Business idea not too shabby for clever couple
JENNY and Rick Gill started their furniture restoration business, Bundy's Shabby Shak, four years ago and are planning to open a display room, showcasing their pieces for sale to the public.
The now Bundy locals realised they had a talent for refurbishments, after they relocated from Caboolture to America.
Mrs Gill was a dual citizen, but Mr Gill was forced to wait for his green card approval, a challenge that placed pressure on their dream of living abroad.
"The American Bank shut down our account during Christmas time and we had to wait for them to send a cheque in the mail and we were pretty broke, so we started restoring and selling furniture over there, just to get by,” Mr Gill said.
The couple found themselves running around Walmart to source pallets, which they would dismantle, sand, wax, paint and reassemble into beautiful and unique furniture pieces, giving the deserted planks of wood the new life they deserved.
Six years ago, the Gills moved back to Australia and after enjoying many holidays here, decided Bundy was the perfect place to call home and they haven't looked back since.
"We absolutely love Bundaberg because you still have the pros of a city, but no one's in a rush here,” Mr Gill said.
"My Dad was in the army and he when he came to Bundaberg a long time ago, he would always say 'it takes 10 years to be a Bundy local' but we've been here for about six years now and we've felt like locals since the day we got here.”
When they arrived, they had just four suitcases worth of possessions and no furniture, so the couple started making pieces from recycled materials, to furnish their new abode.
It was then that the duo decided to combine their talents, sourcing materials from op-shops, garage sales and materials that they could salvage from the floods.
The husband and wife team have together created entertainment units, coffee tables, kitchen island benches, barn doors, sideboards, plant stands, dining tables and chairs.
In addition, Mrs Gill also sources vintage luggage suitcases and can also paint them or turn them into other purposes, including coffee tables and pet beds.
Despite their impeccable skills and taste, the couple never completed a trade qualification or art course and simply taught themselves from scratch.
"My Dad was always pretty talented at this kind of stuff,” Mr Gill said.
"I was never any good at woodwork or anything like that, I was one of those kids that couldn't really sit still and I didn't have the patience for it.
"But Jen has always been really creative and is great with a brush, there really is an art to what she does.”
Depending on the size of the piece, Mrs Gill can complete a project within days.
"It depends on what the client wants but a couple of chairs won't take long and side boards only take two or three days, but a whole dining table and chairs will take a bit longer,” she said.
"My favourite part is getting into the zone and just letting my creative vision take over.
"I also make my own bees wax, furniture polish and chalk paint, so I'm not joking when I say home-made.
"We offer reasonable pricing and we want customers to really love their piece and to be 100 per cent happy with the final result.”
The Gills are halfway through constructing their home-based furniture display workshop and anticipate opening later this year.
In the meantime, you purchase furniture or keep updated by visiting their business Facebook page, at