Launching exclusively at Innerspace’s new Australian Designer showroom earlier this month, Mark Tuckey’s range of timber furniture with its relaxed, beachside feel is already proving a huge hit with Perth locals.
Just over 25 years since creating his first table in his mate’s garage, we caught up with Mark to discover that doing something for love rather than money is the key to success.
How did you turn $200 in to the Mark Tuckey brand it is today?
It was my dream to use my head, hands and heart. I borrowed a double garage from a friend, bought one table for $200 and restored it over the weekend. On Monday I sold it for $800. I spent that on more tables, sold them, and soon I had a bit of money to buy some materials and tools to create new pieces. It then grew organically, little by little, out of its cash flow thanks to a lot of drive, hard work and a love for what I do.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced? Was there ever a time you considered throwing in the towel?
The biggest challenge by far is cash flow problems. My working life has been like a ride at the fun park except for when cash flow is tight. When you have 50 staff and go through a slow sales period, it’s hard to pay the wages etc. – that’s stress! I probably have thought about throwing in the towel but you have to get up and think solutions.
What does a day at work look like for you?
A day at work for me is usually dominated by trying to get through all the emails, but I never do. I am involved in all aspects of the business but have an amazing team around me who take care of all the detail. Communicating with my workmates and constantly tweaking our priorities is the focus.
How did you come about supplying exclusively to Innerspace in WA?
They approached me earlier this year to see if I was interested in them representing my brand in WA. To be honest, I did not know their business but was 99% sold on dealing with them in the first few minutes because I got a good feeling about Jon and his workmates.
How do you feel your products will be received here in the West?
WA and Mark Tuckey share that relaxed, quintessentially Australian lifestyle. Our furniture is made to complement this, so I feel it’s a natural progression that we move into the WA market. While I was in Perth at the opening of their new showroom and the launch of our product there, I was lucky enough to meet lots of the people who would be buying our product. The feedback from them, on the ground, was that there is no doubt the product is very suitable for the WA market. Because of that I feel confident about it.
What is currently one of the most popular pieces in your collection?
Our iconic Eggcup stool is always a favourite, as well as our tripod dining table and plinth sofa.
Any mention of what we can expect to see next from you?
We are about to launch our new outdoor range, and we will have a new timber offering coming soon – stay updated via our instagram page, @mark_tuckey.
What is your dream project?
Sounds clichéd but I have been doing my dream project for 25 years! It would be fun to have lots of capital and go all megalomaniac, but small is beautiful too.
Available exclusively at Innerspace