A few months ago, The Dharma Door received an email asking for support. We regularly receive requests such as these, but something in particular made this email compelling: saving the sea.
The Dharma Door’s founders Shannon and Mick Sheedy are based in the Byron Bay hinterland, so reverence for the ocean is a significant part of life for them and their local community. Annual working holidays at their family beach house on the shores of the Great Barrier Reef have increasingly highlighted the volume of plastics and waste polluting the vast marine ecosystem we all depend upon. Home to the Whitsunday Islands, the region is popular for fishing and tourism alike. During daily morning walks, the couple have made a routine of collecting the items that wash up on the shoreline, in an effort to make a small contribution to what has now become a pressing global issue.
Take 3 for the Sea is a not for profit organisation with similar sentiments. Its simple premise – take three pieces of rubbish with you when you leave the beach – attracted the support of renovation sensation Kara Demmrich. Now a Take 3 Global Ambassador, Kara sent her email to see if The Dharma Door would like to add a little love to Take 3’s first official office.
Kara first became known to Australians when she appeared on Season 8 of The Block in 2014 with her husband Kyal. Since then, the couple have completed back-to-back renovations, made regular TV appearances, run a thriving business and started their own family.
Kara’s original motivation to connect with Take 3 bears resemblance to our own; in 2013 she and Kyal travelled the South American coastline and were also stunned by the waste littering the coastline. Describing the experience in one of her online blog posts, she says “I remember being in awe of the beauty and diversity of the coastline, but the other thing that really struck me was the amount of plastic washed up on the beaches. I felt overwhelmed by the amount of waste, and I remember thinking, as an individual, ‘where do you start?’ I'm not quite sure when I first heard about Take 3, but standing on the beach in Panama, I remembered their simple message.”
Now a designer by trade, Kara jumped at the opportunity to help make a comfortable new home for the Take 3 team with her husband Kyal, recruiting the pro bono support of tradespeople and suppliers alike.
“Take 3's simple philosophy really resonates with Kyal and I, so when they let us know they were getting the keys to their very first office space, we were keen to jump in and give them a hand,” Kara explained in her online journal. “Up until this point, Take 3's founders, employees and volunteers have all been either working from home, or cafes and shared spaces – which meant that paperwork, files, merchandise and event equipment has been scattered. A centralised office with the help of a grant from the Central Coast Council now meant they can create a true sustainability hub to service the needs of the organisation, deliver workshops and events to the community and continue to do amazing things.”
Describing the need to create a haven for good ideas and conversation as ‘a must’, the couple added fresh shelving, skylights, paint, countertops, new kitchen splashback, plants and homewares and furniture gifted by brands united in their support for the sea.
The Dharma Door contributed an assortment of Small Jute Baskets, Jute Laundry Baskets, Short Round Baskets and Trays. These timeless items are some of the longest standing items in our collection due to their quality and versatility. They added instant personality and warmth to the Take 3 office space, where Kara used some of the baskets as plant storage in the lounge area, and others as a combination of storage and decoration in the kitchen area.
“When it comes to styling, The Dharma Door baskets are a practical and stylish solution.”
Images by Grace Picot @gracepicot
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