AMBASSADORS

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MEET OUR AMBASSADORS

Meet the best of the construction industry. From the foundation to finish they define what it means to be tough, dynamic & different. See what it takes by reading their stories.

AARON SIMEON

OX Ambassador for Concreting

Business Owner of APS Contracting, Decorative Concrete Specialists, Sydney, NSW.

Challenging the status quo, setting new benchmarks and blowing pretty much everyone out of the water with their modern take on decorative concreting, APS Contracting is a force to reckon with. APS Contracting is turning heads in a big way. Their contemporary approach to concreting has gained widespread popularity in the construction world. Gaining the attention and admiration from many of Sydney’s best architects, landscape designers, high-end builders, homeowners, and construction companies.

We recently caught up with Aaron for a brief interview, check it out:

Tell us about yourself and your trade

I’m married to my beautiful wife Paige and Dad to 3 little kiddos. We live in Sydney.

I am the founder of APS Contracting, which I run with my beautiful wife Paige. We have 3 kiddos and are based in Sydney. We are a decorative concrete company specialising in exposed aggregate and architectural concrete. We do driveways and concrete features, concrete in-situ, exposed aggregate, coloured concrete, concrete resurfacing, floating stairs, entrance ways and much more.

Concrete design has also become big part of our business, most recently we designed ‘The Sydney Range’ for Geostone Holcim. It has been a pinch me moment watching the mixes Paige and I designed being installed into some pretty iconic projects, it has been a real career highlight!


How did you get into your trade?

Almost by accident! I’m a chippy by trade but after many years in the game ended up being exposed to the concrete space in a spontaneous way. Since day one, I enjoy the pace of concreting. Eventually I saw an exciting opportunity to bring my own spin on a conventional trade and went for it!


Any tips for other aspiring tradies?

I think it’s invaluable to see tradies who’ve gained experience in more than one trade, it opened up so many doors for me and I feel like the people who’ve broadened their skillset, see other things in construction that many don’t. So my advice is, be open to exposing yourself to new skills.

What are your interests and hobbies?

I’ve loved motorbikes since I was a little kid. Both my boys have bikes and we ride as much as we can. Sounds cliché but downtime with the family is what I’m chasing most at this stage in life.


What motivated you to become an OX Ambassador?

Our business has relied on OX Concrete Tools ever since we opened our company ten years ago. To be honest, I initially purchased them because they matched our branding colours but they have proven themselves time and time again over the years! When we started gaining momentum with our socials, our work and content quickly started attracting a lot of attention. It was an obvious partnership once our paths crossed. OX Tools are passionate about what they create, and so are we, it’s a lot of fun working together as well!


What country do you most want to visit?

We have promised the kids an Italian Summer and also a White Christmas somewhere with snow! So those two are high on our list for our next trip. Now that everything is starting to opening up again, we are hoping to pencil something in. A week in Fiji would hit the spot right about now though.


Do you have any side projects?

Yes! In partnership with my wife, we are just about to launch a creative company which we will be revealing soon. We are very excited about it - stay tuned!

PETER MATOLIC

OX Ambassador for Bricklaying

Business Owner of The Brick Co., North West Sydney, NSW.

Bricklaying is a craft that not only takes a toll on your body but also on your tools, so you need to have well built, reliable gear to get you from job to job. It makes sense to align myself with a brand that not only has quality tools but is also passionate about innovation, keeping up with the profession of the industry.

The use of brick in modern construction continues to be championed for its endless practical benefits and structural durability. More and more, bricks are increasingly being used as an aesthetic feature in modern homes as an integral part of contemporary architecture and interior design.

Peter Matolic is a master bricklayer who has been in the trade for over a quarter century. Working with his father shoulder to shoulder from the earliest age possible, he went on to hone his skills and progressed onwards to take over the family business, before founding his own venture, The Brick Co.

We recently caught up with Peter for a brief interview, check it out:


How did you get into your trade?

My parents moved to Australia from Croatia and my Dad became a skilled bricklayer, he would have me on the job site most Saturdays from the legal age of 7. I followed in his footsteps and learnt the craft, eventually taking over his business when I was 18. Today, I specialise in high quality residential homes.


What are your interests and hobbies?

I’m an avid golfer, all-round sport nut, chookies fan and I spend every other day looking after my lawns. Naturally, my life revolves around family and business. I’m married to the beautiful Soph and we have two little legend boys, Wolfe and Banks.

