The Station lands itself a new globally sourced homewares & lifestyle store
The Station in Newcastle’s CBD overlooking our stunning harbour has been lucky enough to play host to an evolving collection of local businesses, rotating events, kid-friendly activities, boutique shopping experiences, and foodie offerings. With the arrival of Jayaa Interiors in May this year, The Station continues to elevate its overall experience.
Housed within the beautifully restored architectural beauty of a building, Jayaa Interiors brings a fresh vibe to the neighbourhood with their globally sourced handmade treasures including homewares, furniture, textiles, rugs, basket ware, jewellery, and so much more.
The creative brainchild of Sydney-born, internationally lived individual, Kate Bowman, Jayaa Interiors is the physical representation of all things Kate; her lived experiences and her passions both past and present.
“I grew up in India, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Singapore, which is where the love of Asian hand-crafted wares began. My mother has a passion for South East Asian textiles, ceramics, and antiques and I guess I have inherited that interest,” Kate said.
Having recently relocated to Newcastle after a big stint in Canberra, where Kate had been working alongside good friend and business partner, Lizzie, with their creative event styling and floristry business, and homewares offering, Wren & Rabbit Interiors. Covid lockdowns saw the pair individually rethink their life plans, with Lizzie pursuing her jewellery line, and Kate deciding to pack up and move closer to family here in Newcastle.
“We had been working together for ten years and it was amazing, but it was time for us both to do something else. My family and my husband’s family are both based here in Newcastle, and we had been wanting to get here for a while.
“Every time we came up here to visit, we just fell more and more in love with the idea of potentially living here. Newcastle just has so many great things to offer as far as lifestyle goes. It’s such a wonderful balance between beach and funky city. It’s great!”
Having been keeping an eye out for the perfect space across Newcastle for quite some time, when an opportunity came up for a space at The Station, it seemed too good to ignore for Kate.
“Initially, I thought that Darby St was the place that we needed to be. But once we started to explore a bit more, I realised that Newcastle has all these great little pockets.
“This space came up and I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity. It’s this big and beautiful old heritage building with so much character.”
Officially opening its doors to the people of Newcastle in May, Jayaa Interiors has been welcoming intrigued passers-by every day. From their beautifully designed logo encouraging curious individuals to pop in, or the colourful products flowing out into The Station’s open space; every little thing about Jayaa Interiors screams ‘check me out’!
The name, Jayaa Interiors, pays homage to Kate’s enthusiasm and passion for South-East Asian cultures.
“Jayaa is an Indian and Indonesian word. Jaya is the male form, and Jayaa the female form. The name can also be connected to the Hindu warrior goddess Durga who rides a lion, hence the lion as the logo head. She combats evil forces that threaten peace and symbolises strength. She’s always been my favourite.”
Pre-pandemic Kate travelled to source the products available in-store, and now officially post-pandemic, Kate will often be found adventuring across the globe, connecting with local artisans, and hearing their stories before returning to Australia to share her unique finds.
“It’s majority Indonesian, Indian, and Moroccan products. They’re the countries that I’ve actually travelled to, to source things. It’s really great because when you go and source directly from the people who make the product you gain an appreciation and connection to what you sell and you can pass that on to the customer.”
Walking around the store, it doesn’t take long before Kate is telling me the stories behind every product. From the hand-carved teak serve ware made in Bali, the coconut tree trunks that come from a small island called Sumba, the enamelware from Java, food storage units used in India, and cactus silk cushions and rugs from Morocco.
“I enjoy gaining an understanding and knowledge of the history behind a lot of the pieces and how they’re made. Everything in here is handmade artisan pieces. Everything has a story, and nothing is mass-produced.”
In addition to their retail offering, Kate is also big on helping customers source particular pieces or work together to create a truly unique home interior.
“Over the years I have made connections with many artisans, from carvers to weavers, and can source unique pieces for client's homes and I offer interior styling. I think a person’s home should reflect them personally, not reflect the latest trend. I enjoy taking what people already have, editing, and adding to it to make a cohesive space that is individual to the client.”
The Station-based boutique store is currently open to the public from Thursday to Sunday, 10am-3pm, and by appointment only Monday to Wednesday. If you’re a lover of exploring new retail stores, shopping for a unique piece for the home, or just love a bit of a shopping fix, make sure to swing by Jayaa Interiors at The Station!