ABOUT SUNSHINE BAROSSA AUSTRALIA
Carol trying on The Unisex Buckle Belt for size
In the beginning…
The Sunshine Barossa Australia story began in 2016 with owner and founder, Carol Dadds, insatiable creative drive and her love for leather.
From humble beginnings making macramé wall hangings, dreamcatchers and upcycling old furniture pieces, there were two notable moments in Carol’s life which would profoundly change the focus of her emerging business. These simple occurrences saw Sunshine Barossa Australia organically evolve into the premium leather goods business that it is today.
The first occasion was the day that Carol discovered a trunk filled with beautiful hides and leather working tools at her mother’s home. Next came a casual but fortuitous conversation with a business client, who confided in Carol her mutual passion for leather and commented that ‘to sew leather everyday’ would make her extremely happy. A design and a hide were given to this gifted lady with a sewing machine, and a beautiful bespoke leather bag was created.
"The gifted lady", Trish, sewing handpicked beautiful New Zealand Leather into one of Carol's bag designs.
Why the Barossa Valley?
After a twelve-year hiatus, it was when Carol and her local Barossa husband decided to begin a family, that she moved back to the Barossa Valley. Together they agreed that they would raise their children in the country air with supportive family and a nurturing community around them. When their twin boys arrived, the Barossa provided all that and more. What Carol didn’t realise fully, was just how supportive and encouraging that same community would be towards her new small business.
The Barossa Valley is a hub for many creative souls including winemakers, artisan food producers, chefs, jewellers and artists of all kinds. Premium quality, bespoke and handcrafted items are both appreciated and sought after, and this matched perfectly with Carol’s desire to create luxurious leather goods. The Barossa is also an endless source of inspiration for Carol, with its unique and beautiful environment and its colour palette, ever changing, with the seasons.
Carol’s relationship with leather and hides began much earlier in her life and goes back three generations. It began with her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, starting her career as a tailor and dressmaker in London. This included working with leather, creating handbags and producing commissioned pieces. Then Carol’s parents ran a horse stud when she was a child. She has vivid memories of her father teaching her how to braid and plait leather strips used to make bridles, halters and the like for the horses. Little did Carol know that in time, she too would be working with leather fulltime.
Carol's continually growing collection of stunning coloured leather hides waiting to be designed into something special.
From the very first bag created, Carol knew that leather was what she loved and wanted to predominantly create with. The uniqueness of each hide is what first attracted her to this organic medium, along with its tactile qualities and luxurious feel. As leather is a natural product, each hide has its own personal markings and scars. Carol believes these imperfections tell the story of the hide, much like our own scars and imperfections form part of our story, making us the unique and individual beings that we are. Carol seeks to champion the hide’s individual characteristics in every Sunshine Barossa piece, working to preserve its authenticity and retain its story.
With Carol personally sourcing and selecting every hide, and playing an active role in the design, trial and production process of each piece, she can ensure the consistent luxurious quality that has become Sunshine Barossa Australia’s signature.