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When a ruckman hangs up the footy boots and decides to pursue a career in furniture making, it only makes sense that he builds himself a very large shed to work in…and not just a basic colorbond shed, a beautiful barn style shed crafted from rustic corrugated iron, recycled timber and recycled windows. Brad Ottens, the man behind O Designs furniture making, is living on a 5 acre property in the surf coast region spending his days between family, surfing and the work shed.

Brad was born in Darwin and grew up on a cattle station in the centre of NT. He spent his childhood with constant dirt up his nose helping out on the station, riding horses and spending weekends travelling around the country side to compete in campdrafting events. At the age of 12, he set out on his new adventure of boarding school in Adelaide. Monday to Friday he attended school with a neat uniform and a clean nose, but he was still lucky enough to spend weekends on friends farms and holidays back on the family cattle station.

Brad was drafted for footy straight out of school where he joined the Richmond Football Club. In 2005 he made the move down the highway to join the Geelong Football Club where he played for seven years, winning three premierships. In preparation for retirement from footy, Brad managed to complete an apprenticeship in cabinetry. In 2011 he decided it was time to hang up the boots and pick up the tools to put his skills to work.

When the time came for Brad and his wife Sarah to tie the knot, they wanted to hire some furniture for the wedding. Unable to find what they were wanting, Brad decided to make it himself. After receiving multiple requests to borrow the furniture after their wedding, they realised there was an opportunity in the market for handmade timber furniture hire. Pepper Sprout Hire was established which was a boutique furniture hire company, servicing events throughout Geelong, Melbourne and Regional Victoria.

After operating Pepper Sprout for four years, Brad & Sarah sold the business to allow time for the next stages in their lives. They welcomed their first son into their world, and Brad had time again to focus on making furniture for custom orders. They now enjoy the simple pleasures in life on their property with their two boys, scruffy jack Russell and Gabby the goat.

 In the coming year Brad will be releasing his own furniture range. You can visit Brad at and follow him @bradottens


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