Crafted in Busselton is an artisan store that brings together the work of 20 creatives living in the South West. Being part of the collective allows the artisans to sell products while still having the time to make them.
The carefully curated products at Crafted are ethical, small batch and handmade. Founder and coordinator of Crafted, Cath Miller, is also one of the creatives making all-natural products including local olive oil, beeswax, and fresh milk from her own goats.
In 2008, Cath and her husband Brad decided to escape the hustle and bustle of inner-city life where they were running a small music and internet lounge in Leederville and working full time.
As their ‘tree’ change, they choose a degraded cattle property close to Brad’s favourite surf break Guillotines (a priority for the dedicated surfer). It started with tree farming, then guinea fowl and chickens, followed by the first two goats in 2013. Not long after Cath began making her Smudge Soap from the fresh goats’ milk and selling them at local markets in the Margaret River Region.
Her next venture started when she joined the local spinning and weaving group. And you guessed it, she got a couple of Angora goats! The handwoven textiles of Cath’s scarves and shawls are inspired by the Australian landscapes surrounding her and influenced by the tartans of her Scottish homeland.
Sheep and bees were added to the farm in 2014, the beeswax is used for candles and in balms sold at the market.
Animal welfare is at the heart of the homestead with natural fodder systems as the foundation for the goats, sheep and bees. The couple have planted over 10,000 trees and shrubs on the property, providing perennial food for all the animals. The goats naturally wean their kids at 5 months and the Angora goats are shorn twice a year.
Cath is committed to keeping the old skills alive, joking about how her life is like Little House on the Prairie with electricity and the internet! She loves nothing more than inspiring people to be self-sufficient. She runs workshops regularly where you can learn how to make beeswax candles and spin yarn in the same way it was taught 300 years ago.
If you’re wondering, Smudge is Cath’s best goat and the catalyst for soap making. Smudge produced 4 litres of milk a day and Cath had no more room in the fridge for cheese so rather than waste it, she turned it into soap!