They say the way to a child’s heart is serving a bowl of ice cream for breakfast or allowing them to skip a day of school. But Sunraysia Life may have just found the magic key to unlock a new world of fun and adventure in the backyard and make dreams come true. Lauren Adcock sat down with the creative behind Sunraysia Cubby Houses to chat about what makes these tiny homes tick all the boxes. Pictures: Carmel Zaccone
AT only 19-years-old, Sunraysia entrepreneur Jarrod Theunissen knew there was more than working traditional nine to five hours.
The carpenter by trade saw a niche market for constructing cubby houses and envisaged having a “side hustle”, which lead him to building the first one in the backyard of his home.
“Sunraysia Cubby Houses evolved about two years ago. As a carpenter, I’d always thought of ways I could make extra money and there wasn’t really a demand for cubby houses at the time,” he says.
“They didn’t sell very quick and I was only 19 at the time.”
Jarrod eventually saved enough money to invest more time into building the cubby houses and ramped up marketing through his social media platforms.
“Facebook has been really useful in getting the word out there and sharing pictures of the finished products,” he says.
“It also gives people the chance to send designs of cubby houses they’ve seen and like. I’m able to build similar designs and beat the price.”
A significant part of what makes Sunraysia Cubby Houses stand out in the crowd is the ability to tailor products to meet the visions and desires of the customer, according to Jarrod.
“We have five different standard sizes and customers can customise as little or as much as they like,” he says.
“Whether they want to add french doors, make it two storey or choose the colour of the house … these are all extras we can add on.”
Weatherboard material is one of the distinguishing features that enables the cubbies to resemble real life, tiny homes.
“We’re the only real company that offers prime time weatherboards which are used on real homes so they’re a lot longer lasting and have a really smooth finish. They’re very high-end,” he says.
“Supporting local timber yards like Mallee Timber, Dahlsens and Bunnings is really important to us too.”
But Jarrod is unable to take all the credit for his craftsmanship.
His partner Ally Burke plays an important role in bringing the cubbies to life and takes pride in the painting and delivery side of business.
It’s a real team effort, according to Jarrod.
“If the customer wants their cubby house painted, Ally helps with the painting and the delivery process, which is our favourite experience,” he says.
“We both love being there at the time of delivery and getting to see the reaction on the kids’ faces when they see their new cubby for the first time.
It’s the best feeling.”
When asked about the future of Sunraysia Cubby Houses, Jarrod says building a designated shed to construct the cubbies is on the horizon.
“At the moment, storage is quite a problem because we’re working from the backyard,” he says.
“But I’ve just bought an acre and we’re hoping to build a big shed on there and make it a factory. Hopefully production will be a lot better and quicker.
“Especially with Christmas around the corner when we have a few orders stacked up.”
And if customers were worried about how they will be able to easily get their hands on one of these tiny homes, Jarrod has the solution.
“They’re all flat packed designed and I’ve made them so all the walls can be unscrewed so they can be transported easy if the customer plans on moving or wants to relocate it,” he says. “We always offer delivery or provide instructions.”
Sunraysia Cubby Houses have a pop-up display open to the public at Gardenland on Ontario Avenue, Mildura.