Bespoke furniture for a more sustainable future

Al and Imogen Roberts of Al + Imo are a husband and wife duo based at Freshwater Creek leading the charge in sustainable furniture design, building their dream life one handmade piece of furniture at a time.

Alongside making bespoke furniture and raising their 16-month-old daughter, the couple host a podcast discussing the behind the scenes of their business, run an online course for bespoke furniture makers and are mid-way through building their dream coastal home.

Photos: SOCIAL FIELDS
Photos: SOCIAL FIELDS

 

Al + Imo furniture is practical, functional, timeless and aesthetic.

“We’re both creative and practical people with a very do it yourself attitude towards life, which is how we accidentally fell into furniture making,” Imo said.

“Al and I were in our early 20s when we built our first bed because we couldn’t afford anything that we loved online.

“Al was a carpenter and I was working in digital marketing for a fashion brand.

“We built the bed in our share-house carport one afternoon, and I remember watching Al build it just thinking ‘there’s something here, we could potentially design things together that are built to last a really long time and not just thrown away.

“So we finished our bed then we started building beds for friends and family.”

Photo: IMOGEN ROBERTS

Imo said around the same time she was realising her values didn’t align with the fast-fashion industry and neither her nor Al wanted to stay in the hustle of the busy city.

So, the creative couple took a leap of faith and moved to the coast to start a small business crafting bespoke furniture.

Their style, Imo said, is minimalist, modern Australian.

Each piece is made to be practical and stylish, using only sustainable, Australian hardwood.

“We like to highlight the beauty of the materials we use.

“We focus on timber, bedroom furniture.

A bed with built-in storage and aesthetic focus on the Australian hardwood. Photo: IMOGEN ROBERTS
Photo: IMOGEN ROBERTS

 

“Our design is around functionality, we do a lot of storage beds and beds that look beautiful but they function as well and they’re really practical and high quality.”

The couple takes orders three times a year and is generally booked out nine months in advance.

“We make to order, which means that we’re not actually creating any waste and we don’t have extra stock, we don’t have showrooms.”

Earlier this year the couple launched an online course, “Furniture friends”, giving other makers a business blueprint for success.

“It essentially teaches other makers, independent makers, how to successfully run their businesses.

“Rather than expanding and producing more furniture ourselves we know we can have more impact globally if we use our skills to help other makers successfully run their businesses.

Al and Imo are living the coastal dream, raising their young daughter, building their dream home and running their small business.

Al and Imogen Roberts of Al + Imo are a Freshwater Creek-based husband and wife duo leading the charge in sustainable furniture design, building their dream life one handmade piece of furniture at a time and helping others do the same. Photos: SOCIAL FIELDS

 

Photo: IMOGEN ROBERTS

Photo: SOCIAL FIELDS

 

Photo: IMOGEN ROBERTS

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