Sonya Marish at her home in the Byron hinterland with some of the antique tiles she has encompassed into her Jatana Interiors business.
Sonya Marish at her home in the Byron hinterland with some of the antique tiles she has encompassed into her Jatana Interiors business. CATHY ADAMS

One short cut, and it is down to business

AFTER interior designer Sonya Marish scoured the region for the 'perfect' tiles for her renovated bathroom she travelled to Brisbane to pick them up, only to come back with a new business venture.

“It wasn't intentional to set up a business,” Mrs Marish explained from her home in the Byron hinterland.

“Soon after purchasing the desired antique tiles, the supplier informed me that he was moving into new areas and his entire tile stock was available for me to purchase,” she said.

“It was one of those things. I didn't have a business but if I said yes to the offer, I would have a business.”

Mrs Marish said yes. Six months later, the mother of three has turned her garage into a warehouse; set up a web presence ( www.jatanainteriors.com.au) and word of mouth about the company has spread, and is translating into sales.

“We have had lots of enquires, but it does take a while before people are ready to buy because they are still planning their renovations,” she said.

Mrs Marish completed her interior design course at Sydney's Design Academy last year and said she is attracted by the uniqueness of the antique European-style tiles.

“What interests me is their use in interior design,” she said. “They create beautiful spaces in bathrooms and kitchens, whether they are used to line walls, floors, or as bench tops or splashbacks.”

“You can feel the history and character. It's a form of art.”

While the tiles are sourced from villas and country homes, and are then cleaned and imported to Australia, Mrs Marish said she understands that not everyone wants recycled tiles.

For this reason, she decided to diversify to also offer less expensive reproductions.

“They aren't old, but they are beautiful,” she said.

Viewing is by appointment only.



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