A tinkerer and reimaginer from his earliest years, Ryan Mischkulnig is a designer and engineer. "I remember all the way back in grade 5 or 6 trying to motorise some of my favourite toy cars, and dragging bikes home from the hard rubbish to repair and sell. Fast forward 20 years and I'm now adding bluetooth to old radios and still tinkering with old bikes, so I guess not much has changed!"
After working in low volume automotive modification and as a consulting engineer in conventional product design and development, Ryan set his sights on applying his skills to used materials rather than new. He saw that old materials and objects were not getting the respect that they deserved, and saw the opportunity to apply his design, engineering and business experience to make reclaimed goods more functional and desirable. At the beginning of 2018 he and his wife made the move to the Geelong region in Victoria, Australia, in order to invest their efforts solidly in reuse, while spending as much time as possible with their young daughter. From humble beginnings in a shared Renew Geelong space in 2018, their social enterprise, The Reimaginarium, now stocks the work of over a dozen different re-makers from across Australia in a dedicated retail space. Their young daughter Elli enjoys spending several days a week at their side playing and meeting new people in the shop, something that would never have been possible in another business. Together they aim to prove to the public that reused can be as good, as functional, as convenient and as beautiful as new, and their Moorabool Street store is just the beginning.
Would you like to know more about how we can make reuse more accessible, and build a more sustainable retail future?
The Reimaginarium is premiering a talk by Ryan entitled Re-retail this Friday at 7pm. Head to their Facebook page for more information.
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