Bungendore inventor Brian McNamara has the best of both worlds – being at home to look after the kids and making musical instruments sought after by people around the globe.
The father-of-two is a finalist in this year's Etsy Design Awards which celebrate the talent of people who sell their goods on Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods.
Mr McNamara makes electronic musical instruments under the name Rarebeasts, selling most of them through Etsy.
"[The buyers] are mostly overseas and it's mix of experimental musicians who want a rare instrument that makes funny noises and also gifts for wives or husbands of musicians who want to get something a bit different to what they already have," he said.
It's not so much a leap as a step in a different direction for Mr McNamara who previously worked at the Australian National University working on scientific instruments in the research school of biological sciences .
"I helped academics build the things they needed to do their experiments and also repairing any equipment they needed repairing," he said.
Rarebeasts started from a desire to marry his interests in music and electronics. And the key was making the instruments so simple anyone could use them.
"I've been tinkering and pulling things apart since I was very little but I've only really been designing original instruments since I made a piece for my daughter's first birthday called the R-Tronic, it was a simple step sequencer that uses shapes to put sounds into a sequence that makes up a little song," he said.
His daughter Rhianna is now nine and son Edgar is 10. His wife Miranda is a doctor in Bungendore and at the Canberra Hospital.
"I'd probably struggle if my wife didn't work, it would be very tricky," he said.
"And I'm lucky that she works and I get to look after the kids and do my business."
Mr McNamara, 42, stays home to care for the children, getting into the workshop while they go to Bungendore Public. And the kids like to get in there too once they get home.
"They have lots of fun and my son makes little torches out of the LED and things like that. They have a good time mucking about," he said.
Now he's been recognised as one of 54 finalists in the Etsy awards, in the running to win a trip to the Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn, New York. Mr McNamara is nominated in the home and living category and also up for the Community Choice prize. Voting by the public for the Community Choice prize is open until August 20 at etsydesignawards.com
Mr McNamara said he was excited to be nominated but had already won having a job he loved.
"I just love making new instruments. It's just so much fun making a new sound," he said
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