St Barts... From the Beginning

Between a global pandemic and a milestone year for St Barts, twenty-twenty marks the tenth year of St Barts opening our doors at Ferry Road; and our first year operating out of our Burleigh Showroom/ HQ.
St Barts HQ
St Barts brings understated global luxury to you. We are consistent in offering carefully collected pieces from Mexico, India, Beijing, Indonesia and many more exquisite places around the world to our very loyal clientele. At St Barts you can shop timeless fashion, unique furniture, curiosities and gifts that will have your nearest and dearest delighted.

As this is a very special year for the brand, we thought it was fitting to ask our wonderful founder, Jas, to share with us the St Barts story, from the beginning. 
 
“My partner and I started an art business in 1990. We started off with picture framing stores and as the years went on we progressed into larger scale projects like supplying art to hotels.
Jas and Leanne St Barts
Throughout our journey we found ourselves riding the wave of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC); thankfully at the time we were financially cushioned as we were supplying art to five towers in Abu Dhabi.

Once this project had completed, reality really hit. In the GFC, buying art was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind. We went through hundreds of thousands of dollars keeping everyone afloat. We had zero money coming in and all of our staff were terrified of losing their jobs. Everyone had families to look after and mortgages to pay. Our team was amazing, we were one big family. What else were we going to do?

In 2010, Winn Schubert, who was the most respected art dealer in Australia at the time was retiring and closing her Gallery at Marina Mirage. When we heard the news, we sent her flowers.  

A few days later, Winn called to thank us for the flowers we had sent and asked us to join her for coffee. At coffee, out of the blue Winn said to us ‘this is your time now, you need to take over from me and open a serious Gallery.’ She had even expressed that she thought we should open the Gallery at Brickworks in Southport.

Inquisitive got the best of us, so we went and looked at the space at Brickworks on Ferry Road in Southport. We met with the owners and agreed on a site… They then asked us our thoughts on what kind of store should be put in the adjoining premises.
 St Barts Southport Build
Being a collector of anything beautiful and unusual, and having a love for Caribbean style, I started to describe a vision of a store encompassing relaxed, coastal architecture and loft high pitched roofs. The real estate asked us to stay where we were as they needed to go and talk. They came back to us and said ‘we want you to do this.’ I said ‘do what?’ and they replied ‘what you just described!’  

And just like that, we signed up for not only a Fine Art Gallery but a Homewares and Furniture store as well. We were so nervous about what our team was going to say when we got back to work. They were of course thrilled and relieved that we were now going to move forward again, even through the GFC.   

The only thing that was missing was a name for the store. Knowing I wanted it to have a Caribbean feel, we opened an atlas and put our finger on St Barts. And there it was… St Barts was born.”Jas and St BartsSt Barts Store in Brisbane