One man's trash is another man's treasure, and in this case it's a woman's.
(min cost $8)
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Mandy Clarke (Moo) has spent the last two years letting her creative streak run wild as she tinkers away, up-cycling items and giving them a new life.
She has turned her hobby into a passion project with her latest venture 'It's What Moo Does'.
"Possibly in the future I want it to be a business which is why I gave myself a name and a Facebook page," she said.
Moo said her creative streak was sparked making body scrubs with coffee when she worked at a local cafe.
"I don't know what made me think I should do it, but I tried it out and it was like, yeah, that works.
"Then it was like, what else can I do?"
She then went onto melts and candles and in the meantime attempted to fix an old piano chair that was collecting dust in the garage.
"I've had it [piano chair] for probably 20 years. I had given it a sand and my stepfather had given it a sand and it was stuffed away in the garage and I thought 'you know what? I'm gonna finish that'," she said.
So that's where it started for Moo, who then went onto a set of drawers and a bench seat.
"I sort of sussed items out a bit and thought 'yeah, I can do something with that'."
When asked where she got her creative streak, Moo said her mother was very crafty, her father taught her to knit and her grandfather was a blacksmith.
"I don't know where it's come from to be honest with you," she said humbly.
Moo sources her materials from Facebook marketplace or her friend Hippy ' Your friendly Aussie picker' who removes unwanted household items.
"There's a lot of free stuff on there [marketplace], people sell bed frames and cots which is what I use to make things and then Hippy will get things that might have a chip in it or could do with a coat of paint.
"So I'll fix that up and then resell it, that sort of thing," she said.
She said people would also message her and ask if she could fix things.
"People message me and say 'I've got this or I've got that, can you do anything with it'?
"I get it, have a bit of a look and I've usually got something in mind," she said.
Moo said she did all her tinkering in the Moo Cave, also known as the laundry and garage.
"It's where I work now, I started working in the kitchen at my old house but that wasn't good," she laughed.
She said she makes a lot of bench seats and tried to make each one different.
"I do that so you know, they're not all the same.
"I just sort of put things together and sometimes they don't work. So I pull them apart and put them together again.
"...and then there's the process of just sanding it, painting it and I like to put cushions on them too and attach my little card," she said.
Moo said she didn't just have one thing to work on, there were often multiple works assembling in the Moo Cave.
"If one thing's drying then I'll go do something else."
When it came to reselling, she said price depended on how many pieces were in a set.
"I currently have a three to four piece set on marketplace for $300 because a lot of work has gone into it.
"Most of my smaller pieces I only charge about $65 and then around $120 for a bigger piece. All depends on how much work goes into it," she said.
Moo said the money she made went straight back into her passion project.
"You have to be making some sort of sample profit to cover things like paint and sandpaper," she said.
"The most expensive part is the paint and the sandpaper."
When asked what she loved about her passion project, she said the end result.
"I'm pretty proud of things that I make, they're really cool.
"I love the idea of somebody else loving it," she said.
Moo said her family had also been very supportive of her venture.
"The kids have been great, they got me a nail gun for Christmas and I love it."
She said her ultimate dream would be to open a shop at the Lithgow Tip and make an Eco garden.
"It's a major dream of mine, it's a long way off but that's what I want to do.
"I want to open a shop so when stuff comes in through the tip I can fix it and resell it.
"With the Eco garden Id love to get school kids involved and have them come up and also do workshops with me as well," she said.
If you'd like something up-cycled you can contact Moo through the 'It's what Moo Does' Facebook page or call 0475 881 030.
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