From career change to Australia’s next top furniture designer

Rick Verloop furniture

Rick Verloop says furniture making was always the career itch he wanted to scratch.

A mature-aged learner, Rick’s journey to a furniture course at Holmesglen arrived against the backdrop of an interesting career path.

Pursuing architecture following his secondary education, Rick then decided to transition into information technology where he spent three decades growing a successful IT business.

However, his passion for furniture design never ebbed.

“The bit I enjoyed the most about working in IT was the design process – that was something that made me realise I wanted to get into design, but in a different field.

“It was a realisation that if I never did furniture design now, I’d never be able to do it.

“I sold the majority stake of my IT company to a private equity firm, with the aim to build it up for a stock exchange listing.”

A recognised furniture designer in industry

As part of the Australia Design Show, Rick was selected as one Australia’s Next Top Designers.

His chair and coffee table – ‘The Tenon Series’ – will be exhibited at the Sydney International Convention and Exhibition Centre and then later at Fringe Furniture.

Rick says his furniture ideas have flourished in the Holmesglen workshop.

“The teachers have been encouraging. You can get quite ambitious in what you want to do.

“The Holmesglen furniture course makes you learn with hand tools before you jump into power tools, so you have a good grounding.”

Rick’s future furniture-making goals

Rick aims to use his furniture course qualification to make limited-run, bespoke furniture for clients and customers in industry.

“People are making the move back towards the traditional crafts. There is a shift from consumerism and buying something, using it for three years, and then chucking it in the hard rubbish collection.

“I want to make stuff that stays potentially in the family for multiple generations.

“I just want to get enjoyment out of it.”

Find out more about our furniture courses at Holmesglen and what study and career opportunities are available to you.

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