We come from a vision of business partners, Thomas and Laurent, who originally forged their friendship during their respective studies at prestigious French university of trades, Les Compagnons du Devoir.
They had dreamt of collaborating to create quality pieces of furniture and architectural fixtures for residential through to commercial applications.
Reuniting during a chance encounter in Mullumbimby along with new friend, Lisa, they all took the opportunity to acquire Mullumbimby Joinery in 2016 following 20+ years of establishment with a solid reputation for quality craftsmanship in the Byron Shire.
About Les Compagnons du Devoir
Les Compagnons du Devoir is sacred and prestigious trade school for artisans that dates back to the Middle Ages in France (think of it as the equivalent of Harvard for tradespeople).
Students are taught all traditional and technical aspects of their trades while undertaking taking a “Tour de France” with other students and masters which enables to them to immerse in various regional French communities and cultures.
Graduation rates are very limited due to the intense training schedules and the amount of years of study required. Students are also required to live on campus without their partner or children which can make life difficult for many young people.
After eight centuries of existence, Compagnonnage remains a reference for the excellence of its formations and the transmission of knowledge. In November 2010, Companionship was recognised as intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO as a “network for the transmission of knowledge and identities by the profession”.
Read more about Compagnons here: http://compagnons-du-devoir.com/
Laurent Le Pochat
Laurent graduated in Reims, France, 2011 as a Mastercraftsman in Cabinet Making (“Ébéniste” in French) following his nine years of study which focused on unique handcrafted skills.
Despite the fast evolution of woodworking technologies, Laurent believes that it is important to find a good balance between using new or traditional techniques and materials when working with such a pure and fine material such as timber.
Thomas De Toni
Thomas graduated in Reims, France, 2011 as a Mastercraftsman in Metal Fabrication and Blacksmithing (“Serrurier” in French) following his eight years of study which focussed on forging skills including locksmithing.
Thomas’ studies have taken him throughout the world and onward to Australia where he has since worked on film sets for Hollywood blockbusters and has now settled in Mullumbimby.
Thomas is particularly passionate about fabricating and engineering custom-designed staircases, steel doors and windows, furniture and decorative fittings. He also enjoys mentoring apprentices.
Lisa heads up our Business Development and Marketing. She has over 15 years of experience in office and marketing work experience.
She is particularly passionate about sharing styling advice and product innovations with customers through our blog. Lisa is currently working on creative collaborations with Laurent and Thomas to add a new range of products to the business.