Meet the 'Smiths'


Like most people, everyone who works at Troublesmiths has run into some sort of ‘trouble’, barrier or challenge in life. Maybe they have low literacy or numeracy. Perhaps they have experienced unplanned parenthood. Some may have mental health challenges. And it’s likely they may be having trouble accessing support to get a driver’s license or a car.


Like any craft or small business, the journey of a Troublesmith is about creative thinking, problem solving, tenacity and self-belief. That’s why ‘Smith’ is a good analogy – it brings to mind a masterful worker who takes pride in what they do. A ‘Smith’ takes something (like Trouble), and makes something beautiful and valuable out of it.


"The side events of Troublesmiths such as Salamanca and the Brighton Christmas Block party provided me with a tremendous amount of retail experience. I was empowered to gain authentic and organic customer service experience, develop my communication skills and meet new people. I’ve enjoyed being supported in the areas I need while being encouraged to have my autonomy respected.

I’m looking forward to having more foot traffic in our Hobart store. However, I’ve been supported in strengthening my leadership qualities along with the confidence I have in myself.

I would highly recommend Troublesmiths because – it gets you ready and makes you take the initiative to get where you want in life."



"It’s all been great, I can’t pick one thing to be a highlight, I’ve honestly enjoyed it all. Over the last eight weeks I’ve become employed in my dream career of working with children. I’ve also been empowered to further my understanding of the career with professional development opportunities and study.

The experience of Troublesmiths as a whole has empowered me with both professional and personal life experience.

Yes, I would recommend Troublesmiths- why not?"



Due to my age I felt like I had missed my opportunity to obtain an apprenticeship, but throughout being with Troublesmiths my hope and motivation for getting into my desired field of work has been renewed. My biggest highlights have been designing and creating the dog shampoo packaging, creating Valentine’s Day cards, and making designs for our pins.And generally really the whole team I got to work with. It is amazing being around so many other people who want to turn their lives around. I learnt that I am capable of happily getting along with more diverse people than I had originally thought. Throughout Troublesmiths I have learnt it isn’t too late to get into anything, as long as you remain proactive. Through my time with Troublesmiths I feel infinitely more optimistic, that through persistence I can obtain the work I desire.


At the start of Troublesmiths I felt both nervous and excited. My biggest highlights have been meeting new people and getting back into a routine in the morning. My biggest lessons has been around attention to detail and time management. I feel that I now have a sense of direction for my future.


At the start I can remember feeling like my fight or flight senses were active; feeling dizzy and giddy. But I very quickly settled down, with help from amazingly supportive staff and an awesome community which allowed me to become myself and comfortably discover what I want to do and what I like within the working agenda. I absolutely love serving customers and building relationships. I’d say that getting to talk to people and support them has been an overall highlight from the whole experience. I have learnt that I am very much a people person. I have learnt that I actually love being ‘out there’ and chatty, as usually I would act quite reserved. I’ve found that I have really opened up and discovered what I want the focus on my life to be; helping people. I feel that my future, while unclear is somehow clear. Troublesmiths has made me realise my calling and helped me make the process towards my grand future.


On my first day I was nervous, but as the day went on it wasn’t really that bad. My big highlights are probably making candles, because it’s the quickest to do and most easy to make. Before all this started I didn’t know how to do front of house sales and now I do. I am feeling pretty good about things. I’ve noticed that front of house sales aren’t that bad.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was somewhat nervous, but mostly excited for a new opportunity to learn and grow. My biggest highlights are the feeling of being involved and part of a team, the support and guidance that the Troublesmith coaches offer and learning some of the ins and outs of running a business.
My biggest lessons have been firstly, to believe in yourself and your unique strengths. And secondly, to be committed and consistent with your goals. I am feeling very optimistic about my journey ahead. Troublesmiths has helped me develop more confidence and belief in myself. I have also been introduced to new tools I can use in order to get myself closer to where I want to be.


