Australian made furniture manufacturer Jardan has always been a family business. Today, this remains true, with brothers Nick and Mike Garnham at the helm of their design “family” of over 130 staff – a family that has grown significantly since the duo took ownership in the nineties.
The life of Jardan began in Melbourne, 1987 and in 1997, the Garnham brothers purchased the furniture manufacturing business taking it to stylish new heights. With the creative duo at the helm, what was once a small wholesale business was transformed into a national brand, renowned for quality Australian design and manufacturing with standalone retail stores across the country.
Throughout the expansion, Jardan’s product range has continued to expand, now including homewares, textiles, art and lighting to name just a few. With the majority of items made in-house, the collection is complemented by a careful selection or wares crafted by like-minded artists and artisans.
Environmental impact and footprint is at the forefront of the business operation – both in the manufacturing and retail process. Nick and wife, Jardan’s Creative Manager, Renee Brown, drive Jardan’s proactive approach to sustainability and have become leaders in environmentally conscious furniture production.
We spoke with Nick and Renee about Jardan’s journey, the new collection, community, creativity and collaboration.
It seems fitting for the first question to start at the very beginning. Can you take us back to where it all began in Melbourne in 1997? What is the key difference between Jardan then to now?
We were only a small wholesale upholstery business with eight staff supplying retailers like Myer and Country Road.
We have now evolved to having our own flagship stores and our range has expanded to furniture, lighting and homewares and we also work a lot with Architects and Designers on residential and commercial projects.
What can we expect from the Jardan collection launching this September?
We have a really large collection launching in 2020 called Living Forms that reflects our take on luxurious but casual residential living – with new sofas, tables, armchairs, lighting, homewares and outdoor furniture.
The showrooms stock a range of homewares, books, art, and fine pieces by other creatives – a trusted Jardan product seal of approval. Tell us about your curation process?
We love to work with local artists and artisans which we source through our network of friends and family and we also source some amazing artists from around the world through travels and look for people with aligned sensibilities.
What was it about our community that drew you here?
We really like the interesting mix on James St of fashion, design, food, boutique hotels where you can wander the streets and find all sorts of interesting and diverse retail stores in a well-designed precinct with considered architecture.
Why is supporting local important to you?
Our brand Jardan is all about sustainable Australian Design and Manufacturing so it is a natural progression to share our stores with other local creatives to offer what we feel is a uniquely Australian perspective on interiors.
What do you hope for Jardan’s legacy to the Australian lifestyle and design industry, and to how people live in and experience their home?
We hope we can inspire people to add well-made pieces to their own homes and create a beautiful, relaxed space to enjoy and raise their families. We use the best materials in the world to create products that are comfortable and will last a lifetime so can be passed on through generations.
In terms of Australian design, we hope we create of the original items that speak to the way that we live in terms of climate, light, space and feeling.
Nick, as a designer, can you tell us about the space where you create?
I mostly design at home with a sketchpad anywhere inspiration strikes when I am relaxed, in bed, at the kitchen table, on the couch…
Renee, as Creative Manager, what’s your go-to remedy when stuck in a creative rut?
I like to get outside or do some exercise. Cook or read, basically do something that will take my mind somewhere else. Then hopefully things start to flow creatively again.
What are your words of wisdom?
With business and family, it’s important to know what you want and have the resilience to see it through.
What is a good book you’ve recently read?
Favourite travel destination?
September 1, 2020