Heart-warming beauty lies in businesses built from humble beginnings and handmade products crafted with care. Natalie Lane who has turned her passion project into a thriving business from a corner block in Brisbane has never looked back.After returning from backpacking around India, Natalie printed her travel photos into an album to relive the moments from her trip. Years later, she rediscovered the album on a bookshelf and was surprised at how few times she had looked at it. Flicking through the pages, Natalie found it hard to pick only a couple of photos to frame and wished to display the whole album and change the page at any time. Within that split second, the idea for a book frame was born. Formally an industrial designer, Natalie combined her skills with her environmental passion to design an artisan range of sustainable frames. After developing a successful prototype, Natalie launched her environmentally sustainable business, Corner Block Studio in 2015 with her debut product The Book Frame - a wooden adjustable hanging frame to display an open book. Soon after, The Record Jacket Frame and Card Frame evolved.
“I was eager to work in a business where values of respecting the environment would be part of the company culture and would be a guiding light for decision making - so I started one,” said Natalie.Living sustainably has always been an integral part of Natalie's life and instilling environmental values into every aspect of her business is no exception. Natalie sources two types of timbers for making the frames, recycled hardwood and new pine. She works with experienced timber mills to acquire high quality reclaimed timber from de-commissioned buildings including bridges and homes and process them to premium quality standards. Every hardwood frame is designed to showcase the timbers natural characteristics and details of its former life such as small nail holes or a squiggle left by a creature.
“Using recycled timbers is not an easy option, but I choose to use it anyway because I think it's important to protect our bushlands and forests,” she said.Using her business to share her environmental values, Natalie is careful about the materials she chooses and aims to create minimalist, long lasting designs with minimal impact on the planet. Natalie chooses to make her products from timber for its natural, re-purposing and decomposing qualities.
“Timber is not energy-intensive to process, compared with alternatives such as plastic and metal, and net carbon dioxide intake of a hoop pine plantation is of great benefit. Our strong sash woven cord is 100% cotton, inside and out. We choose cotton because it is a renewable material and will safety biodegrade at the product's end-of-life.”All Corner Block Studio designs are original and hand crafted on a corner block in Brisbane, Australia. Shop Corner Block Studio here >