"We see Troublesmiths as a pioneer of social impact initiatives in this corner of the world.”
"The Troublesmiths products, retail store, wholesaler opportunities, and business structure are a testament to the exceptional quality young Tasmanians can produce."
We all have to start somewhere. Often, starting out can be a challenge and for some, that challenge is greater than it should be.
Sometimes, however, there are generous people working hard to make those first huge steps just a little bit easier.
Wander the short, leafy laneway that links Hobart’s Liverpool and Bathurst Streets, and you’ll find a small brick-and-mortar selling Tasmanian-made products. You may notice the bright and airy plant-filled space, or the delicious wafts of scented candles, or the smiling faces of the young people who greet you. You may not realise this is a youth social enterprise called Troublesmiths; a not-for-profit social impact initiative that specialises in youth employability skills training.
The team is an ever-evolving crew of 15 to 24-year-olds who were at risk of long-term unemployment, but have taken their futures into their own hands by volunteering in exchange for skill development. With support from the management team, the young people at Troublesmiths drive all aspects of the business, from design and social media content to manufacturing, stock control, administration and retail management.
Elly Rigney, Employment and Business Development Officer, says they imagine a community where someday, Tasmanian employers phone Troublesmiths first for resourceful, tailored and genuine recruitment.
“Tasmania has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country,” she says. “Despite this, we believe that every young Tasmanian person has the ability to realise their potential and achieve their goals. The Troublesmiths products, retail store, wholesaler opportunities and business structure are a testament to the exceptional quality young Tasmanians can produce.”
Initially their business model saw Troublesmiths operating in pop-up stores and markets around Southern Tasmania, but Elly says their new permanent retail space in Watchorn Street is critical to the program’s success.
“We are proud to say that not only are we innovators in this space, we have contributed to transforming over 200 young Tasmanian lives,” she says. “We have seen over 75% of our young people enter into work or further education and training, as we match these individual talents and real work skills with local Tasmanian employers.”
Troublesmiths are sponsored to attend Australia’s largest gift and trade show in July 2021 as the only Tasmanian-made stockist, and Elly is hopeful they will reach their product wholesaler target through the event. If so, Troublesmiths will qualify to become the state’s first social enterprise certified with Social Traders; a certification that authenticates them as a business that trades to intentionally tackle social problems and improve communities.
"This will mark our next chapter. By December 2022 we hope to have a replicable business/program model as we lead the way in delivering quality social enterprise initiatives with—and for—our community.
“We see Troublesmiths as a pioneer of social impact initiatives in this corner of the world.”