In a world where image and branding has become more important than transparency, openness and intent, I invite you to share my passionate journey that weaves through all my creative endeavours both in business and personally. 
 
It’s a fine line that I often walk between family life and the obsessive nature of creating. I don’t seem to have an off button, so every waking moment is an opportunity to be absorbed in a project or idea. It’s a blessing and a curse that I have inherited from my father. The ability to be so absorbed that the current project I’m working on/obsessing over, becomes the most important thing in my world for a period of time. Not always ideal and admirable I admit, but the truth, nonetheless. I am still working at balancing this.
 
I have always been inspired by men and women that have given much up to follow their passions and creative endeavours, constantly beating on their craft or calling with disciplined relentlessness and commitment. Bringing ideas to life seems to give me an energising rush that can become addictive indeed, one I have enjoyed since I was a small boy.

It was this that really ignited my spark to turn my passion into my business.

Growing up on a daffodil farm in Mount Macedon, Victoria with the space to dream, set the foundations for my journey to date. We moved as a family to Queensland in the mid 70’s where my father started a few small businesses. We moved frequently, renovating and selling our family homes. I spent 6 months while in primary school traveling through England and Europe with my family. This working family holiday left a big imprint on my young and impressionable mind. 

In my teens and early twenties, I travelled back as a young adult infusing the architecture, gardens and historical influences into my creative work. In the mid 80’s my father started a recycled furniture business on the Gold Coast; the first of its kind in Australia. Soon after finishing school and spending a short time at art college I found myself on the factory floor of our family business Rosebank Cottage “continuing to learn the art and trade of handmade furniture design and manufacturing.”

 

I had been fortunate that my father had allowed me to start learning/making furniture in our home workshop at the age of 12 and by 16 I had gained a solid ability in the use of tools and machinery and made some pieces for our family home. I had a love of cutting pictures of furniture from architectural digest magazines and then drawing a plan of how to recreate it myself.
 
At 18 my father and I together started another furniture manufacturing business in Brisbane specialising and focusing on 17th and 18th century furniture, cabinetry and large mirror and artwork frames, all custom made to order. We also did larger commercial jobs such as hotel foyers and large commission pieces. It was over this period that I was so immersed in that era that I began to experiment with my first garden.
 
My father lived in the old warehouse where he made himself a loft apartment so he could work without diversion. I was renting a turn-of-the-century one bedroom flat in a block of six that had some untendered gardens. All through my childhood my parents were keen gardeners, and their weekends were often spent creating and maintaining gardens at the family home. It was no surprise that through watching and helping I had subconsciously picked up the basics. I remember like it was just yesterday, picking up some annuals and soil on my way home from the local nursery. I was on the ground floor and had a small terrace and empty garden bed. I turned the lights on along with some classical music, opened a bottle of wine and got to work. A few hours later I sat there, intoxicated by the new garden (as simple as it was) and possibly from finishing most of the wine! It was from there that I made the connection that the design and ambience of both the home and garden were simply an extension of one another, and when put together become more than they should. I now had a new canvas to dream upon and this still feels as exciting today as it did then!
 
To date my wife, Kristn, and I have built seven homes and renovated six and I have enjoyed designing and building gardens more and more along the way.  My journey has also had some deviations including an award-winning homewares company, a gift cards and posters company and travelling to exhibit at trade shows around the world.  It was about 10 years ago that I began designing and building garden and outdoor spaces for friends as a passionate hobby extending from just doing our own homes.
Leading up to this, I had for the first time in my adult life, worked for another business other than my own, in a role that was the furthest thing from a creative endeavour you could imagine. What started as a one-year break to clear the head and plan the next venture turned into a much longer journey into business and large facility management, I found myself lost in a vortex and for a while lost who I was. 
 
I was still making and creating on a smaller scale for existing clients, but I was headed to a place that I was not looking forward to.  Fortunately, after staying longer than I should have I decided to follow my heart once more. Taking some time off we were fortunate enough to purchase a beautiful but dreadfully run-down old property on four acres here in Brisbane. 
It was this that really ignited my spark to once again turn my passion into my business.
I spent every waking hour for a few years obsessed with the renovation of the home and creation of the garden plans of our old property, called ‘Dorset’.  It was originally a doctor’s surgery built in 1896 by a doctor from Dorset, England.
 
I remember inspecting the property on my own and coming down the driveway I got a glimpse of the old home set among overgrown grounds. It was love at first sight and I must admit I had a tear in my eye, for to me at least it was a dream come true.
For Kristn on the other hand, she had a tear in her eye for other reasons. When I finally managed to convince her to come and look, she was quite upset at the first encounter.  The current tenants were drunks, the lead light windows were all damaged, the septic was broken, there was a bus buried in the undergrowth in the front paddock, no niceties and to top it off, the house was painted the colour of a local football team… impressed, she was not.
 
After much debate and doing my best to sell my vision we purchased the property. Over the last seven years we have completed much of our wish list and I have had the opportunity to further my skills along the way, for there is no better way to learn and improve than on one’s own property.  We now have a second cottage on the property that we moved in from the nearby suburb of Manly, two large barns, a working potting shed (Flourish by Dorset Bottega) that we open to the public on our monthly open garden days, a workshop and some extensive gardens.
 
To say that I have been obsessed is true and at times all consumed in the process and journey to date. The positive side is that it allowed me to chase my dream.  As I worked on the property, I also began building my landscaping business Dorset Bottega.  These two projects have fed me with inspiration giving me an opportunity to put all the things I have learnt and love together.
It seems sometimes in life there are critical intersections and the decisions we make in these moments define our way forward. I feel very fortunate that I have found a new business space to pour all that I am into without question or hesitation.  I have so many plans and projects still to bring to life and it gives me great pleasure to share this continuing journey with everyone.
 
Sincerely obsessed,
 
Adam