I'm reading
Dave Martin is a mindful builder
Pass it on
Pass it on
I'm reading
Dave Martin is a mindful builder
Pass it on
Pass it on
I'm reading
Dave Martin is a mindful builder
Pass it on
Pass it on
Conversations
2 March 2018

Dave Martin is a mindful builder

Interview by Nathan Scolaro
Photography by Amandine Thomas

Nathan Scolaro on Dave Martin

The first thing you notice about Dave Martin is how great his face is—warm and full of expression, he looks like someone you could have a good yarn with, someone at home in his skin and unlikely to judge. Then he gets talking with his broad Aussie accent and you realise he’s exactly that: kind, grounded, interested in your story—someone my brothers would call a “bloody good bloke.”

Dave is your everyday Australian from the coast, a country guy with a passion for surfing and a damn big heart. In his teens and early twenties he completed a carpentry apprenticeship, developing a love for good design and craftsmanship before launching a career in the building industry that would be guided by a deeper sense of purpose and responsibility. Over the next decade he grew his vision, founding his own company, Martin Builders, and then more recently, The Sociable Weaver, which he co-founded with Small Giants, parent company of Dumbo Feather. He’s set himself apart by responding to the social and environmental needs underpinning his work, taking on residential projects that would allow him to be innovative with nature and design, and ultimately create a more holistic experience for the inhabitant. His practice has shown that carbon-positive is possible, and that the emotional energy and headspace tradies bring to the building process deeply effects a home’s foundations.

Dave had begun working with us for a couple of months before doing this interview. I’d already had a few lovely chats with him, but nothing to the extent of what we covered in this hour together, making me realise how important it is to sit down and share stories with our colleagues. I learned that he’d gone through quite a difficult separation with his wife, but brought such perspective and empathy to the process that he emerged with an even richer family dynamic. I also learned that he’s quite a spiritual guy, a disciplined meditator who believes he can bring much more to his work by making time every morning to journey inward.

I later visited Dave at his beachside home in Inverloch on Victoria’s Bass Coast, where building has commenced for one of his most exciting developments, the Cape Paterson eco-village. Greeting me with bare feet and a brilliant smile, he took me though his compact, thoughtfully designed ecohome where people are working (the place doubles as an office) and his three young kids are running about, climbing and building worlds. It was a picture of homelife I’d not seen before, and yet one so grounded in its messiness, so infused with love and consciousness, I hoped I’d see more of it in the future.

This story originally ran in issue #50 of Dumbo Feather

This story originally ran in issue #50 of Dumbo Feather

This story originally ran in issue #50 of Dumbo Feather

NATHAN SCOLARO: There’s lots going on for you at moment: Martin Builders, Small Giants Developments, starting The Sociable Weaver and I heard about the joinery business too. How are you juggling everything?

DAVE MARTIN: I’m really thinking about priorities. Trying to prioritise my time on the projects themselves, the companies. But then prioritising the fact that I need to talk to five people before the end of the day because they’ve asked me a question and I need to support them. That’s important for me. Giving people the attention they need. Whether they’re going through a hard time in their personal life or in business and they really need attention there. I like to help bring people back on the track. So for instance we have a guy who’s an apprentice at the moment. And he’s really focused on positive change. He’s implemented things like our 300-tree initiative, where with every house we build, we plant 300 trees. And he’s super talented, and the warmest. But he’s got a lot of self-doubt. He’s doing this amazing stuff but then he questions himself and goes, “Well, I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know if I’m doing it right or not.” So with him, ’cause there’s so much potential there, he tends to need reassurance. And just general presence and conversation. So he’s always on the back of my mind ’cause he’s so important to me and our story of creating positive change and actually integrating positive change—he sees it right through. So I need to talk to him almost every second day.

It’s inspiring to hear that kind of personal commitment to staff, where the working relationship branches into the personal as well. Are you conscious of these lines, so that it’s not the old-school way of, “We have our work self and then we go home and be our real self?”

I think so. I think, “Why am I doing this? And why am I here on Earth?” ’Cause there’s always those big questions that shape how we are in the world.

Have you always asked those questions?

No, I started asking them probably about four years ago, when I went through a divorce. There are those times where big turmoil hits and you need to reflect. That’s when those big questions come up. I think that’s what a lot of people don’t do enough, myself included: reflect from a wider picture of what am I here for? And if I’m here for a certain period of time, what’s my purpose? After the divorce, I was lost. I didn’t know I was, but I was.