I wasn’t aware of how much I would benefit from and enjoy the experience. I was less motivated at the start. My biggest highlights were completing my RSA (thought I’d never do it) and also making awesome new friends and completely tasks together as a team. I’ve learnt that there are genuine people that see potential in me and want me to succeed for the benefit of myself, and the world/people I love. I’ve learned to believe in myself again. And learning how to make candles is something I actually wanted to learn and I did, yay! My journey ahead feels like I’m up against a tough battle. I have a lot I want to do, but I’ve realised to take it one step at a time and not stress over something I’m unable to do...yet.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was feeling scared and nervous about being here. I’m now feeling less scared and nervous and more confident.
My biggest highlights have been learning to make products, learning new skills and becoming more confident around people. I’m feeling more confident about my journey ahead. I now have an idea of what I want to do after Troublesmiths.


In the beginning I was nervous and felt that I wouldn’t do much. Honestly thought I’d be bored. Thought that I wouldn’t experience much. My biggest highlights have been making new friends along the way and learning new skills and having new experiences. I’ve learnt to manage sales and my time. That I am able to do anything if I put my mind to it, especially if I’m willing. I’m pumped to continue my career search and live to the fullest of my expectations and beyond them. Thanks to Troublesmiths I now know how to properly make a professional cover letter.


I think I was a bit nervous at the start. I didn’t know what to expect and if I would enjoy it. I started the first day and I got into things pretty easily. I think just having tasks made things easy. My biggest highlights have been meeting new people and working hard. I’ve learnt that I really love working with youth and now consider it a career path. I’ve been learning to be more confident. I’m feeling a bit uncomfortable and nervous about the journey ahead, but being successful will bring me great joy and I’m super excited about it.


I started off with a strong mindset, feeling like I was gonna smash it with ease and resilience. The interactions with the customers, as well as making products, friends and coming up with some ideas to make things easier for myself and others have been highlights. My biggest lessons have been about having fun, but you also need to work hard too. I feel really fantastic for how far I’ve come, not heaps has changed, I’m still Jono, but one thing that has changed is that I’ve achieved getting my learners licence!


At the start of Troublesmiths I was nervous, I felt like I couldn’t achieve anything. I just wanted to sleep my days away. My biggest highlights are the lessons I’ve learnt. Finding my skills and strengths. Making friends. Having the motivation to come and participate. The product making. Processing sales. Learning how the workforce runs.
I have learnt not to give up. Keep trying and anything is possible. And that I need to give myself more credit. I’m looking forward to what the future throws at me. I’ve been given hope in myself and I believe in myself.


I was really worried and didn’t think I could do it. Then my first day at work was so so fun and nice. I was feeling very happy and a little nervous about it, but I knew I could learn so much just by going. My biggest highlights are making the candles and getting to know everyone. My biggest lessons have been getting to know when I make a mistake and how to fix them. I can do everything if I put my mind to it. I’m feeling really good about my future. I noticed I’m more calm about going out, I can go out without worrying. I know my journey won’t be easy but I’m really ready to face any challenges in front of me.


At the start I was glad to have found an environment that met my wants and needs. My biggest highlights have been making products, doing stocktake and selling things. I’ve learned that I enjoy working with data and I like working in retail.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was anxious meeting new people and building friendships. Making new friends and being around like minded people has been a highlight. As well as building my resume and cover letter. I’ve learned that I can work in a team and actually enjoy myself. I’ve learned I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I feel like I’m worth something. That I can contribute something to society. I’m motivated and keen to kick ass. I feel better.


At the start I was very nervous. I didn’t know what was going to come out of it. My biggest highlights are the friends I’ve made and the lessons I’ve learned. My biggest lessons have been overcoming my anxiety. I’ve learned to be more confident. I feel a lot more confident than I was and I’ve become job ready.


