Renovate w/ Gilly's - An Interview with Butch and Bulldog
Ok, we are so PLEASED to welcome Nina and Rhys AKA Butch & Bulldog - to the Renovate w/ Gilly's series. These guys have been advocate Gilly's lovers and we have loved watching them grow. This young couple has been dominating the DIY game and if you want to know how they did it... keep reading!
Tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We are Nina and Rhys AKA Butch & Bulldog.
We met 3 and a half years ago when we were both living in Toronto, Canada. I moved to Australia in 2019 to be with Rhys in Melbourne.
I was working as a retail manager on Chapel Street and Rhys as a travel agent for Flight Centre before covid hit. The lockdown took its toll on us so we decided to pack our bags and head down the highway to Geelong, where in the 8 months we have been here we have gotten engaged, got married, increased our plants from 1 to 50 and gone from strength to strength with our business Butch & Bulldog.
How did you start Butch and Bulldog?
It all started in March 2020 at the start of the pandemic. We both lost our jobs in Melbourne so we decided to spend some time up in Kerang, northern Victoria at Rhys’ parents.
We were looking for something to do to entertain ourselves during lockdown so we thought renovating their laundry room was a fun idea.
We had zero experience but after a bunch of YouTube videos and a shed full of tools we were ready to go. 2 weeks, and a few mistakes later we had our finished masterpiece and realised how much we enjoyed working with tools so we were keen to find something else to do.
We found some old bedside tables lying around the shed and thought we would see if we could give them a new lease on life. The finished product was such a big difference compared to what they were no-one could believe they were the same pieces. We loved the whole process of up-cycling furniture from those first pieces so much we kept going with it to what it has become today.
What do you love about renovating and DIY?
We love that we are saving all these pieces from landfill and giving the furniture a fresh new life that the customers feel proud to have in their home. We love that it gives us a chance to be creative and put our personality into each piece.
What inspires you when creating?
Every piece that we work on is special for us, we even give them names. We treat them with love and care and that inspires us to make them beautiful.
Pinterest and Instagram are great inspiration sources, so many talented people out there!
Tell us a story about your favourite DIY project?
My favourite project was the first Tv Unit that we up-cycled. It was the biggest piece we had done so far and at that time we were working from our apartment balcony. Literally no space to move around but we enjoyed the whole process and absolutely love how it turned out.
What do you recommend for people wanting to get into business as a couple?
Communication is key. Being clear on what each person’s role will be, and be willing to compromise.
What are the challenges running Butch and Bulldog?
Space. We have a small place with a garage that we use as a workshop. It isn’t quite big enough for the amount of work we are doing and the set up isn’t ideal. We make it work but we are looking forward to the day we can have a bigger place.
5 best tips and tricks for starting a project?
1- Plan ahead.
2- Be patient.
3- Invest in good quality products.
4- Don’t be scared to ask questions.
5- Enjoy the process!
Where to next for you two?
We are loving what we are doing and we’re so thankful of how much both ourselves and our business have grown in this past year.
We want to keep on doing it and see where life takes us!
How did you find using Gilly's Products?
They are all super easy to use, they dry fast and they all smell AMAZING!
What was your favourite product?
The Carnauba Polish Clear Finishing Wax is our favourite product. It’s the cherry on top for my furniture, we use it on almost every project!
Why do you love Gilly's?
We love that they use natural ingredients and that they’re Australia made. We try to support Australian businesses when possible and Gilly’s is a great example of one. They have great customer support as well, I needed some help with a baby safe product for a cot and within the same day they responded to me and helped me out.