Gaynor Leclezio of La Lucie Recycled shares her secret to never spilling a drop with the AGHA.

Blue skies and fine weather are rolling in ahead of the summer season, meaning it’s finally time to head outdoors for al fresco wine tasting or an impromptu garden picnic with friends and loved ones.

La Lucie Recycled is a family-owned business dedicated to manufacturing handmade, custom-built furniture from recycled and sustainably grown timber. Nestled on the Gold Coast, Gaynor and Eric Leclezio are the creators and designers behind the innovative Summer Picnic Table range.

Perfectly adapted for holidaymakers to use aboard a boat, campsite or caravan, the portable and lightweight Summer Picnic Tables come with four convenient wine glass holders to prevent spillages and a bottle holder to keep it upright and safe.

Explaining the table's conceptual origins to the Australian Gift and Homewares Association (AGHA), Gaynor Leclezio said the idea first came to her while on a family camping trip at Pottsville with her young children.

"After I watched my 10th glass of wine fall over and soak into the ground, I asked my husband Eric if he could make me something which would hold my precious wine glass safely off the ground so it didn’t keep spilling," Leclezio said.

"Eric crafted a rudimentary version of the product we sell today, but not nearly as pretty or lightweight. I took my little table to the park, the kids sporting events and on further camping trips and was continually stopped and asked where I got it. The Summer Picnic Table was born and since then we have redesigned and improved our table to the product we offer today."

La Lucie Recycled took advantage of exhibiting in The Launch Pad at the AGHA Sydney Gift Fair 2017, as well as the more recent Melbourne Gift Fair in August, where the Leclezio’s personally launched the company’s newest product to buyers, the Banquet Picnic Table.

"This table is larger in size than the Summer Picnic Table and has cut-outs for six wine glasses and comes with a beer bucket to keep drinks cold and fresh. As with our Summer Picnic Table, the legs fold in and lock down to allow for easy transportation and storage," Leclezio said.

"We had just started the wholesale arm of our business and saw the AGHA Gift Fairs as a great opportunity to further test our market by putting our product in front of qualified buyers. We were stretched financially as our business was so new, so The Launch Pad's special rates allowed us to afford to exhibit and gave us invaluable experience.

"AGHA Gift Fairs are a fabulous forum to network and keep up to date with what others are doing. The process of meeting retailers was also very easy and streamlined. In Sydney, we acquired 21 new stockists and in Melbourne over 70!"

The Summer Picnic Tables range is currently supplied to a variety of shops Australia-wide, and to three outlets in New Zealand, including gift, kitchen and outdoors shops, chemists, post offices.

Popular with anybody who loves being outdoors, the handmade tables are widely purchased as gifts and can be creatively used to keep food off the ground, as a safe place for keys, mobile phones and portable speakers or as a pop-up table for children to play on.

La Lucie Recycled promotes Summer Picnic Tables by regularly using Facebook and Instagram, with customers often sending in their own picnic shots. A forthcoming social media competition will allow followers to win a free picnic table for the best shot of the month.

"We were also extremely lucky to be featured in Emerging Entrepreneurs section of the AGHA Exhibition Directory and to have our one of our images selected as part of an exclusive printed article in GiftGuide magazine, which helped to drive more customers our way," Leclezio said.

"The whole process of dealing with AGHA staff has been professional from start to finish, and they have been supportive, friendly and knowledgeable throughout all our dealings with them."

Going forward, La Lucie Recycled is considering moving to a larger premises to allow the business to keep up with customer demand for the range.  

"We have recently employed a new team member and have another starting another next week! We are really excited to be providing work and growing our team."

Register now to see Summer Picnic Tables, stand 4Y3 at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park during the AGHA Sydney Gift Fair, 24-27 February 2018.