At the start of Troublesmiths I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but I wasn’t worried. My biggest highlights have been making goods, processing sales, doing the banking and delivering goods. I have learned how to work with a team and to run a business. The things I have learned about myself are that I need to work on motivation. I feel better now. I understand the application process and stand a better change of getting work.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was nervous about being around so many unfamiliar people, and screwing up was also one of my main concerns.
My biggest highlights were working with so many nice people. I’ve learned that people aren’t as alien as I thought. I’m now feeling a lot more confident.


My journey with Troublesmiths has been amazing. The first few days I made friends with lovely people. Everyone has been welcoming and kind.
The coaches have been amazing. They have helped me push myself and become more confident. My big highlights have been learning more about myself and making new friends. I have learned that I can do hard things and I need to give myself more credit. At first I was anxious and didn’t know what to expect, but now I’m more happy, confident, proud and keen for the future.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was quite nervous and didn’t have much self esteem or confidence within myself. But my journey here has taught me to be myself and not to worry what others think. Troublesmiths has also given me the skills and direction down the right path for the career I want.


It was very nerve racking at the start. I was a bit out of my comfort zone. There was a lot of people I didn’t know so I kept to myself a bit. My biggest highlights have been making new friends along the way and getting to make all the new products. The things I’ve learned about myself are that I’m not too bad at the admin side of things.
I’m a very hands on sort of person and I don’t mind the interaction with customers. I feel confident in going out now and applying for jobs. I find it easier to write cover letters and edit my resume. I am definitely more comfortable in talking to new people.


My partner had already completed Troublesmiths and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I had a good feeling coming into it. Yet I was still nervous, especially to serve customers and anxiety made me not want to make mistakes for fear of scolding from peers. However, this was not the case and the team at Troublesmiths did nothing but boost my confidence. They also care a lot about me and my struggles with mental health. I have loved the program and what it has done for me. I can’t thank everyone involved enough. Thank you.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was nervous to use the register and interact with customers, and scared that I wouldn’t pick it up quick enough.
Learning how to use the register properly and making new friends were my two big highlights. I’ve learnt that patience really is key and that I can be patient if I put my mind to it. I’m now feeling confident. I now have a job at the Animal Tuckerbox. Thanks to Troublesmiths for helping me prepare.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was quite nervous working in a shop with a bunch of people that I didn’t know. I was also afraid of messing things up, especially with the register and stock management. My biggest highlight was definitely making different sorts of products especially the candles, soap and beeswax wraps. Also getting to know everyone and making friends, and lastly learning new skills that I can use for the work force one day. My biggest lesson has been not to let things get in the way, like my anxiety and not having a lot of confidence in myself. Also the importance of giving things a go, like learning how to use the register and interacting with customers. I actually have a good and proper written resume and cover letter now to apply for jobs. I’m excited about what I’m going to do in the work force.


At first I was pretty worried that not everyone would like me and I’d be an outcast and wouldn’t come back. Honestly the people I’ve met and got to work with have been my highlight. They’re all been amazing and make me want to keep coming back. The things I’ve learnt about myself are, be kinder to myself because I’m not doing as bad as I think I am. Even small wins are still wins.


I was nervous and unsure of whether I had what it takes. I was lost on how and where to apply for jobs. I’d lost all confidence in my worth as an employee. My biggest highlight has been serving customers. The interactions have been so fun. Troublesmiths has helped me write cover letters and resumes and given me back my confidence.


At the beginning I felt nervous and quiet, sticking to myself. But I came out of my shell and learnt new things, such as the different sides to retail, product making and stock management. My big highlights were making new friends and learning to make products. As well as being in a routine. It was a big help fixing up my resume and cover letter for future jobs too.


I was very nervous about everything because I didn’t know anyone or what I was doing. My biggest highlights have been making friends and learning new things about the work force. Troublesmiths has also helped me solidify what I want to do for work in the future.


At the start I felt really nervous and had very little work ethic. My biggest highlights are meeting new people, learning to make soap and editing the website. I have learnt that I really enjoy website design and editing.


At the start of Troublesmiths I was very nervous, and excited to do something new. My biggest highlights are working alongside different types of people and working out how to get where I want to be in life.