Four years ago, my wife and I took on the challenge to owner-build an architecturally designed home together. It was an epic experience, as I have always been interested in architectural construction and Soph has a talent for design so it’s something we are very proud of and hope to do it again in the future.


What motivated you to become an OX Ambassador?

When it comes to OX tools, the price and the quality is unbeatable. Bricklaying is a craft that not only takes a toll on your body but also your tools, so you need to have well built, reliable gear to get you through the jobs. So it only made sense for me to align myself with a brand that not only has quality tools but is passionate about innovation. I’m stoked to be a part of the OX Ambassador crew.


What country do you most want to visit?

My parents are Croatian and I speak fluent Croatian. However it’s the one place I have never been! So I’d love to go and immerse ourselves into the culture of my roots.

ANDREW HEAD

OX Ambassador for Carpentry

Qualified Carpenter, South West Sydney, NSW, Australia.

"The chance to work closely with a company like OX Tools is a dream come true. It is gratifying to be a part of their unique tool innovation platform where you get to give back and work with the brand to develop and improve products that you get to use on-site. When you work with high quality tools, it reflects on your work. Becoming an ambassador for OX is a huge personal accomplishment to me."

Focused, committed and highly competent. Andrew Head is a young chippy who has always put his head down to soak up as much knowledge he can get his hands on. When he’s not on the tools, you won’t be able to find him because he will likely be mountain biking through some rough terrain in the Aussie bushland with his mates. Andrew has earned his trade through the traditional means and now he works exclusively for a builder completing custom-built homes in South Western Sydney.

How did you get into you trade?
I was literally obsessed with woodwork throughout my schooling. My love for carpentry was a natural progression. When the opportunity arose from a family friend to pursue an apprenticeship, I jumped on it, starting at the age of sixteen.


What are your interests and hobbies?

I love getting out into the bush. Camping, four-wheel driving and mountain bike riding with my mates.


What made you become an OX Ambassador?

The chance to work closely with a company like OX Tools is a dream come true. 

It is gratifying to be a part of their unique tool innovation platform where you get to give back and work with the brand to develop and improve products that you get to use on-site. When you work with high quality tools, it reflects on your work. Becoming an ambassador for OX is a huge personal accomplishment to me.


What country do you most want to visit?

I’d love to visit the US and work along side some crews, to be able to expand my knowledge and learn more different skills in Carpentry. Everyone builds differently and to be able to learn and grow in this field, you can’t stay stagnant. You can never stop learning, as there’s so many different ways to complete projects.

JAMES MANSELL

OX Ambassador for Plumbing

Business Owner of Mansell Plumbing, South West Sydney’s Blocked Drain Specialist, Based in Picton, NSW.

Taking your trade to the next level isn’t always easy. It’s not just a matter of will but a matter of digging deeper, finding and pursuing the route that will make that speciality niche a reality. For James Mansell, plumbing has long been a big part of his life for over ten years. Fully immersed in a trade of technical skill and problem solving, he has fortified his love for plumbing by finding a new direction for his business. Classically trained by way of the traditional four year initiation, James is taking his business to new heights through the use of advanced tech and an eagerness to fully immerse himself into a challenging area of specialisation: blocked drainage.

Tell us about your trade experience

I’ve been plumbing for over ten years now. Once I got licensed, I made quick steps towards building my own business. Over the years, I’ve gained a wide range of experience from cottage work to general maintenance, roof plumbing, industrial, commercial and first fix. More recently, my scope has changed and now I specialise in blocked drains, drain diagnostics (CCTV), jet blasting, sewer/stormwater pipe locating, pipe relining (no dig renewal), and pipe renewal and restoration. It’s an exciting change for the business, making use of today’s advanced technology!


What do you like about OX Tools?

The thing I like most about OX Tools, is that they just feel heavy-duty. After working with a variety of tools over the years, it’s nice to have reliable tools that you know you can chuck around without having to worry about it getting damaged. OX Tools have a durability about them, like they are built to last.


How did you get into your trade?

As a youngster, I didn’t really enjoy school or sitting still at a classroom desk all day. Towards the later years of High School, I was just there to pass time and socialise with mates. I had no idea what I wanted to pursue as a career. Then, my Old Man floated the idea of sending a letter to a few local plumbers seeking an Apprenticeship. Fortunately, one of those letters striked lucky and I started my journey, learning the ropes from a highly experienced plumber. I am really grateful for the many valuable aspects of the trade I learnt during those important years.

