Max Gawn has made a career out of using his hands.
Six days a week, the 208cm tall Gawn practices his ruckwork for the Demons; on day seven, he puts his carpentry skills to use.
Alongside teammate Matt Jones, the 22-year old has been using recycled timber to make homemade tables under the name Max Jones & Co.
“we both love talking lots of rubbish. There’s a fair bit of banter involved in our friendship.” – Max Gawn
The recent project – beginning in March this year – was originally supposed to be centered on the cafe scene but evolved when they looked deeper into the industry.
“Basically, Matty and I were pretty interested in doing a cafe. So we went looking around and saw a lot of cafes; did a fair bit of research and during this we fell in-love with some tables,” Gawn says.
“We both have a bit of a trade background so we decided to start making some tables.”
Gawn and Jones, along with young Melbourne rookie Max King (“the apprentice”), have already sold a larger sized table and two smaller coffee tables in the three months since the business began, but Gawn admits their AFL lifestyle may limit the rate of production at times.
”Just the sheer factor of working on it one day a week means we can’t come back the next day because we have to clamp it and let it stick overnight.
“We usually do it on the Wednesday, Thursday, or whichever day we get off during the week. Sometimes we even do it after training when we get an educational block for a few hours.
“The big one actually took us about three weeks to complete.”
— Bernie Vince (@bvince23) June 6, 2014
Max Jones & Co. currently provides both pre-made and custom designed tables, with the intention of trialling each service until the business is out of its baby stages.
Like many business owners, Gawn hopes the company will evolve into making a range of different products and services.
“At the moment we’re just doing tables. But later on down the track when we get a little more skilled and there’s more customer interest we might start doing other stuff like bench tops and shelves,” he says.
“The absolute dream is to have a cafe as well as a table making warehouse out the back… At the moment we’re just getting this one up and going.”
— Maxjonesco (@custommmfurn) May 28, 2014
While the business is on the rise, Melbourne too seems to be on the way up and Gawn sees a noticeable change surrounding the players’ moods in recent months.
“Usually it’s down to two or three blokes on the Monday to keep the vibes pretty happy when you’re losing every week but now you have 40 blokes coming in pretty happy,” he explains.
“It’s a lot better… the senior coach really drives that vibe as well.”
And the vibes seem pretty good between Gawn and his good mate Jones who, even though they spend most of their time together between training and their business, always like to keep things light-hearted.
“We don’t spend much time apart these days… so it’s a good thing we have a lot in common,” he says with a laugh.
“We both love talking lots of rubbish. There’s a fair bit of banter involved in our friendship.”
— Matt jones (@MDjones00) August 6, 2013