On my first shift I thought I was going to mess things up, especially with the POS system. I have really enjoyed learning more about the back end of Vend and I have learnt how much I appreciate accurate data. Meeting everyone has been a bonus also.


In the beginning I was worried I wouldn’t be able to handle working anymore and that I might not be able to complete my time here. I was excited as well however. Excited that I had gotten in at all, and excited for the opportunities it could afford, excited to simply be out of the house too.
Definitely some of the big highlights for me were feeling capable again, getting motivation back in so many aspects of my life and feeling useful.


I was lacking so much confidence in the beginning that I was unsure that I could even continue attending due to my fears of never being good enough. I’ve really enjoyed making all our stock and I’ve learned a lot about stock management thanks to all the hands on work. My biggest lesson has been that mistakes are just part of the process, you can’t reach perfection without them. I’ve gained more confidence in myself and my skills. The experience I have gained here has really helped me grow as a person.



“Starting something new and different is always a bit scary, however I tried to go into this with a positive attitude despite the current challenge in my life. My main highlight was getting to meet some really beautiful people and getting to be a part of something super cool. I really enjoyed running the market at the wellness expo and getting to see how positive the public were to what we do here. I feel my enthusiasm, creativity and passion for art really helped me to achieve my goals here. I feel like I overcame a lot while I was here. My experience was a bit of a roller coaster at times, with many highs and lows, laughter and tears, but with the support of my peers and coaches I was able to push through the hard times. I feel a lot more confident moving forward. I've learnt that some of the things I thought were my weaknesses were actually my strengths. I love how Troublesmiths celebrates each persons individuality and uniqueness and forms genuine relationships with us. I have made some lovely friendships here and I’m so sad for this journey to end. I’d definitely recommend this journey of hope and self-discovery to anyone who is feeling a little lost and needs a supportive place to move forward”.


“I was really terrified and scared at the start because it was all new to me, experiencing something different for the first time. My biggest challenge was overcoming my fear of being here. A main highlight for me was developing hope inside myself knowing that I have the potential to do the things that I feel I can do, while also eliminating some of my barriers with the help of my colleagues who I now call friends. The thing I am most proud of is being a part of a team. My team has helped me to unveil my true self and taught me the values and benefits of being part of a workforce, which really enlightened me to the best of myself.
My future goals are finding a bit of paid work. All I want in my future is to have a happy and bright future, and trust that things will always be fine and rewarding in the times to come”.


“I have loved getting to know everyone, and have loved making Candles and Lip Balms. I’m happy that I can now call my colleagues my friends. I’m really proud of myself for getting into TasTAFE, and for getting a house! I would like to work as a Barista in a café. I have been feeling better about myself. I’m feeling great about the future”.


“At first I was nervous, but I have eventually got out of my comfort zone and made new friends. My main highlight was definitely making bees wax wraps. I really enjoy it. I have developed my confidence. I feel great about myself and have a good idea about what I want in the future”.


“I felt as if I couldn’t achieve anything and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I now feel accomplished. I feel like I can actually get stuff done. I feel like my future is looking exciting and is not as far away as I thought. I feel like I have a new found passion and a drive to further myself and be better. I love waking up and coming here and couldn’t have asked for a better place to help me get to where I need to go. I’m proud of myself for coming along and just getting out and being a part of such a nice and helpful group of people. I’m proud of not just me, but the others who are with me and seeing how they have changed to better themselves and enjoy their lives”.


“My highlight have definitely been learning how a retail business works. At first, I was really nervous and I didn’t think I would stay for the full 8 weeks. I’m so glad I did stay. Another highlight has been finding out that I am capable of more than I thought. I’m feeling more optimistic about where I’m heading.”