So Dave Martin before divorce was not so conscious?

I married young. We were childhood sweethearts. We married and then did a bit of travelling around Australia and worked, built a house in Western Australia, came back and had two kids. I think I’m still the same guy that anyone would talk to, but the difference is realisation of a purpose, of doing good to other people, the environment. I always had a goal that I’d retire when I was 30.

Get out! Really?

I thought I had it all planned. So I was going through life and on this journey. And

I look at life as having all these different paths, and when you get far off your path, in some way you get slapped—slapped back onto the path.

So for me I thought, Yeah, I’ve got it planned, I’ve got it sorted, Dave in his own little bubble. And then it was almost like, “Slap! Mate, you’ve got no idea.” And that’s where I got slapped with divorce. And I think whether you say I woke up or was slapped back onto the right path, it’s the same. I’ve had huge learnings about myself personally, how I am in relationships. And been able to reflect on what’s really important in life.

And how would you start to talk about what’s really important in your life now?

People, connection, family. The quality and depth of relationships with family, friends and even connection with plants, animals and the planet. They’re the important things in life.

And what’s beautiful is that these are like the underpinnings of your work, particularly this new business adventure, The Sociable Weaver.

Totally. And I think I kind of looked at that aspect of, okay, I got slapped, now what? I finally worked out my purpose is service to humanity and the planet. The motivation of where I’m working now with The Sociable Weaver has reinforced the power of business to change industry. And also no matter what I want to do, I want to be around inspirational, cool, super nice people. Doesn’t matter if I was sweeping footpaths, whether I was in an office—my base criteria of what I want to do with my life is just be around cool inspirational people. And allow myself to grow and learn. And they’re the personal ideologies, a tight family, which I’m seeing can be reflected into business.

Is this what you experienced as a child? Quite a tight family?

Yeah, I suppose I have a bit of a Brady Bunch set-up. My father and mother separated before I was born. Mum gave birth to me at home, and she was a single mother bringing me up until I was about eight years old when she met another guy with two boys, who became my stepfather and stepbrothers. Dad met another woman and had two boys not long after I as born. So I have two half-brothers and two stepbrothers, which is funny because then it reflects into my scenario with kids and ex-partners and everything like that!

Oh yeah, right! And so I’m interested in this: how you rebuild after a divorce with all these strong family values that are important to you.

I’d always look at certain nuclear families and think, Oh that’s the right family, that’s the ideal family. Mum, dad, two kids. That was the perfect scenario to what mainstream tells you, or what it’s meant to be. But when I went through the divorce I realised we could still have a loving, supportive, tight-knit family that looked a bit different. So I have two kids with my ex-wife, and her new partner has an eight-year-old daughter, Mia, and they all live together, and I’ll have the kids every second weekend and two nights a week. Mia too. So I’ve kind of claimed Mia as one of my own. When people ask, I say I have three kids. We call it a beautiful mess.

Was it hard for you to embrace her like that?

At the start. Going through the separation and my ex-wife being with another guy was hard. There were those primal things: “I’m not good enough. What did I do wrong?” You question your manhood, “Was I enough of a man? Why was she going to another guy?” All the self-doubt. The night I found out I was kind of stunned and shell-shocked. I was actually at her parents’ house that night, we were having dinner, and she told us all there and then.

Jesus Christ.

It was heavy. I couldn’t sleep that night. And then I had to just get away. So I flew to Bali for two weeks and tried to ground and get some understanding of what to do. Whether to try chase her to win her back or just let it go. It was testing what’s important, and then a cousin said to me, “If Jobe and Sass ask you when they’re 14 did you do everything to hold your family together, what are you going to say to them?” And this is where I was trying to work out should I try and win her back or not. Not realising, like, my head was stuck in a bubble.

Did she leave the door half open?

Nah. She was totally in love with this guy. She was in this new world. It was a hard slog for us having two kids 18 months apart. And we’re running a business. And business was busy and I wasn’t there a lot to support her. So there was all this understanding that comes later that goes, “This is why.” Family and friends put the blame on her, but you have to look at it both ways in that I really didn’t give her the time. Didn’t show her the right love that she really deserved and needed. And I just think we ended up probably not being right at the right time. For the first eight years of our life we were perfect together. But from then on I think we were meant to be close and always in each other’s lives. And love each other. But just not in the same, I suppose, romantic and married situation. Which, as time passes, the more I look back and reflect, it’s like wow, it’s amazing.

