Kate Bollard

Bethany James of JAMES SAID

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In a welcome swing around from simple, Scandinavian-style homewares, James Said is bringing the extra into interiors, to add unique, eclectic, one-of-a-kind pieces to your home. From furniture, to art, coffee table books, trunks and more, James Said is a nod to the glamorous 1920s, 30s and 40s eras, with a contemporary twist.

Perth-based founder, Bethany James describes it as “modern glamour in a clean way,” revealing the key to creating a luxury look and feel lies in layering chic palettes and pieces. “Thats how we get the glamorous look without it being overdone.” Confirming the distinct style, she adds, “most of the pieces have a mid-century feel, influenced by the past, but with a fresh take.”

In just two years, James Said now boasts over 3000 pieces online, the vast offering, a catalyst for opening up galleries in Perth and most recently, Sydney. These showrooms support the extensive online range, and create an experience for the customer to touch and feel fabrics, and talk to a professional.
The staff at both stores are qualified interior designers and customers are encouraged to utilise the Browsing Bar service, bringing in photographs, or floor plans for a complimentary consultation and styling advice.

So who is Bethany James…


What was your inspiration behind starting JAMES SAID?

I was working as an interior designer and I loved the Hollywood Regency style. I was frustrated that I couldn’t find the furniture that I wanted here in Australia so I identified a niche in the industry. I then became a distributor and started importing and selling wholesale to other interior designers.

Who has been your biggest role model / mentor?

There is certainly a spiritual element to how I go about my life and this is very present in my business as well.  So Oprah has been and still is a massive source of inspiration to me. I love true entrepreneurial stories of people who have an idea and give it everything to bring it to fruition like Richard Branson. 

Coffee or Tea? How do you have it?

Espresso first thing to get me out of bed followed by a Soy Flat White at the office.

 What are 3 keys elements to a successful business?

Consistent perseverance.

Being brave.

The strong back end.  Good systems, appropriate software and organised and up to date accounts.

Who is the JAMES SAID customer?

She is fashion focused, she loves to travel and sees her home as an expression of herself.

For those that aren’t familiar with JAMES SAID and walked into your showroom for the first time. What can they expect from the experience?

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Well, it’s refreshing because we look different to everyone else. Our staff are talented and passionate designers that value creating a space that is personalized just for you. Champagne is poured often.  We welcome everyone. Whilst our store is high end, we are certainly not snobby.  We want everyone that walks into a James Said store to feel that had a great experience.  

JAMES SAID is a unique style, how would you describe it?

We describe our style as Modern Glamour.  Most of our pieces have a nod to past, so a mid-century feel but we style them up a modern and edgy way.  Our style uses clean lines, one dominant feature and then layers of mirror and crystal to add the glam in an elegant way.

Can you give us 3 key styling tips when styling a space?

One hero feature, whether it be a wallpaper, rug or coloured sofa.

Layer reflective surfaces.  Crystal chandeliers in front of mirrors or a crystal vase on a reflective coffee table.

Make pairs for added drama. We love to pair two pendants or two coffee tables. It’s unexpected and adds drama.

 Do you have a JAMES SAID piece that is your favourite? If so what is it?

At the moment I’m crushing on the Eldorado table lamp.  It has a dimmer so is always perfectly lit.

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Over the past 5yrs JAMES SAID has rapidly grown, what’s next?

We have no plans to slow down.  We are currently looking for a space in Melbourne before we turn our attention overseas.


For all your home interior needs jump over to JAMES SAID

KB xx

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