Thursday, June 24, 2010

Under the shade of the Koolaman tree


In outback NSW, just north of the Victorian border, you'll find a town called Balranald. The town is the the gateway to the stunning Mungo National Park, the first National Park to be World Heritage listed in Australia.

Stay with me ... This tale DOES relate to Mathilda's Market in Canberra, this Sunday 27 June!

70 kilometres north west of Balranald, you'll find Koolaman Station, a 73,000-acre sheep and wheat property, passed on for three generations through the one family. And there you'll find Lisa O'Keefe, her farmer hubby Christian and their three kids. Koolaman Station is home to dust storms, plagues of grasshoppers, and is the headquarters of Koolaman Designs - a business crafting beautiful hand stamped sterling silver jewellery.

Lisa and her sister Stacey Clayton are the two women behind the business, busy working mums with six children between them - the eldest being four years old! 




(Oh, if you're planning to visit Lisa, make sure there's petrol in the tank - you'll need to drive down a 50 kilometre driveway to reach the family home! The Koolaman Designs blog provides a wonderful insight into her unique life).

Outback NSW is not a place that screams "jewellery" does it? Yet it just goes to show there are deeply creative and entrepreneurial people in every nook and cranny of this wide brown land of ours. Stacey is no city girl either - she resides in Victoria's Rutherglen wine region. How wondeful that these two women manage to run their venture with such a geographical distance between them - 450 kilometres, to be precise! 

All Koolaman Designs jewellery pieces designed by the sisters, made overseas then are hand stamped at Koolaman Station, using brute force! You'll adore the range of pendants, bracelets, cufflinks, keyrings, earrings and bead necklaces they produce. (One of their pendants has even been worn by Australia's first MasterChef, Julie Goodwin). The designs come in an assortment of shapes and sizes, which you then personalise with your children's names - or indeed, the names of anyone close to your heart.

Loving this gorgeous cuff bracelet ... You can plainly see why it was such a popular item for Mother's Day this year.



And the Violet design, a solid five petal pendant that would make the perfect christening or birthday gift for a little girl.



Or you might choose the Eliza pendant by itself, or with up to six other pendants.



These are merely four of the 21 pendant design options on offer from Koolaman Designs - just click here to see more of the range. And if you'd like to see their pieces up close, head to Mathilda's Market in Canberra this Sunday 27 June.

I'll leave you with this gloriously evocative photo of Lisa's family gleefully frolicking in their huge backyard at Koolaman Station, after heavy rain in January this year!

Peta x
Mathilda's Market blogger







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2 comments:

Corrie said...

oh these ladies are so nice! I was lucky enough to be behind their stall at the last canberra market and they were so sweet! I just need to have my 4th baby so I can get all their names on one of their lovely things

Corrie:)

Felicity said...

What a lovely blog for 2 lovely ladies!! I can definitely vouch for the beautiful pendants, (I have 3) and for the lovely O'Keefe sisters, Lisa and Stacey, whom I've known for 15 yrs. I'm very sorry I am going to miss you at the markets this weekend.

Felicity x

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