Karsten Jurkschat

Coolstuff Team
October 27, 2023

Meet Karsten, the founder of Gumtree Golf & Nature Club. The handcrafted, sustainable & one-of-a-kind pieces that Gumtree releases are upcycled from found textiles & all made in NYC for golf & nature enthusiasts. We chatted with Karsten to hear how his move from Australia to the city prompted the creation of the brand and a reconnection to his love of golf.

How did you start your handcrafted & sustainable golf clothing company, Gumtree Golf & Nature Club?

Honestly, at the time I thought it was just creative burnout from 6 years in the NYC advertising scene and a desire for a pure creative outlet. But, reflecting nearly a year into this journey it's clear that it was a whole bunch of little things in my life that culminated in the creation of this brand: learning to sew from my German immigrant Oma back in Australia who made all our clothes growing up, working with my Dad as a landscaper and gardener to fund my way through design school, 15 years of photography and art direction for brands and finally, re-discovering golf, stepping out onto the golf course and wondering why the f*ck everything in the golf world is polyester and fast fashion when the game is played amongst trees and nature.

What led you to re-discovering your love for golf?

It’s a pretty common story, but it was Covid. I stayed in NYC through the entire thing and let me tell you - there wasn’t much opportunity to get outside and breathe some fresh air. I first went for a round of golf because it was relatively easy access from the city and outdoors. I got absolutely hooked again, but my perspective had completely flipped. I didn't care about playing well; just being outside in a few tree-lined acres of nature amongst the concrete jungle of NYC was incredible.  

What’s your favorite part about the New York creative community?

It's the hustle. There’s nothing like it, everyone is so good and if they're not good, they want to be good. And sometimes that’s even more inspiring honestly. Coming from Melbourne, Australia which is a great creative city in its own right, I was blown away by NYC from day 1. I owe my whole career to moving here - nothing can match the level of ambition, creativity and drive that New Yorkers have. You really can do anything you want here, from getting any food you want delivered at 3am to changing your career at 36, you just gotta hustle.

What’s your favorite place in NYC?

Easy. The corner spot at the bar at JG Melon on a Thursday-Sunday when Bobby is working. I’ve gone there through break-ups, promotions, proposal celebrations and everything in-between. And I live in Brooklyn, so that’s saying something. Dry martini - twist, cheeseburger - med/rare with no lettuce/tomato and extra pickles/onions. Doesn’t get better.

What’s inspiring you right now?

Building this brand so I don’t have to take another job haha. No, seriously, Emily Bode, Zach Bryan, the lemon slice from Fini Pizza and early morning fall surfs out at Rockaway.

And really, just hearing the feedback from people in and out of the golf world that are relating so much to the brand is keeping me going right now. When I started Gumtree Golf & Nature Club I didn’t know if anyone would care, I thought it was super niche and something that golf didn’t ask for or want. But I think educating the golf world on sustainability and nature while infusing storytelling into all of my products and making things with meaning and value that people want to keep for a long time and wear off and on the course is something that golf needs more of, so I’m inspired to keep carving that niche. 

Follow Along:

@gumtreegolfandnature on Instagram