“In the beginning I was pretty unsure and nervous, but I knew that I wanted to gain work experience. I have loved the making and all the learning. I’m feeling hopeful and more confident now, and I’m proud of the work I’ve put in while being here.“


 “I felt excited but nervous, because I didn’t know what it was going to be like, but I was excited to find out. I loved the chance to work in retail for the first time, meeting and working in a team with my co-workers and getting to know them. My biggest challenge was worrying that I was going to mess up a lot, but when I got the hang of it I was excited for any challenge. I feel thankful for being here because I don’t think I’d be where I am right now without it. I feel that in my future I will get to where I want to be, having a job that I want and will love doing. Troublesmiths has really helped me with looking forward into my life, rather than staying in the past. I’m really proud of myself for having the courage to jump in and give everything a go”.


"When I first started I was lacking in self-confidence and found that I always doubted myself. During my time here I’ve learnt to think more positively and I now approach things with a more positive attitude. My outlook on life has dramatically changed for the better. This is a new chapter for me. I now have a permanent-part time position, I’m one big step closer to where I want to be. Troublesmiths has given me the chance to think about what I really want to do, where I want to be and who I want to be".


"Even in moments when I was finding it hard here, it has always been about bettering myself. I feel great talking to customers now. Open Day was particularly fantastic, I felt like I was really in the thick of it and my confidence has just been boosted. I feel confident in my skills now and before I didn’t even think I had any skills. That’s a nice realisation to have. I’m feeling good about the future, I’m ready to grind harder than ever. I’m going to feel more positive about it all than I did before. If I can get a retail job, that would be really great. And if I could get back into the creative stuff that I love, that would be even better. Hopefully the next 12 months will be wicked for me. I now feel like there’s good things to come". 


"Honestly it’s been a mixture of excitement and stress. Excitement for making products and stress when thinking about serving customers. I’ve never been overly confident around people and having to do so as part of the store was scary. I have gotten a lot better at it though, and everyone has been amazing in supporting me. I still remember that first customer. After walking out from the back of the store, I was the only person there to serve them. The memory of fighting off the thought of just turning around and letting someone else serve is one of the biggest highlights, as well as a marker for my growth in confidence with people in general. I hope to get a job in animal care, maybe a pet shop. I’m sure the skills I have learnt at Troublesmiths will give me a great boost towards that goal".


"At the start I was scared of coming. I really didn’t want to come in. But I’m so glad I did. I’ve learned a lot and have grown a lot, and I've meet heaps of new people. I now have retail skills to add to my range of other skills. There’s no reason not to hire me now! I started Troublesmiths unsure of exactly what I wanted to do next and being here helped me a lot, it made me figure out what I actually wanted to do.  I figured out that I wanted to pursue a job or apprenticeship in the construction industry and I have just been offered a Fabrication Apprenticeship".


"I remember on day one I wanted to vomit because I was so anxious. And now I don’t feel that anymore. Now I’m like, yes! I get to come in and do something! I get excited seeing the roster. This has built my confidence, which is a really good thing. I’ve gained skills in making, as well as in merchandising. I’ve learned to use the POS system, which is going to be really important when I work in retail. Up next for me is getting retail work and also exploring my passion for special effects make up and IT".


"I’ve been getting better with confidence in general and being in this environment with people who are going through similar things with work and life has helped a lot. Being able to share the experience with people who understand what is going on for me has meant a lot. I have loved the coaching we do. It’s all about what you actually want your future to be and it’s helped me to be more conscious of my goals. During the program I got a job. A year ago, if I were in the position I am now with all of my commitments, I wouldn’t have coped. But now I can handle it. I have an idea of what is next for me. I’m going to keep working and I’m looking at construction and carpentry courses at TAFE. I’m also exploring how to get my art work out to local businesses". 


"Within the last 8 weeks I feel like I’ve gained a lot more confidence than I would usually have. I believe that this experience has improved my overall skills. I’ve enjoyed working in retail here, so I would love to do more of it and pursue a retail job".