What are your interests and hobbies?

My Wife and I live very busy lives, we both work full time and are both running our own small businesses. I love bush-walking, hiking and camping when I get a chance. I also just enjoy spending my spare time with my wife, daughter, family and friends. Rugby League was a past-time hobby. I played for my local club (Picton Magpies) for ten years but decided to throw it in once I started working. I also used to train with a local boxer to keep fit both during and after my footy career.


What made you become an ambassador?

I’ve been using a lot of OX Tools before deciding to become an Ambassador. I was always happy with the quality and feel of the tools, which is something that I look for when I purchasing my tools. I’ve unfortunately learnt the hard way (during my apprenticeship) that investing in cheap tools is more costly than spending the time and money sourcing quality tools that will last the tough life of being used on site everyday for years to come. I believe that OX provides me with the peace of mind that I can carry out my jobs quickly and efficiently whilst not having to stress about them failing on me.


What country do you most want to visit?

I’ve done a little bit of travelling and love visiting other countries. It’s obviously a bit harder to do in the current climate we’re in but if I had to choose somewhere that I haven’t been, I’d probably say Switzerland or Italy.

CHRIS FORSTER

OX Ambassador for Wall & Floor Tiling

Business Owner of Flow State Tiling, Macarthur / Wollongong Region, NSW.

"When I am working, I am always looking for new ways to improve my skills. When I’m not working, I’ll be out in the world, learning something new, trying to reach my flow state."

Chris is not your Average Joe. He definitely isn’t your average tradie either. Passionate, driven and active. He is leading a dynamic and fast-growing tiling business, backed with plenty of crafty perfectionism, meticulous focus and hard-working energy. Just one glance at his instagram and you can see how talented he is for a young professional in the field.

We caught up with Chris for a playful interview to learn more about what drives him:

How did you get into your trade?

I started out working in several different trades, going from one to the next. Eventually, I found tiling and I never looked back. I have always found so much satisfaction in the processes of tiling, something that most don't fully understand, and of course, the satisfaction that comes from handing over an incredible finished product like a new bathroom. Nothing beats it.


What are your interests and hobbies?

Skydiving, paragliding, surfing, motorbike riding, diving, travelling with my dog, hiking and more recently, snowboarding. Basically anything that gets me out into nature. Oh, and long walks on the beach!


What made you become an ambassador?

My experience with OX tools has always been positive. I really like the quality, feel and design of OX products.

Over my entire career, I specifically remember favouring OX trowels, levels and other tiling tools over others as I have progressed over the years. These days I usually do a lot of research before buying new tools. OX is a company that I can truly get behind because they produce awesome tools and are consistently listening to the feedback that tradies are giving them, finding improvements and pushing for more innovation. Oh, and blues my favourite colour…funny that.


What country do you most want to visit?

I would love travel around the United States or anywhere in Europe.


Do you run any side projects?

No side projects at the moment. But stay posted, I have plenty of new bathrooms booked in this year!

MATT JAMIESON

OX Ambassador for Plastering & Rendering

Business Owner of Render X, Burleigh Heads / Gold Coast, QLD Australia.

“I love the quality that OX tools bring into my work. Working with my hands all day, I want to strike that balance of comfort, durability and consistency in my finishes. The results that get with OX tools aligns with the quality of work I strive to produce.”

It’s a beautiful thing to see next generation tradies carry on the traditions of old school craftsmanship and blending those invaluable skills with their own modern edge and drive to innovate their trade. Matt Jamieson exemplifies all of those qualities and more. With a true talent and creative eye for surface design and decorative rendering applications, Matt is a salt-of-the-earth type of tradie. OX is stoked to see him jump onboard as an ambassador.

Tell us about yourself?

Based in Burleigh Heads. I spent most of my life in the Far South Coast of NSW, growing up in a small coastal town called Tathra. These days, my focus revolves around high-end, quality work, creating new business ventures and experimenting with new products. In my spare time, you’ll find me surfing, eating out, travelling and spending time with my amazing partner Emma.


Tell us about your trade?

I am a Plasterer & Renderer by trade but have tapped into a niche market of decorative rendering, using different materials to create superior finishes for both residential, commercial and luxury homes. My company is called Render X. I also have a furniture line called Object X where I create unique designer tables. I have just started a renovating page called Project X and have started doing my first home named Ruin X.


