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About Us

Hello! I'm Melissa the owner and creator behind all things at Works at Play, a Brisbane based, family store, established in 2014 offering unique handmade play furniture and playful learning resources for the early years.  I’m very passionate about AUTHENTIC learning, a huge advocate for PLAY…simple, quality play.  I also have a great appreciation for MINIMALISM and the beauty of the NATURAL world.  
Our goals –
  1. To embrace the magic of play by creating magical playspaces and opportunities with minimalist, open ended play furniture and toys. 
  2. To portray the beauty in play by using natural elements of wood, silk etc and delightful eco finishes to nourish children's senses, imagination and creativtiy. 
  3. To build last memories by creating play furniture pieces that grow with your child, that encourage opportunities for connection through play.
  4. To take away the overwhelm for parents and educators navigating this new world of minimalist, open ended, wooden toys, eco, sustainable, Montessori, Waldorf, Reggio, Nature, Walker Learning….(see I told you overwhelming!) by sharing with you my knowledge of the importance and magic of play, the simplicity of play and support you on YOUR journey of creating magical playspaces and authentic learning opportunities.

As I chatted with my husband one night about our day at home he commented "She will remember this... she will remember her Mummy made these beautiful wooden arches and there were rainbows and we would play ponies all day long".
Gosh that was so powerful! Did you feel it? It was just so so true and totally warmed my heart, and as a parent we all long for these memories, this sense of joy that comes with creating joy for our children. 

I remember back when I first starting making children's play furniture back in 2014, I was a passionate kindy teacher on Maternity leave with my second child, and wanted to create this beautiful magic of play at home.  I began designing and building and never looked back.  Whilst it's been a windy business road and I've experimented with different things along the way I've always come back to this; my strong desire, to create magical playspaces, to portray the beauty in play, the importance of play, to build connection, and most definitely to make lasting memories.  I have so many new design ideas, that are yet to be excuted and I would relish in the opportunity to create something beautiful for your home or playspace, so I can share this magic with you too. ✨️

I absolutely love LOVE creating play furniture and resources that are multipurpose and can really transform the way you look at play and learning.   Being a parent is often overwhelming, there is so much out there, all the terms are confusing, we all want the best for your children and it’s easy to get swept up in the latest and greatest, especially with social media influences.  This also becomes and expensive exercise and before you know it your house could be full of toys that have been outgrown, aren’t getting the love you had hoped, the expanse is overwhelming and you just don’t know what to do or where to put them!   But this isn't about good furniture/toys or bad, my focus about pieces that are built to last beyond a few months or years; that have multiple uses; just imagine for example a playstand that both a one year and an 11 year old can use?   These are bespoke pieces, that grow with your child, can be used with the entire family, and even into the teen years; they will simply be utilised in new ways. I want to support you to make an investment in toys/furniture that are not only beautiful handcrafted, but so minimalist and flexible to grow with your child, suits any playspace and in the long term you could save space, money and headaches but most of all have the best time creating lasting memories.

Inspiration for our products is sought from, my own personal experiences of teaching and parenting along with a mix of teaching practices and philosophies.  
All products in our handmade range are made here in Brisbane using Australian materials and finishes, and well tested to ensure their safety for children  
  I’ve put my experience and knowledge of early learning and development to use, so whether you are a teacher, parent, grandparent, I am here to help! 

More about me:
I haven’t always been a city girl!  My childhood was spent surrounded by cane farms, and lots of visits to family cattle and sheep properties.  I played in the creek, made mud pies and got dirty.  I went fishing & crabbing.  I learnt to cook, sew, craft and DIY.  I went to small schools, life was simple, family oriented, always with an underlying ethos of hardwork.
As a qualified Primary & Early Childhood Teacher, I quickly found my passion for the early years, particularly in the pre-schooling years.  The majority of my 15years+ teaching was in sessional kindergartens across Brisbane as Teacher/Director and Inclusion Support.  I was also involved in establishing and running a local Nature Play Program.  I have 4 young children who inspire and challenge me as a parent every day.  We are a neurodivergent family juggling little (and big) people with Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, RSD, and anxiety; so this opportunity to build my own business to have the flexibility to be on hand to support my family is extremely important.