Our History

Where it all began…

Well if you know Melbourne, then you’ll know Fitzroy.

In 1943, in a small dim lit iron shed, a practicing Melbourne University lecturer discovered the concept of a waxed based writing stick. He saw it as a cost effective writing material that would never need to be sharpened and would not wear in the wet. It was a simple formulation of wax and pigment, but the finished product served a great purpose.

Over the next couple of years he refined his product and branded it Leviathan and marketed it as an Industrial marking crayon.

Around the same time over in Western Australia, the Strand family was developing their own crayon for the educational market and began selling into schools all over W.A.

These two companies operated for the next 20 years completely unaware of each other until the passing of Mr Strand. Without the driver behind the Strand brand, the company was soon on the market. Leviathan Crayons were contacted as a potential buyer and it made sense for them to take on the new market and brand thus merging the two companies. The manufacturing plant was moved to Garnet Street in Fitzroy and Garnet Manufacturing was founded.

Over 40 years later, the company had established itself nationally as a major industrial and educational manufacturer with just a small range of marking products. Mr Vessy was running the business however unfortunately in 2010 he fell suddenly ill and was put in a position of having to sell quickly. He had always planned to keep the business in the family however as his son was working over in Canada he offered to sell the business to his nephew Matthew Meszaros. Matthew, who had spent some time manufacturing for his Uncle at Garnet to help pay his way through University had just returned home from a year travelling and was set to pursue a career in Architecture. The proposal, however, was too good to turn down, although he had one issue, he did not have the funds to purchase the business. It was just two nights later when he caught up with a friend from University, Sean Kagan. The business proposal came up in conversation and after some lengthy discussions; Matthew had found his new business partner! Two weeks later, Sean Kagan and Matthew Meszaros were the proud new owners of Garnet Manufacturing.

Some fresh blood in the business was exactly what was needed, the boys began developing new products and giving the company a fresh new look. Now they manufacture over 50 different products selling to a wide range of national and international suppliers.

They pride themselves on manufacturing the highest quality products right here in Australia.

Garnet has been a recognized and respected company in the industrial and educational markets for over 80 years with plans to creatively manufacture for many more years to come!