Life & Style
Mayfield East

Built In-Kind

Bespoke design and workshops in Mayfield East

Photography courtesy of Lee Illfield

Nestled in amongst the creative workshop spaces at The Soap Factory in Mayfield East, Built In Kind stands as a beacon of creativity and empowerment; offering a unique blend of custom furniture craftsmanship, hands-on workshops, and educational programs for women and diverse communities.

We caught up with owner Hannah Cheetham to hear about her passion for community engagement as she shares insights into the vision behind Built In Kind.

built in kind workshops mayfield east newcastle nsw
Hannah Cheetham

Hannah’s journey into the world of furniture design is deeply rooted in her rural upbringing in Glennies Creek and early experience in the world of furniture making.

“Over the years I have been really lucky to work with a heap of different fabricators and furniture makers. I’ve learnt so much without having to study furniture making and design.

“The first workshop I stepped foot in was when I was 14 I did work experience in Singleton. It was really amazing,” Hannah said.

built in kind workshops mayfield east newcastle nsw

Today, Hannah is armed with a background in Architectural Design and invaluable hands-on experience in the not-for-profit sector.

“I’ve always loved working with my hands. I always wanted to be a furniture maker, but I thought that the world was too troubled for me to make beautiful things. I realised that my happy place isn’t sitting down, it’s using my hands and inviting people to learn in my space.

“It is a vulnerable space to be learning something new. So, to be able to make people feel safe through their learning is really special.”

Three years since the social enterprise officially launched, Built In-Kind has gone from a part-time offering of custom furniture pieces, to a full-time gig offering three distinctly different opportunities:

1. Custom furniture and joinery commissions
2. Hands-on workshops
3. Educational building programs for women and diverse communities

“I’m putting all of my time and energy into this to really get the ball rolling.”

Custom Furniture & Joinery Commissions

Kicking things off with her custom furniture and joinery commissions, Hannah has a knack for unique furniture design and fabrication.

built in kind workshops mayfield east newcastle nsw

“I love design and I find I thrive with these custom pieces because it feels like a challenge. My favourite things to build would be beds actually. It’s funny how people don’t often think about getting a custom bed made. They’ll pay for a vanity or a kitchen table, but yet we sleep in our beds every day but it’s never high on the list.

“It’s got to be such a hard and durable design, and I love the challenge of being able to make it soft.”

Hands-On Workshops

Through these small group collaborative workshops, Hannah aims to empower individuals to explore their creativity and gain practical skills.

Educational Programs

With Hannah’s background and experience in the not-for-profit sector, Built In-Kind aims to not only enhance the abilities of interested individuals but hopes to give back to diverse communities.

“I’m setting up as a social enterprise model. If I can run some for-profit activities, like the upcoming workshops, they will help subsidise, if not completely be able to provide free classes for diverse communities where I can partner with social services and their clients to deliver workshops.”

built in kind workshops mayfield east newcastle nsw

The first set of workshops happening in April are just a hint of what’s to come for Hannah and Built In-Kind.

Hannah’s dedication to craftsmanship, community engagement, and empowering individuals shows that Built In-Kind is so much more than a workshop; it’s a testament to the transformative power of creativity and collaboration.