It is. It’s amazing hearing how you’ve processed the marriage and divorce, and really swam in the uncomfortable, murky, complexity of it all. I think so many people are quick to pass the blame when it comes to separation, ignoring all the nuance that’s going on in that relationship, but when you go there and you acknowledge it and you feel it deeply, like you have, that’s the opportunity for growth.

Exactly. I think if we can look at and understand why things happen, there’s always some good in it. Really it’s a matter of perspective, it depends how we look at it—what we want to hold onto, and what we want to release. And I suppose going through the whole divorce and integrating new family tested me to take a path of anger and negativity. And I thought, If I go down that path, it’s going to affect the kids. ’Cause they were first and foremost the priorities. It’s going to affect my kids’ mother. And then it’s going to affect my whole support network. So I was like, “Geez! I can’t go there!” And with the more positive approach and perspective I took, really beautiful things have unfolded.

Has the experience made you think differently about love? Like we have this Hollywood notion of love where we only get one great love in our lives, one true soul mate. But maybe love is more than that.

Yeah, I think definitely.

I always had this idea that real love is just between myself and another person, and we’re peas in a pod, we know each other fully. But the truth is we never can know someone fully, and love can exist in multiple ways.

I think I look at love as so much wider. Like, love is the connection between you and me. It is the connection between, say, nature, plants, animals and ourselves. And love is so powerful within groups and friendships and families, when it presents itself in unexpected acts of kindness. And so I believe there are so many different types of love. But it all boils down to love, end of the day.

I agree, I think it’s a real shame that we don’t value these kinds of loves that you’re getting at. That we value romantic love as the ultimate. But the love between two strangers, if you’re really feeling that connection in the moment, is just as powerful, right?

Totally! Everyone’s connected. And there are certain things that create strong connections for some reason. Like, there’s a reason why I look up to a certain stranger on the street and say “hi” or the reason I bump into someone at a certain time and place. And I think that’s love as well.

Yeah, that awareness is love. And you clearly have a love of nature and the environment. And when I’m in nature on my own I sometimes feel connected to everything. That for me is really powerful, and I think, looking at your work and how integrated it is, you feel the power of nature also.

I think so. I get my biggest burst from being in nature. Whether it’s in the ocean surfing or whether it’s bushwalking. Or whether it’s just sitting in the house meditating. ’Cause I think that’s where I feel that connection to Mother Earth, myself and also connection to the universe. I think that’s where I really feel love, and sometimes great insights or tingles or whatnot come, or you see something while your eyes are closed.

And it’s hard to put words around those experiences. “What is this?”

Exactly! Because it’s at that unconscious level, it’s instinctive. Like six or seven years ago, there was Boy Dave. And Boy Dave still loved surfing and being in nature, but he didn’t have the sense of connectedness to Earth itself.

So when you’re talking about Boy Dave, you’re talking about a more ignorant version of yourself?

Exactly. Like, “Dave’s the centre of the universe,” that was the mindset. I think my divorce was a real rite of passage. I felt as a boy I was all me, me, me. Now, becoming a man, I realise, it’s not all about myself. It’s about a wider community and vision for humanity and the planet. But there is a bogan part of Dave, I’ve got a coastal ocker thing going in the way I talk. Marry in a bit of corporate. When I’m working in the city I dress a little different to what I would dress down the coast. And I love dressing up a bit and feeling more corporate-y and structured. I also love just being a surfie bum. Wearing board shorts, beanies and Ugg boots.

[Laughs].

So I love the balance.

Yeah. I get that. I feel like sometimes I really just want to channel that inner bogan in me. ’Cause I come from the country. And I just want to sometimes sing at a pub, like, at the top of my lungs to John Farnham or Cold Chisel. Those things stay in you.

Totally. And I have a lot of coastal and country mates where I totally just let out my coastal bogan side. What I’ve found is, walking the two paths, we’re all the same. Like there’s actually no difference.

If we’re nervous or feel insecure we think we need to put on a front. But really when the wall comes down, we’re all the same. And we all want to connect.

And these ideas really translate in your work. Connection is at the heart of The Sociable Weaver, you’ve got that message, “Built to Belong.” Is this something you observed was missing in a lot of contemporary design and construction?

