Spoon Rest 4. Personalised Longboard Australian Hardwood Platter


PS. Another cool Aussie creator and you’ll love this guy’s illustrations

Hardtofind is Australia’s leading online curated marketplace for gifts, fashion and homewares.