each purchase empowers young tasmanians

Meet the 'Smiths'


Like most people, everyone who works at Troublesmiths has run into some sort of ‘trouble’, barrier or challenge in life. Maybe they have low literacy or numeracy. Perhaps they have experienced unplanned parenthood. Some may have mental health challenges. And it’s likely they may be having trouble accessing support to get a driver’s license or a car.


Like any craft or small business, the journey of a Troublesmith is about creative thinking, problem solving, tenacity and self-belief. That’s why ‘Smith’ is a good analogy – it brings to mind a masterful worker who takes pride in what they do. A ‘Smith’ takes something (like Trouble), and makes something beautiful and valuable out of it.


“Starting something new and different is always a bit scary, however I tried to go into this with a positive attitude despite the current challenge in my life. My main highlight was getting to meet some really beautiful people and getting to be a part of something super cool. I really enjoyed running the market at the wellness expo and getting to see how positive the public were to what we do here. I feel my enthusiasm, creativity and passion for art really helped me to achieve my goals here. I feel like I overcame a lot while I was here. My experience was a bit of a roller coaster at times, with many highs and lows, laughter and tears, but with the support of my peers and coaches I was able to push through the hard times. I feel a lot more confident moving forward. I've learnt that some of the things I thought were my weaknesses were actually my strengths. I love how Troublesmiths celebrates each persons individuality and uniqueness and forms genuine relationships with us. I have made some lovely friendships here and I’m so sad for this journey to end. I’d definitely recommend this journey of hope and self-discovery to anyone who is feeling a little lost and needs a supportive place to move forward”.


“I was really terrified and scared at the start because it was all new to me, experiencing something different for the first time. My biggest challenge was overcoming my fear of being here. A main highlight for me was developing hope inside myself knowing that I have the potential to do the things that I feel I can do, while also eliminating some of my barriers with the help of my colleagues who I now call friends. The thing I am most proud of is being a part of a team. My team has helped me to unveil my true self and taught me the values and benefits of being part of a workforce, which really enlightened me to the best of myself.
My future goals are finding a bit of paid work. All I want in my future is to have a happy and bright future, and trust that things will always be fine and rewarding in the times to come”.


“I have loved getting to know everyone, and have loved making Candles and Lip Balms. I’m happy that I can now call my colleagues my friends. I’m really proud of myself for getting into TasTAFE, and for getting a house! I would like to work as a Barista in a café. I have been feeling better about myself. I’m feeling great about the future”.


“At first I was nervous, but I have eventually got out of my comfort zone and made new friends. My main highlight was definitely making bees wax wraps. I really enjoy it. I have developed my confidence. I feel great about myself and have a good idea about what I want in the future”.


“I felt as if I couldn’t achieve anything and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I now feel accomplished. I feel like I can actually get stuff done. I feel like my future is looking exciting and is not as far away as I thought. I feel like I have a new found passion and a drive to further myself and be better. I love waking up and coming here and couldn’t have asked for a better place to help me get to where I need to go. I’m proud of myself for coming along and just getting out and being a part of such a nice and helpful group of people. I’m proud of not just me, but the others who are with me and seeing how they have changed to better themselves and enjoy their lives”.


“My highlight have definitely been learning how a retail business works. At first, I was really nervous and I didn’t think I would stay for the full 8 weeks. I’m so glad I did stay. Another highlight has been finding out that I am capable of more than I thought. I’m feeling more optimistic about where I’m heading.”


“In the beginning I was pretty unsure and nervous, but I knew that I wanted to gain work experience. I have loved the making and all the learning. I’m feeling hopeful and more confident now, and I’m proud of the work I’ve put in while being here.“


 “I felt excited but nervous, because I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but I was excited to find out. I loved the chance to work in retail for the first time, meeting and working in a team with my co-workers and getting to know them. My biggest challenge was worrying that I was going to mess up a lot, but when I got the hang of it I was excited for any challenge. I feel thankful for being here because I don’t think I’d be where I am right now without it. I feel that in my future I will get to where I want to be, having a job that I want and will love doing. Troublesmiths has really helped me with looking forward into my life, rather than staying in the past. I’m really proud of myself for having the courage to jump in and give everything a go”.


"When I first started I was lacking in self-confidence and found that I always doubted myself. During my time here I’ve learnt to think more positively and I now approach things with a more positive attitude. My outlook on life has dramatically changed for the better. This is a new chapter for me. I now have a permanent-part time position, I’m one big step closer to where I want to be. Troublesmiths has given me the chance to think about what I really want to do, where I want to be and who I want to be".


"Even in moments when I was finding it hard here, it has always been about bettering myself. I feel great talking to customers now. Open Day was particularly fantastic, I felt like I was really in the thick of it and my confidence has just been boosted. I feel confident in my skills now and before I didn’t even think I had any skills. That’s a nice realisation to have. I’m feeling good about the future, I’m ready to grind harder than ever. I’m going to feel more positive about it all than I did before. If I can get a retail job, that would be really great. And if I could get back into the creative stuff that I love, that would be even better. Hopefully the next 12 months will be wicked for me. I now feel like there’s good things to come". 


"Honestly it’s been a mixture of excitement and stress. Excitement for making products and stress when thinking about serving customers. I’ve never been overly confident around people and having to do so as part of the store was scary. I have gotten a lot better at it though, and everyone has been amazing in supporting me. I still remember that first customer. After walking out from the back of the store, I was the only person there to serve them. The memory of fighting off the thought of just turning around and letting someone else serve is one of the biggest highlights, as well as a marker for my growth in confidence with people in general. I hope to get a job in animal care, maybe a pet shop. I’m sure the skills I have learnt at Troublesmiths will give me a great boost towards that goal".