Yeah, I think in going through that journey and coming to where I am now in life, I look at The Sociable Weaver as an important aspect of what I believe in. We build homes that inspire and connect the inhabitant with nature. And really the idea is being able to subtly help people feel more present in their lives—’cause having nature around you has some kind of unconscious impact. It opens up those questions of, “Why are we here? Why am I lost? Why am I floating around like a feather?”

So the idea was to have a structure, which is a building or your cocoon, your nest, that you can go into a really supportive, beautiful environment that’s comfortable, warm, loving and connects with nature. And then also the understanding of living with nature through the environment, through food production, through engaging with sunlight. Understanding different seasons, predominant wind paths. And with that, you gain this knowledge which you need to know to live with the building and evolve with the building to its maximum capability. So it’s almost like your haven or cocoon grows with you. It’s almost like a seed’s getting planted where you’re engaging and then you’re starting to think about yourself, the planet, nature.

As one.

Connected. And then I think from there that’s when a realisation, an epiphany, happens, the start of a gradual journey. A path to loving yourself, and really doing what we feel is important to us. Rather than “Groundhog Day,” waking up 10 years later and going, “What have I just done with my life?” So that was the thinking, always the idea of sustainable construction and building biology in design and building. But the real part of it is education.  Educating the inhabitant on connection with nature, and through the background is the health between mental, personal and physical self. Educating people about different types of soaps and cleaners that are toxic to our skin. Or how we can grow our own food that’s organic or bio-dynamic, or just doesn’t have a shitload of chemicals sprayed all over it.

So The Sociable Weaver is also about providing this knowledge and information on how to live healthy, environment-friendly domestic lives as well?

Yeah, ’cause I do believe that we’re all evolving with the planet. Once we connect with nature, we connect with ourselves, and we can live deeper, happier lives.

I want to know more what this looks like in terms of the design of a building. How does the construction of a home, the way it’s designed, directly affect the individual in this way?

I think the sun’s a massive part of it, and in life itself. If you look at the sun, it really inspires all of nature. It’s free energy, free heat. Some people say humans are sun worshippers. We need vitamin D. It makes us healthy as well. We bring in some food production so people are actually putting their hands in the soil, connecting with the earth. They’re learning a basic cycle of life, which is its own conscious thing of your food waste becoming compost, your compost then is used in the garden which feeds the new plants’ growth, so it creates this kind of life cycle as well. Then I think there’s also the designing sense of having particular windows in different locations that allow you to connect with the external environment. So it’s simply just connecting the inside with out as seamlessly as possible.

I also think it’s looking at where our water comes from, where our energy comes from, looking at what we actually need in a home. There’s a general thinking that bigger is better, but people are realising that we don’t need a 50-square mansion. We can live in a 10- to 20-square home that has minimal impact and footprint on the environment, still have as much beautiful outdoor space, and still have the same amount of rooms inside. With smart design we can lift ceiling spaces or allow light in so it doesn’t feel as small and poky.

And what’s been your journey as a builder? How have these philosophies evolved over the years?

So I stepped into a carpentry apprenticeship when I finished year 12. Two years before that I was doing work experience with a builder each school holidays, so maybe eight weeks in a year or something like that. The construction industry hasn’t really evolved like I think it should have. But if you’re looking at where the building industry began, like stonemasonry times, there’s so much amazing stuff that’s been lost in craftsmanship and the philosophy of building. So I suppose when I was doing my apprenticeship I was working between this old-school and new-school mentality. So the old school would be, apprentices were treated like shit. And you do not answer back. I think what part of being a young guy back then was proving your manhood and worth a bit as well. Saying, “Yeah, I can be on a shovel for two weeks and I can dig as many holes as you want in 40-degree heat, with blistered hands.”

So we need to move from this old school mentality of “you kick the apprentice,” to this new school mentality of “no, you actually look after your apprentice, you nurture your apprentice.”

If they’re struggling a bit, we give them more time and talk with them. You don’t just say, “Do that, sweep the floor” without an explanation of why.

My brother’s an electrician. And he told me these terrible stories about guys taping apprentices to air conditioner vents, really awful stuff.

Yeah, mechanics that would strip the guys off and put grease all over their balls.

What is that?

