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Making a splash

Photos: Isack Barauskas from Art of EyeZack

Making a splash

Photos: Isack Barauskas from Art of EyeZack
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Daniel Ferretti and Theresa Leonardos run ISPS Innovation, a one-of-a-kind bespoke kitchen and cabinetry establishment that embraces sustainability, craftsmanship and entrepreneurialism.

Kerryn Ramsey

Senior Content Coordinator

When French polisher Daniel Ferretti and estimator Theresa Leonardos first met, they were both committed to sustainability, craftsmanship and entrepreneurialism. The Ferrettis now run a one-of-a-kind bespoke kitchen and cabinetry establishment that embraces all these passions.

Based in Adelaide, ISPS Innovations is run the Ferrettis. Daniel, a seasoned cabinetmaker, was experienced in French polishing, 2pac and water-based finishes. This enabled him to create custom decorative surfaces that offer originality, sophistication, and sustainability.

After spotting a gap in the industry, they developed and expanded ISPS Innovations over the past decade. Theresa explains more…

ISPS Innovations team: Theresa and Daniel Ferretti (centre) with their son, Gia.

Could you tell me about both your career backgrounds?

Daniel has had more than 30 years’ experience in the industry. His passion for crafting innovative finishes was ignited during his youth. He spent time with his father, learning the trade first-hand. He received training in traditional methods of treating and colouring timber finishes in Sydney. This also encompassed the traditional construction of custom-made cabinetry using just a panel saw.

My journey began as an estimator in the building industry, a role that eventually led me to the publishing sector for interior and design. I worked for a business-to-business publishing house in Chatswood, NSW, where I collaborated with professionals, designers, architects and builders, writing about their products and services.

What inspired you to launch ISPS Innovations?

Daniel and I were married in 2000. Since our backgrounds were both in the building industry, we envisioned a future focusing on sustainable bespoke building products and services. We had the technical understanding of what was needed to create enduring interior building products.

Daniel was already manufacturing kitchens and cabinetry traditionally prior. ISPS Innovations began in Sydney in 2003. By 2006, we established our business model, developing a wide array of residential and commercial DIY coloured and printed polymer and glass splashbacks. We also offered custom-made and coloured CulourTek™ countertops and various door profiles. In 2011, we moved to Adelaide.

ISPS Innovations works with existing and new colour palettes. We engineer custom colours and designs, and manufacture and coordinate intricate colour selections for benchtops, doors and splashbacks. Our new kitchen builds and cabinet resurfacing and remodelling are really popular in Adelaide.

‘Our association with HIA as a licensed trade strengthens our growing business,’ says Theresa.
ISPS Innovations works with existing and new colour palettes.

Did you have any breakthroughs when developing the business?

ISPS Innovations pioneered the supply of DIY polymer splashbacks across Australia. Our splashbacks, coloured and printed, come with GripTek Barrier Backing.

We identified issues with existing splashbacks, including silicone bleeding and sheet penetration. To address this, we introduced GripTek Barrier Backing to ISPS polymer splashbacks. This innovative solution eliminates the need for double-sided tape and improves installation accuracy. This previously affected tolerance positioning and reduces preparation time by limiting the need for wall coating and sheet sanding.

Our products include the original custom coloured and printed high-heat polymer Bonethane® splashback, which is proudly manufactured in Australia and designed for induction or ceramic cooktops.

We introduced the first custom-coloured, sustainable Future-Proof CulourTek countertops, that can be resurfaced, repaired or modified with an additional five-year warranty. ISPS supplies DIY renovators and builders, and are specified by architects and interior designers.

Furthermore, we provide Australian-made IPA Acrylic™ Polymer wall panels and IPA Acrylic Markerboards with a 20-year UV warranty. These items can be customised in colour and print and are suitable for outdoor applications and showers.

Recently ISPS completed the supply of its IPA Acrylic splashbacks and marker boards for the George Centre Hospital in NSW.

As trends change over time, is it easy to replace ISPS surfaces in the future?

When our clients plan a new kitchen or cabinet built with ISPS, they have the option to resurface or remodel their ISPS cabinets, doors and countertops in the future. Prolonging the lifespan of our products, we offer it at half the original installation cost. It minimises unnecessary disposal in landfills.

CulourTek Future-proof Countertops are custom-designed and coloured. Being repairable or modified gives our benchtops the edge over other countertops in the marketplace.

Our benchtops are not restricted by colour limitation, grain or depth. We achieve finishes that resemble stone, marble, concrete or abstract effects in any colour combination in gloss, satin and satin-texture finish.

Custom-coloured cabinetry and Culourtek™ future-proof countertops by ISPS Innovation.
ISPS Innovations pioneered the supply of DIY polymer splashbacks across Australia.

How has HIA helped your business?

The HIA team is indeed a group of warm, friendly individuals. Our association with them as a licensed trade strengthens our growing business. Our eldest son, Gia Ferretti, is working towards his Certificate 4 builder’s licence with HIA – another step that will help grow our family business. As we shift our focus to the construction of sustainable homes and interiors, the knowledge and skills Gia has acquired from us, along with his current learning with HIA, will be priceless.

It’s rewarding to know our business is recognised for providing sustainable custom-designed interior building products and solutions and proudly licensed by Australia Made with nationwide reach.

Any handy business tips for other entrepreneurs?

Approach individuals with kindness and respect. Understand their objectives and offer the most suitable solution that aligns with both their needs and your business. This approach ensures optimal outcomes for everyone involved.

Are you planning to release any new products?

We have released Acrylium, part of our Eco Acrylic splashback range. It’s available in 31 colours inspired by Ardex grout colour selection, in gloss and matte finishes, and 6mm thick. It’s made from 80 per cent recycled acrylic. Using Bonethane technology, the paint is more environmentally friendly.

How do you have a good work/life balance?

We’re indeed thankful for our humble family and the amazing clients we work with. While work can be demanding and life presents its own set of challenges, the opportunity to work alongside each other and bring joy to others by meeting their expectations offers a comforting sense of relief. We all appreciate the ability to manage our own time, which adds to our gratitude.

First published on 20 June 2024

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