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Humans of Eumundi - Ali Adams


Beauty [byoo-tee] /ˈbjuːti/ noun. Plural: beauties.

1. the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, colour, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

2. a beautiful person, especially a woman.

3. a beautiful thing, as a work of art or a building.

- Source:

BEAUTY isn’t the easiest word to define, nor agree with the person next to you as to what is considered beautiful.

Ali Adams defines the word as: “Beauty is what shines from within and around you. Being in nature, walking the beach, seeing an amazing lightning storm all which inspires contemplation. It’s not something that looks pure, perfect and clean, it’s about the characteristics which make it unique.”

Ali is the talented hands behind Kin Kin Leather. She handcrafts kangaroo leather products which celebrate natural beauty by keeping its tick marks and scars, because these characteristics tell a beautiful story.

Life isn’t flawless. What makes life beautiful are the lessons you learn, the struggles and how you overcome them, it’s the journey. Ali Adams’ journey is a beautiful story.

From leaving her family in Wollongong and calling Noosa home at the prime age of 17 to touring Europe in a quirky 4-piece band called Xylosax, there’s no doubt Ali’s life has been a colourful one.

Today Ali’s journey has brought her to the Original Eumundi Markets.

As a mother of three grown up kids, aged 40, 39 and 37, it was Ali’s youngest child who led her to pursue a career in the leather making business.

Ali’s only daughter, Tala, is a beautiful 37-year-old woman. She also lives day-in day-out with a severe genetic disorder of the nervous system called Rett disorder. Rett disorder is usually only seen in girls and it affects all body movement, causes loss of speech and hand use.

Tala isn’t the only one in her family affected by this disability. She lives with her mother and father, Ali and Mik, in their cosy Kin Kin house made from mudbrick and timber so Ali can be her fulltime carer.

“Tala is an amazing woman who has taught me an incredible amount of love, and to love unconditionally. She’s taught me amazing amounts of patience and trust. She is the reason I do what I do,” Ali said.

Ali was drawn to the leather making business 27 years ago for two reasons. The first, being practical, as she had a 10-year-old daughter who needed fulltime care. A flexible job from home seemed like the best solution.

The second reason was passion. Ali’s friend Jess Ainscough, who also happened to be a fellow band member of Xylosax, returned from Adelaide after completing an apprenticeship in leather making. Ali was instantly inspired by her work and went under her friend’s wing.

Two years later, Ali finished her apprenticeship and together the friends went into business with Ali specialising in the bigger things like shoulder bags and briefcases while Jess specialised in the smaller bits such as wallets and purses.

Jess retired eight years ago and the Kin Kin Leather we know today is purely the work of Ali.

“I just love it. I get to work in a beautiful workshop which my husband built for me, made from mudbrick. It looks over the creek which runs around our property,” she said.

“And I adore working with natural leather. The type I use is only kangaroo leather with vegetable tan. The vegetable tan process uses tree barks and roots to get its colour rather than chemicals, so it’s a lot better for the environment.”

Not to mention the results are unrivalled.

“The colour and texture is so natural and organic. Plus, by keeping its irregularities like the ticks and the marks, all of these scars make it so uniquely beautiful,” she added.

“I would like to think that people purchasing a high quality handcrafted leather product which will last a lifetime if used and looked after will mean you will consume less and therefore diminish your footprint on the environment, which in turn creates personal satisfaction and happiness.”

Happiness to Ali is everything.

“If there are five life lessons I’ve learnt to date, it’s these: 1) The purpose of life is the pursuit of happiness. 2) Walk with an open mind and heart with your feet on the ground. 3) Have respect for others. 4) Treat people as you would like to be treated and 5) There is always a positive side to life.”

What makes you happy?

For Ali, it’s family, friends and working in her charming mudbrick workshop creating beauty from Kangaroo leather.

Whether you live with a disability or simply are striving to be an unrealistic idea of what you consider to be beautiful, let it go and find your happiness.

Take a leaf out of Ali’s book and let every little scar life gives you appear beautiful through your own eyes. Because life’s a journey, and depending on how you see it, it can be an ugly one or a beautiful one. The choice is yours.


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