I think it’s trying to prove masculinity, their own strange kind of rite of passage. And it’s also about power, trying to disempower that person by doing whatever stupid shit they do to empower themselves. Like, “I’m untouchable.” We’re still these boys playing around doing stupid shit rather than trying to respect each other and respect the environment we’re part of. I was fortunate not to have any bad shit like that happen to me. But I had friends that did. And it affected those guys so much then, and still today. I suppose for me that’s a negative presence or attitude. You look at the construction industry, it’s probably more in the commercial sector, but it’s a battle, almost a battle to the death kind of thing. Instantly from when a client engages a designer and then a builder, the client is generally trying to screw the builder down, screw the next person down. Let’s get them down to a price, let’s trick them up on some documentation, and screw ’em. And then the builder’s going, “I’ll give you a price, but I’ve got all these tricks up my sleeve that I’m going to sting you with,” variations, cost layering and stuff like that.

So there’s instantly this negative energy going into this beautiful structure that you’re building. And then it starts: the builder goes, “Oh this wasn’t documented right so here’s $10,000 in a variation to the client,” or the designer, architect, whoever it is. And then they’re going, “No, we’re not going to pay that!” And there’s negotiating. Then if they don’t pay it’s like, “We’re not going to do any more work until you pay.” But it’s costing the client money not approving the variation. So it’s almost like this battle of who can outsmart who. And after all of that, generally the builder screws all their trades and consultants, plumbers, electricians, tilers, plasterers, painters to get or fatten his margin. And I look at all the negative energy that’s been created there. There are arguments, even punch-ons, yelling.

Some pretty ugly foundations for someone’s home!

Right, we swear and we curse and then we start building. From scratch we’re building shit energy. And people have to live in this place, right? I remember discussing a project for a Qui Gong master up in Queensland, and he wanted to build a dojo. So I’m like, “Wow! Is it curved? Is it steel? Is it timber? What is it?” And he said, “It doesn’t matter what the material is, it matters about the energy that’s built on the site and throughout the building.” I’m like, “Whoa!”

[Laughs].

So I look at our building sites in this way, which brings in building biology and feng shui.

So there’s a spiritual discipline to building?

Absolutely. But I know myself, I can walk into a space and you can feel it. “This is amazing! I feel so calm and warm!” Or, “It’s so inspiring!” So you’re trying to build this amazing structure that shifts people. Below that structure, as a foundation, is all this negative or positive energy. Which surely affects the inhabitants for who knows how long.

And then also on a superficial level in that the blokes are doing a halfarsed job because they’re in a shitty mindset. So on that level as well!

Yeah, topical service, exactly! It’s like, “I don’t give a shit. This guy doesn’t give a shit about me anyway so I’m not going to go that extra mile to finish.” So yeah there are two levels where that bad energy is having an effect. So from just learnings in business and clients over the years, instead of a negative portrait of the construction industry, we’re looking at a positive one.

We have this beautiful amazing structure to build. Let’s come together as a team—client, designer, builder—and get to know each other, connect and work transparently.

And then everyone has a win. And I’ve seen it from a battling perspective to working as a team together, and end of the day, the client gets a better quality job. The designer has the design intent and finish that they want. The builder is proud of the building. And this building process actually saves money, and the client gets better value for their buck.

And you guys on the job all just feel much better as well.

Yeah! It comes back to that question, “What’s our purpose? Why are we here on Earth?” Like, there is no way I want to be placed here on Earth and live my life fighting 24/7. So this approach allows us to work better for a good outcome. Not saying there aren’t issues that need to be overcome, but it’s about being conscious of those interactions and the impact, and openness about where you’re at.

So these challenges you come across in the work, how do you deal with them? What’s your approach?

If there’s any issue that arises, it’s generally sitting down and having a general conversation. Knowing what the issue is, looking at where the issues have come from, and then working together to resolve that issue. And then after that, if there’s any work that needs to be changed or financed or whatnot, we know what the solution is. It’s simple really, it’s just about communication. But the problem is all our bloody egos get involved. If there is a bit of conflict, it’s like, “Fuck you, no way!”

To not react in that way, to stop and think in the middle of a confrontation and appeal to your better self, it takes a pretty strong core.

It does. Most builders look at their work as just building stuff. I see building almost like the façade of what we’re really trying to do.

If I meditate in the morning for 10 to 20 minutes, I’m having a more positive effect on the world in those 10 to 20 minutes than building say 10 carbon positive homes.

Because that affects the way I interact with a client, my team and the world, which I see has more importance on them and the world as it does the actual building.

So you’re really emphasising the relational in your work.

I think so. And the respect to nature. I’m interested in what’s happening vibrationally.