How did you get into your trade?

I left school after finishing my School Certificate and started my Apprenticeship in

Rendering. When I was 23, I founded Render X and soon after I started trialling and implementing alternative decorative finishes, straight away I knew that this was going to be the future of rendering, so I took it and ran with it.


What made you become an OX ambassador?

I have been using OX tools since I was a teenager! So when the opportunity arose, I had to jump on board. I love the quality that OX tools bring into my work. Working with my hands all day, I want to strike that balance of comfort, durability and reliability in my finishes. The results that their tools can achieve aligns with the quality of work I strive to produce.


What country do you most want to visit?

Greece. I’ve heard nothing but epic things. I would love to go to Mykonos for a European Summer.

Aaron Grigg & Mitch Coslovich

OX Ambassadors for Landscape Construction

Business Owners of A&M Landscape Construction, Servicing South Coast, NSW & Illawarra, Australia.

“We’ve been using a huge variety of OX tools for years and just found ourselves always reaching for the blue when buying new tools. We’ve found their entire range to be a really durable, well designed and built to last. It was an easy decision to get onboard with OX, products that we can really rely on for high quality results, and a brand that we will proudly promote within our business.”

If you’ve ever spent a day landscaping your own garden in the elements, you’ll surely have an appreciation for how hard these landscape construction tradies work. One of the most demanding trades on your body and tools, the partnership of A&M have been making a name for themselves on their home turf for bringing modern textures, materials and elements together to create incredible outcomes that look like they’ve been architecturally designed, down to every placement of stone. It’s clear that Aaron and Mitch have a natural talent for landscape design.


Tell us about your business

Our scope covers a wide variety of top-quality landscape construction including natural stone cladding, retaining wall, excavation, decking, concreting, gardens, paving and tiling. We is based in Kiama; our client base spans throughout the Illawarra and the entire stretch of South Coast NSW. We actually completed our apprenticeships together, learnt all of the aspects of the trade together and eventually decided to kick off in 2017 as a partnership, to found A&M Landscape Construction. Fortunately, we have been lucky enough (hard work creates luck) that it has been a constant wave that continues to grow in all aspects across the company.


What does a typical day look like at A&M Landscape Construction?

We build unreal yards for quality clients whilst having a good time with our crew. We work hard and we have fun doing it. We love a challenge and no two days are ever the same. We strive to keep up positive mindset and lively atmosphere. It’s also one of the trades were we get a great amount of job satisfaction when we stand back & look at the completed project.


How did you get into doing what you’re doing?

Approaching the end of High School we both didn’t have any real idea of what we wanted to do. So we dabbled in different trades, trying out our options. At no stage did we even intend on working together, let alone owning our own company! I (Aaron) found a job landscaping with a company that needed a hand moving into the Christmas rush. Mid-way through the following year we would both be working for this company (Advanced Gardens & Landscapes). During our time with those boys we learnt a lot in a short amount of time & were left with a fair amount of responsibility which I believe led us to the position we are in now.

What are your interests and hobbies?

Aaron: The deeper you get into owning your own business, theres not a lot of time left over for hobbies. I still play Rugby League for Gerringong Lions in the Group 7. I’ve always loved competition personally, so I enjoy watching both MMA & NRL. I’ve wouldn’t say its a hobby as such, but I’ve got a young family (2 boys), so any spare minute I have is spent wrestling with those two.

Mitch: I played rugby league up until 2019, but it eventually got a bit hard to juggle work. The last year I’ve been into running but the old knees don’t hold up too well anymore. So, I would say that the gym and work are my main hobbies!


What made you become an ambassador?

We had been using a fair variety of OX tools for a few years and just found ourselves always reaching for the blue when buying new tools. We found them to be a really durable, quality product. It was an easy decision to come on board with OX, a brand we knew we could proudly promote.


What country do you most want to visit?

Aaron: At the rate the world is moving at the moment. Mate, I will be happy to go anywhere!

Mitch: I haven’t done a whole lot of travelling yet, but I did go to Italy in 2019, so hopefully once everything goes back to normal, I can get back over there for a little longer.


Do you run any side projects?

Aaron: My schedule is a balance of juggling work, family & footy.

Mitch: I'm currently renovating my home, taking up every spare minute outside of running A&M. We don’t currently have any side projects but we have some new landscape construction ideas in the pipeline which we can hopefully start to see implement within there next few years.

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