When you are under the pump and you want to create a space that speaks innovative design, this is the guy you want in your corner. We first meet Mark during our time on The Block. His creative mind and smooth enthusiasm made us feel confident we had added the right person to our team and he continued to be a blessing to our design throughout the series.
First up, he saved the day in Week One by helping us finish off our timber vanity top and side. We called him in a panic with little under 30 hours to go and he came through with the goods, working through the night to get it finished for reveal.
Mark continued to provide our timber vanity tops throughout our apartment, along with some innovative minimalist furniture pieces.
The Elevation Desk from Guest Bedroom One
The Scoop Shelf from Guest Bedroom 2
The Elevation Bedsides from Guest Bedroom Two
It is crazy to think that Aarden Design is still a fresh business, only starting two years ago with the belief of one person who was willing to commission his very first piece, his backyard hobby suddenly became his profession. We caught up with Mark to chat about his business and his passion for furniture and design.
What do you love about your business? There is a something cool about the challenge of the design process.
You know that TWC love Australian creatives and even more so when their products are made right here. Where are your products made? All of my products are made in my Melbourne workshop with the assistance of local suppliers and fabricators. (and don't we love to hear that!)
We love to inspire people here at TWC, how does being creative make you feel? Being creative is what makes me who I am, it is the part of me I best wish to be known for.
When you are not in your workshop, which we know is rare, what else do you do for fun? My loves in life outside of work are, in no particular order, playing basketball, the music of Tom Waits, Crime Noir fiction, Japanese history, and Batman comics.
Tell us a bit about your life and where you grew up: I was born and raised in Williamstown, in Melbourne's inner west, I was lucky enough to have two very loving parents. I was given every opportunity to succeed in life thanks to them. My accumulated experiences in my younger years led me to start a business on the back of my creative skills and, since deciding on this, I have dedicated myself to pursuing this dream and bettering myself in my chosen craft.
How do you feel about collaborating on creative projects? Being involved in the creative process with another person is a great way to grow as both a designer and a person. The sharing of ideas, both giving and receiving, is crucial to an individual's development far beyond creative pursuits.
We were wrapped when we first discussed TWC with Mark, his passion and genuine excitement to be involved in our new venture is testament to who he is. We have worked closely with Mark to collaborate on some exclusive pieces for our store and to create custom pieces for our interior design clients.
Where do you see your business in 5 years time? I would like to be established as one of Melbournes leading designers and makers, yet not expanded too far from my current set up and still providing the personal touch you only get from a custom maker
What advice would you give someone starting a creative venture? Be patient and willing to sacrifice. Don't let your failures crush you and believe in your own ability.
What is something you have learned the hard way with starting your business? Time management and realistic expectations. There are only so many hours in a day.
And ain't that the truth.
Shay and Dean