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  • Cath Barker


Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Award-winning designer brings creative community to Brendale.

The Sheds at Brendale Roz Foley CEO The Nest Community

From running the puppet studio Spitting Images in London, working as manager of game design for Hasbro UK to being creative co-ordinator for animation studio; Toonders, Amsterdam. Australian designer Roz Foley Holt has enjoyed international success.

But returning home and raising a family, gave her the opportunity to see the true power of craft in action. “In 2012 I had a young family and was working on my own art practice; Artisan Leather Goods. To supplement my income I started The Craft Nest project in Everton Park to teach young girls handmade living practices. My daughter had just been diagnosed with Aspergers and had difficulty making friends at school, but I noticed that as she helped others in class, her confidence grew and she was proud of sharing her skills”, says Ms Foley Holt.

Through an article about women leading a call for sustainability, Roz met Rebecca Casson who ran Brown Owls, teaching craft to adults. Together they founded The Nest Community, incorporating it as an association in 2014 with core values of sustainability, hand-making, and skill sharing.

By 2015 the community took up residence in a home in Everton Park, solidifying their charitable mission to provide a nurturing space for women to connect through craft and share a common purpose.

Over nearly 10 years the organisation has grown to over 120 volunteers who help to preserve Australia’s craft heritage by sharing their skills in a workshop program and processing donations of preloved craft and sewing supplies in their social enterprise; The Nest Haberdashery.

In the midst of the COVID pandemic, the community revisited its origins by launching a mentoring program; The Exchange Project, to teach vulnerable teenage girls hand-making skills.

The program equips young women with valuable skills that not only ignite their creativity but also in still a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

“Students who attend have flourished under the guidance of experienced mentors, honing their creative abilities and discovering new passions along the way.”, says teacher Joanne Smith from Mitchelton State High School.

Coming soon, The Nest Community will be relocating to The Sheds in Brendale. Until now, The Nest Haberdashery has been an underground treasure trove of affordable craft supplies, but it is about to expand in size fivefold, with two creative studio spaces adjoining. As the Nest Community approaches its 10-year anniversary, the move is an amazing achievement for a grassroots women-led organisation and we can’t wait to see the community flourish at The Sheds at Brendale.

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