"At the start I was scared of coming. I really didn’t want to come in. But I’m so glad I did. I’ve learned a lot and have grown a lot, and I've meet heaps of new people. I now have retail skills to add to my range of other skills. There’s no reason not to hire me now! I started Troublesmiths unsure of exactly what I wanted to do next and being here helped me a lot, it made me figure out what I actually wanted to do.  I figured out that I wanted to pursue a job or apprenticeship in the construction industry and I have just been offered a Fabrication Apprenticeship".


"I remember on day one I wanted to vomit because I was so anxious. And now I don’t feel that anymore. Now I’m like, yes! I get to come in and do something! I get excited seeing the roster. This has built my confidence, which is a really good thing. I’ve gained skills in making, as well as in merchandising. I’ve learned to use the POS system, which is going to be really important when I work in retail. Up next for me is getting retail work and also exploring my passion for special effects make up and IT".


"I’ve been getting better with confidence in general and being in this environment with people who are going through similar things with work and life has helped a lot. Being able to share the experience with people who understand what is going on for me has meant a lot. I have loved the coaching we do. It’s all about what you actually want your future to be and it’s helped me to be more conscious of my goals. During the program I got a job. A year ago, if I were in the position I am now with all of my commitments, I wouldn’t have coped. But now I can handle it. I have an idea of what is next for me. I’m going to keep working and I’m looking at construction and carpentry courses at TAFE. I’m also exploring how to get my art work out to local businesses". 


"Within the last 8 weeks I feel like I’ve gained a lot more confidence than I would usually have. I believe that this experience has improved my overall skills. I’ve enjoyed working in retail here, so I would love to do more of it and pursue a retail job".


"I was kind of expecting that if I put enough resumes out there that I would eventually get a job. But I’ve learnt that you’ve got to really go for it, network and sell yourself. Over the last 8 weeks I’ve slowly realised that I can do that. It’s been a real confidence boost addressing and serving customers. I found it hard to talk to people and now I’m alright at it. I’m trying to get more specific and targeted in my job searching and I’m continuing my pathway to science studies at UTAS". 


"At first I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was looking forward to making products, but I was a little uncomfortable with customer service. I’ve realised that I’m actually good at customer service and I know that I can do it. Up next for me is looking for a job and exploring my study options, most likely in community services and social work".


"While I’ve been here I’ve learnt how to deal with customers. I’ve processed sales and used the backend of the POS system. I’ve also learnt a lot about Back of House and I like making products. Talking to customers has been good. Hopefully I can now get a job in retail, in men's clothing and shoes".


"I was terrified when I first started. I felt so closed off from the rest of society. But it’s been such a huge eye opener and has helped in more ways than you’d think. Not only has it made me feel like a real person again, but it has shown me that young people are good and decent. I guess the biggest lesson I have learnt is that it’s all up to you to take action for yourself. It feels like I actually have a chance now, instead of being defeated every day. I’m finally feeling prepared enough to throw myself back out there again. I’m going to try and manifest my dream job after I get my barista license".


'I've learned to put into practice leadership skills, team work skills, manufacturing skills and confidence. I'm a doer, so being able to do hands on stuff and take initiative has been good. I have a vision for how things can look for me. Going forward I am doing a program that could lead to my goal of getting an apprenticeship. I am hoping to get into carpentry and joinery. My experience counts for something and if I can get work that I enjoy that would be great". 




"While I've gained a lot of skills that I can apply to a job, this has been more about the improvement of my mental health. That is what I've really done here, overcome mental health challenges. I have a job in my sights and I'm taking steps to making it happen".



"It's been an amazing experience to get to see what it is like to work in the retail sector. It's been so good to get stuck in and physically do things. It has opened my eyes to the things I can do and what I didn't know I could do. It's a great eye opener to what is out there. I am hoping to get a job by the end of the year. I am going to have a positive mindset about it and not let my fear of cold canvassing get in the way. I also hope to finish my Certificate III in Retail Services. Hopefully that can be another stepping stone towards my career in the retail industry".




"Learning new things is really good. I now have experience in Front of House and Back of House. I'm friendly and outgoing, but never had any self confidence. Now I've got my confidence up and believe in myself way more. I'm studying Aged and Community Services. I'm focusing on completing my course, doing work placement and I now have a job at a butchers!". 



"I'm definitely a lot more confident now. It's probably one of the best things I've done. I have always had a passion for creating and getting the chance to do that is amazing. I want to continue doing hands on work, I get a lot of joy out of making. I want to do something creative, in the arts and crafts. I think it's important to get a job that you can really enjoy. Because if you can actually enjoy what you do time flies by and you can get a lot out of your work".




"Before the program social anxiety and depression were a struggle. But I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and really started to grow. I'm more confident now and I feel like a completely different person in the best way possible. I now have a permanent part-time job in retail". 




"When I first started I never expected to learn as much as I have. It has given me a lot more confidence in myself. After Troublesmiths I’m working towards my future by doing a childcare course while also hoping to find a job".




"I started out as quite a shy individual and not keen on doing much. But I have found that over time my confidence in myself and in the things that I can do has built up. I am now very confident in dealing with customers and other parts of the business. I enjoy hands on creative tasks and I plan on taking the skills and knowledge I have learned here and applying them to any future positions I may get".


"Throughout Troublesmiths I have learned a lot and I have changed my way of thinking. I am moving forward and doing a Bar Essentials course at TasTafe". 



Byron is open-minded and positive, bringing a sense of calm to the team. He has a love of the outdoors, and hopes to turn his passion for gardening and nature into a rewarding and active career.



Mitchell brings his awesome sense of humour to the group. As the resident photographer, Mitchell would love to be work as a travel blogger/social media influencer.























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