CHRISTMAS 2008 was a bleak time for Dean Goldsmith and his pregnant wife Kelly Pails.
The Sebastopol truck driver was retrenched from his job on December 23 with his wife only two weeks away from giving birth to their first child Tarni.
But then Mr Goldsmith's mother bought an expensive child's table and chair set for her new granddaughter and he saw a new career opportunity.
Mr Goldsmith started making inexpensive, custom-made children's furniture in the shed at home, including bookcases, toy boxes, train set tables, cubby houses, cubby house furniture and tables and chairs.
When Mr Goldsmith's wife returned to work at Pinarc after their second daughter Makenzie arrived, he discovered a niche making furniture for the disabled, including table top easels for children in wheelchairs, floor tables, sloping boards to help with reading and writing and chairs with arm rests for children with cerebral palsy. "No-one else was really making custom-made kids furniture," Mr Goldsmith said.
"Even at furniture shops you can only buy what's on the floor. I was always interested in woodwork at school and then I saw the table and chair set mum had and it was so over-priced.
"I made one for Tarni and popped it online and it's all snowballed from there."
Mr Goldsmith now also donates furniture to local kindergartens for charity fundraisers to help give back to the community.
"I work just on my own, but the range is always expanding. Everyone wants different things."
The business is called Tarmakids, named after Tarni and Makenzie, and can be found at www.tarmakids.com.au.