WIDAC National Silver Sponsor: Interview with Belinda Worden from Austaron Surfaces
Hi, Belinda! Thanks for having a (virtual) chat with WIDAC. Spring has certainly sprung, so it’s nice to feel the days getting warmer and the year coming to an end. How are you feeling going into the last quarter of the year?
I love all seasons for different reasons. For spring it is the excitement of all the beautiful flowers in full bloom – the fruit trees and vegetable patch are a very busy place at the moment, with so many insects and birds doing their thing. I feel this is giving me some new energy to get through the rest of the year intact.
There’s no doubt 2020 has been quite the year. What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome, personally?
2020 has definitely been one to remember! This is a tricky question for me as I feel that I am always trying to overcome various challenges in many areas, but never quite able to conquer them fully. The pace around me is always moving quickly and in different directions, both in a personal and work sense. However, I am ok with this, and always monitoring my progress for existing challenges, trying to ready for the next one.
What has been a key lesson for Austaron as a company (and a team) throughout this year?
For all of us, we have learnt that we can continue to do what is needed, just a little differently and that keeping connected collectively is important. It can be tricky as we are a small team spread Australia wide.
Can you share a bit about how Austaron was formed over 17 years ago and how the company may (or may not) change after this year?
With many years in the building industry as a supplier, my husband embraced the opportunity to be the distributor of Staron solid surface. This was a big leap for both of us, as starting your own business can be daunting. We have grown our portfolio of products over the years – I absolutely love our product range and seeing the projects they become a part of. Austaron has definitely changed this year in the way we do many things, due to all things Covid, and we are stronger because of change.
Tell us about the type and wide range of products that Austaron offers.
We have a small range of fantastic products with loads of design potential; Staron Solid Surface, Mario Romano Walls and Acrylic Couture are all hard surfaces and we also offer Kaynemaile Architectural Mesh that is best described as an Architectural Fabric.
Have you seen any sort of change in the type of products in high demand?
I have definitely noticed more demand for hygienic and easy to maintain materials given the Covid conversation.
What do you think is the most innovative product on offer at the moment and why?
Acrylic Couture, Kaynemaile Mesh and Mario Romano walls are all innovative, Brett and I have had the privilege of being closely connected to creators of these products and they all have a great story to tell. I don’t see these products as ‘products’, so much as I see them as an extended family!
What is the most exciting project you’ve worked on this year and why?
There are always many different things happening Australia-wide that I get excited about, but one job that I am keen to see come to fruition is a training academy. This project has Staron joinery, Kaynemaile folding Screens and a Mario Romano back lit feature wall in it, which is great as we love seeing a selection of our products in the same project.
What is your #1 piece of advice to a new Project Manager wanting to specify with Austaron?
To make sure they have all the information about our products they need and we have all the project information relative to our products that we need. Overall, just excellent communication.