WORKING in the mines had its perks but former tradesman Eliot Krause found true contentment when he launched his new business hand crafting funky sunnies with a local theme.
"What I'm trying to do is try to create something from our little area so we're in touch with our neighbourhood," he said. "It's all about our little pocket of the world."
Hashy & Herb Eyewear is Mr Krause's brainchild, and its sunglasses range is inspired by well-known streets, landmarks and people.
His first design, Cartwright, was inspired by his favourite local surfing spot at Point Cartwright and one of his latest - Ocean - is in honour of Maroochydore's centre of night life, Ocean St.
Other designs include Fortitude, which celebrates night life in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley and Burleigh, after Burleigh Heads where he travels for annual surfing trip with mates.
Mr Krause grew up on the Sunshine Coast and said for a long time Coast folks had been into big brands but things were changing.
"On the whole people are waking up to our creativity and getting more in touch with what's going on locally," he said.
Mr Krause was a carpenter for three years before moving into mining, and then oil and gas.
In between Facebook and movies on the boats he concocted the plan.
"I wanted something to be really passionate about - I struggled with that for years. I didn't get excited about putting on a tool bag and going to build someone's house. I found it and you know what…since I did, my interest has just grown and snowballed."
He said he spent hours drawing designs, rubbing them out and re-drawing them.
"I've always been a bit of a fiend for sunglasses and things like that, so I guess I just put two and two together," he said.
The sunglasses are made with cotton fibre, which breathes naturally and is resilient to UV damage, Mr Krause said. He had initially researched recycled plastics but was disappointed to learn the quality was too low and they were susceptible to sun damage.
"It has cells that open and close with temperature. It's a natural, non-allergenic feel, and it's warm to touch," he said.
"It's non-allergenic and doesn't have that cold, hard, cheap plasticky [sic] feel to it," he said. "It smells a bit like timber."
Upcoming designs would include Hastings and would be named after iconic Sunshine Coast streets and icons.
Visit Hashy & Herb by clicking here.
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