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Husband and wife team, Richard and Leanne have etched out a sideline business from their hobby, creating bespoke etched timber and acrylic homewares, gifts and more from their home in country NSW

20 November 2020

Designer Spotlight: Etch 41

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Husband & Wife team etching a bespoke side-hustle, Richard & Leanne: ‘To be able to make such a personal gift or keepsake that is etched forever, is just so special to be a part of’

Hi, we are Richard and Leanne, husband and wife team and owners/ operators of Etch 41.

We started our hobby a little over a year ago and have been selling on Madeit Australian Makers’ Village for almost a year. Within this time our little hobby has grown into a side business.

Etched initials in a delicate wreath on an Australian timber chopping board by Etch 41

Richard is a full-time mechanic by day, and I am a full-time mum. We have 3 beautiful teenage daughters, who have been amazingly supportive and have helped us get to where we are today. Most days are pretty chaotic, but we would not have it any other way.

Husband and wife team, Richard and Leanne have etched out a sideline business from their hobby, creating bespoke etched timber and acrylic homewares, gifts and more from their home in country NSW

We live in a small country town in the central west of NSW, in the wheat and canola growing area. Just a short drive from Canberra and close to the Cherry capital of Young NSW, and the birthplace of Sir Donald Bradman, Cootamundra.

A bridge across a river bed filled with wildflowers and grass with animals grazing on the other side, in Richard and Leanne’s home town of Hyden NSW

Timber etching sparked our interest about 2 years ago. We had seen and admired so many etched timber boards, and I particularly loved the timber cake toppers. We knew it was something we wanted to look into making ourselves. We had no plans, but saved up for our first small (A4) laser etching machine.

Richard and Leanne’s first piece – a small laser-cut plaque featuring what is now their business name, Etch 41; ‘After a few disasters with design and a lot of time spent getting the settings right, we created our first piece.’

After a few disasters with design and a lot of time spent getting the settings right, we created our first piece. It was a test piece, but soon became our Facebook name, and later, our business name.

An etching in progress: Richard and Leanne’s etching machine lasers their 2nd baby announcement plaque onto a piece of timber.

We discovered there was so much more we could do than just etched boards and toppers. We quickly started receiving special requests, so the range grew and so did our machine. We upgraded to a new machine which was more than 4 times bigger than our first. The learning never stops, but we have come such a long way.

A custom black acrylic name plaque by Etch 41; ‘The support from our locals and surrounding towns has been amazing.’

Madeit has worked really well for us, it is the perfect selling platform and a wonderful way to showcase our range to the broader community. It is so user friendly and has tied in perfectly with our Facebook and Instagram pages. Best of all, it is Australian and the support we continue to receive from Madeit is always prompt and outstanding.

Richard carefully pulls a completed baby announcement plaque from the timber sheet  it has just been cut out of

The support from our locals and surrounding towns has been amazing. We have the people of the town popping in for orders, we have done the odd market, but the advantage of small towns is there is always someone to pass on our recommendation.

‘Richard carefully sands around the edges of all the etched details of the latest Etch 41 timber creation; ‘We are still working on creating the perfect space for our workshop’

Our local businesses support each other; we are so lucky to live in a community where people help each other, from help getting our products to a nearby town, to the local postal service going above and beyond, and having our timber delivered to our door by the local hardware store.

‘Leanne working on a design for a second baby announcement plaque on her laptop at the built in desk of their 1930’s home in regional NSW

We do all of our work from home. We are still working on creating the perfect space for our workshop and we dream of upgrading our machine again in the future. But for now, we do the etching in an undercover outdoor area. We have a beautiful built in desk in our 1930’s era home - this is where all the design happens - and as for packaging, well we do this on our family table and sometimes, it’s all hands on deck!

All hands on deck: Richard and Leanne’s 3 teenage daughters adding string to timber COVID-19 2020 novelty Christmas decorations at the family’s kitchen table

What we love the most about handmade products is, no two pieces will ever be the same. When it comes to etching, the intensity of the laser burn, the detail in the wood grain and the positioning will always be little different on each piece, making each one unique.

Richard and Leanne’s 3 teenage daughters sit on the front steps of their 1930’s home in country NSW; ‘When we are not working or etching, we love to spend time with our girls’

When we are not working or etching, we love to spend time with our girls, cooking, listening to music and doing little jobs around the house. Richard always has a project on the go, while I love being in the garden and have been accused of having a plant obsession.

Three custom made acrylic snowflake Christmas decorations by Etch 41

Our customers are our biggest inspiration! We love working with them to create the perfect gift for their someone special. To be able to make such a personal gift or keepsake that is etched forever, is just so special to be a part of.



Visit Etch 41 to find bespoke timber and acrylic etchings for every occasion: Etch_41

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