Wooden it be lovely

Natasja Kleinman with some of her watches. Picture: Bruce Hunt d426001
Natasja Kleinman with some of her watches. Picture: Bruce Hunt d426001

When Natasja Kleinman’s watch made her eczema flare, she looked for alternatives and identified a gap in the market for skin-friendly and stylish options. She then founded her small company RawMade.

Last week she began a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help launch her wooden watch designs into full production.

Eczema, once a problem to Ms Kleinman, could now be a target demographic, with one in three Australians also suffering the same skin condition.

Coincidentally, her Kickstarter launch also coincided with Eczema Awareness Week from September 8 to 14.

‘I couldn’t wear metal watches because I get eczema, so I end up with a massive rash on my arm and was looking for an alternative,’ Ms Kleinman said.

‘When I started looking around for products, I was struggling to find something that would suit me.

‘The back of my watches are wood as well so there’s nothing that can irritate your skin.’

Ms Kleinman said the watches were made out of either maple, bamboo or zebrawood, a large hardwood tree native to Central America that features a wavy grain.

It had taken more than a year to get the wood watch project to a stage where they could be manufactured.

The process involved a lengthy exchange of redesigned prototypes that would be most compatible with the Chinese manufacturer’s processes.

She said those who donated would receive RawMade products for their support, including a watch for any amount over $99. The fledgling project has so far raised $784 from seven backers in its first five days.

The wooden watch project will only go ahead if the public stump up at least $10,000 in working capital to finance the venture by November 6.

For information on the RawMade wooden watches, visit kickstarter at tinyurl.com/mtebgex.