"I was kind of expecting that if I put enough resumes out there that I would eventually get a job. But I’ve learnt that you’ve got to really go for it, network and sell yourself. Over the last 8 weeks I’ve slowly realised that I can do that. It’s been a real confidence boost addressing and serving customers. I found it hard to talk to people and now I’m alright at it. I’m trying to get more specific and targeted in my job searching and I’m continuing my pathway to science studies at UTAS". 


"At first I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I was looking forward to making products, but I was a little uncomfortable with customer service. I’ve realised that I’m actually good at customer service and I know that I can do it. Up next for me is looking for a job and exploring my study options, most likely in community services and social work".


"While I’ve been here I’ve learnt how to deal with customers. I’ve processed sales and used the backend of the POS system. I’ve also learnt a lot about Back of House and I like making products. Talking to customers has been good. Hopefully I can now get a job in retail, in men's clothing and shoes".


"I was terrified when I first started. I felt so closed off from the rest of society. But it’s been such a huge eye opener and has helped in more ways than you’d think. Not only has it made me feel like a real person again, but it has shown me that young people are good and decent. I guess the biggest lesson I have learnt is that it’s all up to you to take action for yourself. It feels like I actually have a chance now, instead of being defeated every day. I’m finally feeling prepared enough to throw myself back out there again. I’m going to try and manifest my dream job after I get my barista license".


'I've learned to put into practice leadership skills, team work skills, manufacturing skills and confidence. I'm a doer, so being able to do hands on stuff and take initiative has been good. I have a vision for how things can look for me. Going forward I am doing a program that could lead to my goal of getting an apprenticeship. I am hoping to get into carpentry and joinery. My experience counts for something and if I can get work that I enjoy that would be great". 




"While I've gained a lot of skills that I can apply to a job, this has been more about the improvement of my mental health. That is what I've really done here, overcome mental health challenges. I have a job in my sights and I'm taking steps to making it happen".



"It's been an amazing experience to get to see what it is like to work in the retail sector. It's been so good to get stuck in and physically do things. It has opened my eyes to the things I can do and what I didn't know I could do. It's a great eye opener to what is out there. I am hoping to get a job by the end of the year. I am going to have a positive mindset about it and not let my fear of cold canvassing get in the way. I also hope to finish my Certificate III in Retail Services. Hopefully that can be another stepping stone towards my career in the retail industry".




"Learning new things is really good. I now have experience in Front of House and Back of House. I'm friendly and outgoing, but never had any self confidence. Now I've got my confidence up and believe in myself way more. I'm studying Aged and Community Services. I'm focusing on completing my course, doing work placement and I now have a job at a butchers!". 



"I'm definitely a lot more confident now. It's probably one of the best things I've done. I have always had a passion for creating and getting the chance to do that is amazing. I want to continue doing hands on work, I get a lot of joy out of making. I want to do something creative, in the arts and crafts. I think it's important to get a job that you can really enjoy. Because if you can actually enjoy what you do time flies by and you can get a lot out of your work".




"Before the program social anxiety and depression were a struggle. But I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and really started to grow. I'm more confident now and I feel like a completely different person in the best way possible. I now have a permanent part-time job in retail". 




"When I first started I never expected to learn as much as I have. It has given me a lot more confidence in myself. After Troublesmiths I’m working towards my future by doing a childcare course while also hoping to find a job".




"I started out as quite a shy individual and not keen on doing much. But I have found that over time my confidence in myself and in the things that I can do has built up. I am now very confident in dealing with customers and other parts of the business. I enjoy hands on creative tasks and I plan on taking the skills and knowledge I have learned here and applying them to any future positions I may get".


"Throughout Troublesmiths I have learned a lot and I have changed my way of thinking. I am moving forward and doing a Bar Essentials course at TasTafe". 



Byron is open-minded and positive, bringing a sense of calm to the team. He has a love of the outdoors, and hopes to turn his passion for gardening and nature into a rewarding and active career.



Mitchell brings his awesome sense of humour to the group. As the resident photographer, Mitchell would love to be work as a travel blogger/social media influencer.























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