There are literally dozens of Australian businesses who have opened shop in New York. Some we know well, and others not so well.
We want our readers to learn about these businesses, where they are located, as well as share the personal stories of their owners.
We spoke with owner and designer Evan Sturrock, to learn more about the Joe Bananas’ 943 Madison Avenue location.
Evan, Where are you originally from in Australia?
“I was born and bred in Cremorne Point in Sydney.”
Why bring Joe Bananas to the United States, and New York specifically?
“We all know the saying If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere. There is so much opportunity here. New York is also a great launching pad to other locations in the United States.”
If Joe Bananas has a special sauce, what is it?
“We are most well-known for our silk, and we design and manufacture all of our own textiles in-house. They are all exclusive, we do not sell our fabrics to anyone else. As all of our raw silk designs are hand woven on looms in our own studios, we can think outside the box and take certain design risks.”
Evan, what one challenge in coming to New York, did you face as an Australian?
“It’s easy for an Australian to be lulled into a false sense of security because everything looks the same and almost sounds the same, but nothing is the same. The way business is done, everything is different.
It took a little while to get our heads around the people of New York. Never before have we had to conduct an elevator pitch on our own label inside our own store, but that’s what you do in New York. Every conversation can be commercialized, and there’s that sense of urgency in New York, which we love, we thrive under those conditions.”
What one piece of advice would you give to an Australian thinking of opening a business in New York?
“My advice to an Australian is, have a crack, give it a go! For me, the worst thing that can happen is failure: Failure would be staying at home wanting to do it, and not having the balls to get up and give it a crack. Win or lose in New York, the opportunities that await are incredible. There’s no ceiling here.”
The Store encompasses many design features that help tell the story of Australian design. Recycled Red Gum tabletops from the North Eastern New South Wales, uniquely Australian soft furnishings, and two doors rescued from a renovation of the original Joe Bananas store in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, all compliment the vibrant colors of the clothing.
Joe Bananas, 943 Madison Avenue, NYC 10021 https://www.joebananas.com/pages/madison-avenue-nyc