Will Brennan might refer to himself as “an over-confident handyman”, but in reality he’s the creative drive behind some of the most striking furniture designs this country has ever seen.

Will Brennan is somewhat of an anomaly. For a man who has built a reputation around the design and manufacture of some of the most beautiful high-end furniture in the land, he has no formal carpentry qualifications and says his business was born out of the simple desire to “make stuff”.

One can’t help but get the feeling Will is selling himself short. Working from his factory in Orange, Will Brennan pieces are now sought after throughout Australia, and can be found in stylish residences, art galleries, shops and hotels from Melbourne to Noosa and everywhere in between.

I’m talking to Will in his organised, light-filled production space on a Sunday afternoon over the Christmas break. Owning and operating a small business in manufacturing isn’t nine to five. Of course he’s in the workshop, pottering about doing odd jobs while everyone else is on holiday. He looks so at home amongst the endless stacks of timber and huge industrial equipment, and talks passionately about the evolution of his dream. You can tell he lives and breathes this business, and the lifestyle.

Is that a Will Brennan?

While Will’s path to success in the furniture design business is certainly atypical, born out of “tinkering with wood” in his parents’ backyard rather than a traditional carpentry apprenticeship, he now employs specialist tradespeople and a team of support staff to not only cope with the volume of work, but to add value to his vision.

“We’re really trying to focus on our systems and processes now, rather than me being the linchpin of the business. I guess we’re trying to make ordering custom furniture as easy as ordering a Big Mac,” he says.

It’s this kind of ambition and innovation that has seen Will grow and develop his business at such a rapid pace, and there’s only one way to achieve that; by delivering a quality product that is unique, timeless and of the highest quality.

To put Will’s simple aspirations as an “over-confident handyman” into perspective, six years into the journey his initial team of two has rapidly grown to 10 and shows no signs of shrinking – with Will’s next frontier being the education and masterclass space.

“What we’ve got at the moment is a wood shop and a metal shop. The next three arms of the business will be a paint shop, upholstery shop and an educational space. So, people can come in and do a week-long course to produce a coffee table or a chair.”

Locally, his team are also responsible for some of the most striking retail and hospitality fit-outs in Orange, such as Cint Boutique, the Parkview and Ophir Hotels, and Omar by Academy Coffee.

Will Brennan Designs sits in a space about which Will is extremely passionate; Australian manufacturing. He is extraordinarily proud to be producing Australian-made furniture and says Orange will always be his base.

“The future for Australian manufacturing is pretty exciting, and conscientious consumers are pushing it forward for us.

“What we’re hearing now is people talking to each other and saying; is that a Will Brennan? Which is pretty cool. Our pieces are now being seen and displayed in people’s homes or offices as a piece of art.”

{words: Kyle Manningphotography: Jess Hislop}