The Block Handbook – why I have never entered a Jimmy Possum store.

Contrary to the headline, I actually love Jimmy Possum. Tricked you!

Like, really obsessively love Jimmy Possum. And I have done so since before this past week’s appearance on The Block: Triple Threat.

In case you missed it, here’s a quick recap:

Contestants were challenged this week to travel to the Bendigo workshop and home of the iconic Australian furniture brand Jimmy Possum.  They turned their hand to crafting a colourful custom bed headboard.  Then they got to sleep in the beds!

 

Jimmy Possum - Scott Cam      Jimmy Possum - Tim and Anastasia       Jimmy Possum - Dea         Jimmy Possum - Ayden and Jess

I have never entered a Jimmy Possum store.

I drive past them averting my glaze, and then end up shopping at IKEA or on eBay instead.

Why?

Jimmy’s a bit special to me. I’m saving him for my upcoming forever home.  Jimmy Possum is known for their design kudos throughout the Australian Furniture and Interior Design industry. They receive rave reviews for their contemporary and traditional pieces and they have recently been exhibiting at the International Furniture Fair Singapore.

However, my reasons for liking Jimmy Possum have very little to do with interior design, or even their actual products.  I like Jimmy Possum because they’re a quintessentially home-grown Australian brand. They’re a family business with strong values, and this informs all that they do.  FYI, they also have an in-house design service that I can’t wait to use!

Jimmy Possum - Colour

Why do I love Jimmy Possum? Let me count thy ways.

  1. They’re the quintessential underdog

Jimmy Possum is different from a lot of other Australian design businesses for a lot of reasons, but one in particular stands out to me. They have a distinctive DIY approach to their entire business, which is entirely egalitarian, a little bit cheeky, and quintessentially Aussie by its very nature.

They are based (and still are, against all odds) in Regional Australia. Talk about the underdog! And surprise, surprise, they aren’t just hanging on by their fingernails; they are expanding — with style.

  1. They do it all themselves

Jimmy Possum is absolutely killing it in the home decorating department. They offer an end-to-end home decorating service, and they design, manufacture, transport, market and sell their own products. FYI, most designers don’t do this – they get it made in China and have a bunch of middlemen deal with the rest.

  1. They don’t just ride on the current wave of home decorating trends

Jimmy Possum caters to contemporary and classic design style. From Scandinavian day beds to cowhide rugs, there’s truly is something here for anyone how enjoys home decorating. It’s easy to pop in there and find most anything you need. Nice one, Jimmy!

  1. They rock at HR

They have an amazing commitment to their staff, their work-spaces are a home away from home, and they have invested in in-house training and apprenticeships to keep the flow of home decorating and design talent coming.

High heels or not, everyone bogs in and gets their hands dirty – literally.

 

I also really love that their business was born of necessity combined with a passion for home decorating and design.

 

“We like making things and had seven children to feed.” – The Spaldings (family behind Jimmy Possum).

 

 

Jimmy Possum - Family Business

For the record, I’m more of a home maintenance and repairs kind of girl. I don’t do Interior Design (well) — but Jimmy does, and they do it well.

If you follow this blog for much longer, you’ll notice there is almost no interior design advice.

I like Interiors Addict for such inspiration, but it’s not my stock in trade.

So, when I do get around to contemplating furnishing our new forever home (if there is any money left!) I will just head straight to Jimmy Possum, give them a functional brief and let them at it.

You get a refund on their interior design fees when you then go onto buy the pieces and they have a great little loyalty program.

 

Take it from me: family business is hard.

I’d love to hear more from the Jimmy family about how they have made a family business work. If you’re reading, guys, get in touch! I’d love to hear from you!

Working together as a family in a business can be incredibly rewarding: it’s an extension of the shared vision you hold as a family.  However, it can also be bloody, bloody difficult.  Especially in a start-up phase, which, thankfully, team Jimmy has now well and truly passed, as they eye off international trade fairs for the purpose of expansion into America, Asia and more.

There are way too many examples of family business going wrong, and given my day job sees me spending my days with my husband, I am always scouting for sustainable ways to make a family business work.

Jimmy Possum has engaged almost all of their children in their business as well as a smattering of in-laws and out-laws. Most recently their son in law Boris has taken over the reins from Margot the Matriarch.

Next time I’m in store, I’ll stop and ask for these trade secrets and share them with you guys. Promise!

 

Now, just because Jimmy Possum is a small, family business from Regional Victoria, they’re by no means the cheaper option for home improvements.

Their products are made well and made to last – I’m pretty sure it would take a nuclear holocaust to see their furniture fall apart!

Anyway, I think it’s probably time I treated myself. With the toddler years dwindling quickly — as I write my last bubba is about to turn two— I’m going to need some sturdy, functional and beautiful furniture to survive the preschool years.

Plus, this Mummy deserves some Jimmy. If you’re taking care of home maintenance and repairs, I think a nice cosy reading chair is in order.

Jimmy Possum - Chair

I want to hear from you:

Do you work in or own your own family business? How do you manage work and loved ones? Answer in the comments below!

About Suzanne Commerford

Suzanne has stepped out from behind the desk of Australia's largest home inspection business to build the skills, confidence and independence of women to tackle maintenance and home improvement projects around the home.

One Comment

  • Katherine says:

    Great article, I love a bit of home renovation, my husband and I bought an old Victorian about 7 years ago, we removed all the old lathen plaster ourselves, I have a photo of me in the roof taking out ceiling plaster (all with the proper safety gear), it’s a balance between getting tradies to do work and DIY, I painted the whole interior with my mum and sister and it looks fabulous, women are great at managing multiple aspects of building projects you just have to give it a go!”

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