Meet the South African duo bringing Lake Mac to life on canvas

Published on 25 May 2022

Nestled on the shores of Warners Bay, colourful Kwas Studio takes its name from the Afrikaans word for ‘paintbrush’. Made with love by mother-daughter duo Ulanda and Caroli, this unique studio and retail space gives Lake Mac locals, as well as visitors, an opportunity to browse beautiful gifts from around the world and unveil their inner artist – home-brewed kombucha included!

Ulanda and Caroli at their KWAS studio 1

Our main purpose and vision is to show you there is an artist in you that you don't know about - regardless of age,” says Ulanda

“To help our customers find their confidence and create wonderful art on their own canvas is incredibly rewarding.”

It all began back in 2013, when Ulanda and Caroli moved from South Africa to Australia. After finding a perfectly-placed property in Tingira Heights, they chose to call Lake Macquarie home and soon fell in love with the local area and its welcoming community.

’The idea of living five kilometres from Redhead Beach and a six-minute drive to Warners Bay with the gorgeous lake really ticked the boxes. A double bonus!’’

Once settled in, it was time to get to work. Caroli and Ulanda were inspired to craft and sell their own special pieces at the Warners Bay Markets and Homegrown Markets in Speers Point. But a new journey began after Caroli discovered a vacant space up for lease on the Warners Bay waterfront. 

Following a family effort to revamp this blank canvas with multicoloured murals, customers now enjoy a one-of-a-kind studio with a front-row seat to Lake Macquarie’s stunning sunsets. There are also plenty more panoramas nearby to fuel Kwas Studio’s art workshops.

We have painted Redhead Beach as a workshop subject in our studio. Our reference was a photo we took while walking our sausage dogs in the off-leash area, which we love. It is definitely our favourite beach.’’  

Afterhours, Ulanda and Caroli embrace the Lake Macquarie lifestyle in full – from live music performances at the foreshore to cycles along the Fernleigh Track. A diverse, supportive and vibrant community; they can’t imagine living, running a business or pursuing their passion anywhere else! 

“This whole area lends itself to creativity. As well as being inspired by the beautiful nature, it's a kind and caring community; a place where you feel safe and connected.”

Related Stories