Last month we spoke about our Head Butcher Mickwho works hard behind the scenes to bring you our wonderful meat. This month we’d like to introduce you to one of our Market Managers, Christel. Always wearing a smile, you will see Christel working tirelessly at our weekend markets, up in the early hours of the morning to ensure everything is ready to go for first customers at 8.00am.
In addition to helping us here at The Free Range Butcher, Christel is making a name in her own right with her company ChristelH, specialising in creating furniture, lighting and conceptual design projects. Christel held her first ever solo exhibition last year and this week she is in the middle of a design challenge competing in the Nescafe Azera project where she will need to come up with a creative use for 50 coffee plungers. Interested to know more? Read on below.
How did you come to work for the Free Range Butcher?
I met Ben at the Hornsby markets three years ago when I was selling another food product at the time. Our stalls were set up near each other and he would always come over and eat our food samples. About a year later, when I told him I was finishing up with the other food product, he poached me.
What appeals to you about working at The Free Range Butcher?
I enjoy interacting with the customers, there are so many people you meet from different backgrounds and personalities and it’s nice to engage with such a diverse crowd of people. I also love the early morning starts, there’s this sense of freshness and vibrancy.
Do you have a favourite cuisine any special reason why?
Lamb roast with veges… hits the soul every time.
What triggered the interest in design?
I’ve always had a passion for furniture/woodworking since my first class in year 7. The skills really developed throughout high school and then during my university years I noticed it evolved from a hobby into a form of creative expression. Then after completing university it evolved yet again from a form of creative expression to a business/career. The pursuit and passion for design has never really stopped.
Tell us about the Nescafe Azera-project and how did it come about?
The Azera Project is a design competition between 3 industrial designers who have been asked to create something extraoridinary out of 50 coffee plungers within a 2 week period. Nescafe recently came out with a new product called Azera – which is an instant coffee product. Their whole approach is that since the Azera coffee only requires adding hot water, there really is no need to use your coffee plunger. So they came up with this idea by asking – what else could you use your coffee plunger for? Hence this design competition. I actually had no idea this competition was initiated until the organisers got in touch and wanted to meet me. After going through an interview process I was surprised that they selected me. It’s been an exciting and valuable learning experience so far.
If you could find one thing in common with your creative design work and The Free Range Butcher, what would it be?
It’s all about adding value to the customer. Whether you’re selling meat, coffee, clothing or furniture you’re in the business of people, and you’ll always win when you genuinely treat people with respect and find ways to add value to them.
In a postscript to this story, we are thrilled to share with you that Christel was named as the winner of the Nescafe Azera design project. Her repurposing of 50 coffee plungers in to a light fixture, a set of speakers and a chess set had the judges in awe. Congratulations Christel!