Okay, so let’s talk about “vibrationally” and “energy.” There are some terms that we’ve been using that people can be really sceptical about. So let’s unpack them. When you’re talking “vibrationally,” what are you talking about? Let’s talk about it in terms of meditation first of all. What does that look like for you?

I wake up in the morning. And I’ll light a little candle, burn a bit of Palo Santo which is a bit of timber, it’s like an incense. I have a globe, like a globe of the world. I have a serpent, jaguar and eagle statue, some crystals. So it’s a bit weird.

But not weird to you?

Not weird to me, but talk to Dave six years ago and tell Dave that he would have crystals in his house and he’d be like, “That’s pretty weird.” I mean, I’ve grown up with like footy, cars and motorbikes, I was a bit of a bogan. And now it’s like, “Man, you’ve got crystals out! What the hell?”

How did you get onto them?

Through my divorce. Mum said, “You should see a counsellor. I’ve heard a kinesiologist can help clear stuff, underlying stuff. And you can get through five kinesiologist sessions and it could be a year of counselling.” I was just like, “Yeah, whatever, I’ll do it.” So I went and saw this kinesiologist and she’s doing this weird stuff on me. And then there’s all these things happening like tears just start running out my eyes. And I have this feeling go through me. And from that I grew more and more curious. There’s this thing called “spirit science” which puts science behind spirituality, and different things with crystals and benefits you can have on your health and work and life and now meditation. And with the meditation I’ll just sit cross-legged. Hands on my knees, eyes closed. And try to think of nothing. ’Cause your mind doesn’t stop otherwise. What am I going to do tomorrow? Oh I’ve got to email that person. And do this. In meditation I try just to think about nothing.

Just try to get to neutral.

Exactly. It can be totally blank, or I’ll start thinking about something and then call it out. Then I’ll send out a vibration of love, like, to the world. Or my brother. He’s an ice addict at the moment. Beautiful guy, absolutely amazing. But he’s addicted to frigging ice. So with that, I just picture sending him love and stuff. It might be big questions that I have to ask, whether it’s a business question or a relationship. What should I do? And sometimes I get clarity from sitting. That sets up my day. And I think that creates big change depending on the situation. You know there was this property in Queensland we were looking at developing. And I had to go up and it was like a family development, a little coastal shack, 1770, five acres of mangoes. Absolutely beautiful. And in my other version of working life I wouldn’t have gone to check it out. If I was told, “Go up there and just hang out in the shack for two nights,” I’d be like, “Nah, I’ve got work to do!” But something drew me out there to look at the site.

And when I was up there, the owner of the property turned out to be, like, a super-connected yoga teacher and her husband was dying. She was 60-odd. And for those few days on that property, I came up with all these different business ideas that would eventually bring The Sociable Weaver to light. If I hadn’t have gone, the business wouldn’t be! And then I also went up with a friend, and from our conversations there, she is actually implementing some amazing things into her business. So we looked at each other and went, “Wow, so we actually went up there to look at a property but ended up doing the real work.”

Amazing what can happen when you follow an instinct.

Yeah! I’m always in my head. But I think all of the best decisions are made within our gut or heart. Last year, for the last 12 months, I didn’t really enjoy it and wasn’t around inspiring people with the same values. Do I step out? Do I just hang in there? Do you just hang in through a rough patch? And these are big decisions. So my head’s telling me that and it was like, “Okay, ground yourself and try to listen.” I listened, and look where I am! Here is The Sociable Weaver! So I really think we need to live in the heart. But it’s still hard. I guess you have to keep listening to people who are experts in the field. I really enjoy engaging with people, and hearing their stories. That’s what interests me. Because it’s always a different story to what you perceive and nine times out of 10 everyone has some amazing stories! And a lot of them don’t even know how amazing it is.

Do you think about what impact your own story might have on others?

A little. I’d like to think my story will motivate people to take the blinkers off and look at the big picture. And implement positive change in their own life, into their family relationships and the world at large. I like to think if I die tomorrow that that’s carried on—through business and presence. And with my team and children as well.

Nathan Scolaro

Nathan enjoys getting elbow-deep in sentences, pressing and pricking them like a Chinese doctor until the blood is flowing just right. He hails from Western Australia, where he first experienced the joy of putting together a magazine, and now indulges his love of thoughtful, life-giving storytelling by bringing Dumbo Feather to life once a quarter.

Photography by Amandine Thomas

I want more things that inspire me to...

Dumbo Feather Newsletter

Let’s be friends. We'll tell you all the good stuff.