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australian gift & homewares association / e-news_issue_2_april_2014

Q&A with Sharra Art 

We talk to Sharra Art’s Tim Beeson about how his business began, what he looks for in a brand and what inspires him. Find out what’s in store for this business and it’s eclectic mix of brands.

Sharra Art began…when I was in my late twenties after I returned from a couple of years of traveling overseas. I realised it was time for me to leave the corporate world and do something on my own. I started by picking up Koco New York, very sought after by stationery aficionados, and this led to other brands in the Madison Park range.

What I look for in a brand is…contemporary, quirky, high quality products from on trend designers with an environmental conscience. I am always on the look out for stylish new imported product that will compliment the current stable.

We started as…a high-end imported stationery but now most of our stationery designers also print their creative imagery on various giftwares – our range has expanded to include everything from cocktail shakers to iPhone covers, bath salts and bangles. Our cards are still the most popular selection in our range.

Our products attract a wide demographic…of generally female customers from girls in their twenties to the older more sophisticated woman. All have good taste, a sense of humour and their fingers on the pulse!

I’m inspired by…travel, like most of our designers. I go to international trade shows, like the New York stationery fair, as much as I can to source new product and see what’s on trend.

Our different collections are…all high-end, top quality designer products, sourced from overseas. Koco blends words and art beautifully, driven by the design principle “meaning”.

Monahan and Cartolina are covering the current vintage trend, Wooster and Prince do a colourful contemporary take on classic designs and Shannon Martin has the laughs covered with her sassy cards, luggage tags, paper table runners, napkins, coasters and more.

Charmaine Carlson is the creative talent behind Vancouver based Yellowbird, a chi-chi concoction of vintage imagery, girlish glamour and witty sayings.

Cake Vintage are based in Nashville, Tennessee. They started by turning vintage door knobs into wine stoppers and now do Kitchen Papers. Beautiful, functional paper placemat pads began as the cornerstone to this line, which has grown to include several styles of placemats and serving papers.

This year…we’ve just picked up Driscoll Design. Driscoll is the creation of Seattle based Angela Driscoll. Angela’s quirky watercolour style is influenced by her German-American heritage, travels, history and childrens books.

Wooster and Prince candles Wooster and Prince have put their stylish patterns on a range of heavenly scented soy based candles.

Shannon Martin luggage tags Shannon Martin has turned her witty pen to luggage tags. you’ll never miss your bag on that carousel again!

Our talented friends at Canadian based Cartolina have released a seriously stunning vintage seaside range. They’ve also put their vintage styled images on iPhone covers which are made from state of the art polycarbonate.

The highlight for me so far…is the relationships I’ve developed with the suppliers and designers overseas and the retailers here. We have been the exclusive distributer of our major brands for almost 15 years now. That kind of loyalty and support in business means the world to me.



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