A space the country should keep both eyes on is St. Agni. Founded in their Byron Bay home two years ago, Lara and Matt are the faces behind the beautiful, ethically sourced & handmade leather goods label - St. Agni.
Both Lara and Matt have backgrounds in fashion retail and management and with a desire to start her own business within the fashion industry, St. Agni was born.
Agni is Lara's grandmothers name.
"She is the most loving, giving person I know. She inspires me to be the best person I can be every day."
Two years ago, Matt and Lara felt they were in the right environment, it felt like the right time and they were in the right space to put our energy and time into establishing St Agni.
"We launched our first range for autumn/winter 2014, and we have learnt as we have grown and become more established. The biggest challenge was working long hours on St Agni while we both had full time jobs. We worked late nights, lunch breaks and all of our weekends."
"I love good quality leather and beautiful natural materials like linen and silk. I Adore minimalism in design and found that there was definitely a gap in the market for quality, stylish accessories, minimal in design that withstand fashion trends."
In recent years, Byron Bay has really blossomed as a hub for small, creative start ups.
"I don't know that we would have begun St Agni if we were living anywhere else. Byron's natural beauty, the weather and the culture reflected by Byron's lifestyle, food, festivals and markets make it inspirational for creativity. So many talented people have made Byron their home and have created a community where they inspire and support each other, whatever their medium. We have had so much support in Byron."
Other than the natural beauty and lifestyle of Byron Bay, Lara finds her inspiration from many different sources.
"From places I've lived or visited. From people I admire, from where I am at this point in my life, every year I see things differently even the things I see everyday. From what I feel I need at a particular time, or from things I see that I want in a more simple form."
Like-minded to The Candle Library is St. Agni's sustainable approach to their work, recognising a responsibility to minimising our impact on the planet. Deeply entwined in their design process is the endeavour to reduce their waste and their carbon footprint. Both Matt and Lara travel to visit their suppliers and manufactures at least twice a year, and source their leather which is a by product of the consumption industry. All products are shipped in re-usable dust bags, eliminating any unnecessary plastic bag usage.
There are currently some big things on the horizon for St. Agni.
"I’m really excited to launch our spring /summer 2016 range this October. I feel that we have improved the product and the styles are fresh and very relevant todays lifestyle whether you live in a city like Melbourne or a more relaxed town like Byron. We are also launching a clothing line which compliments our accessories and stays true to our less is more ethic."
Following the core philosophy that less is more, integrated with Lara's integrity and passion that she pours into each and every design, comes an exquisite range of versatile pieces that immediately become a staple for your everyday outfits, and with an exciting new launch, St. Agni is definitely one of our favourite brands.
Lara's Top Tips for Travellers to Byron Bay;
- The Farm is great for an afternoon glass of wine or a lovely meal
- St Elmo's is the perfect place for dinner
- Pottery classes at Sit Still Lauren - so fun
- Wander around the cutest town, Bangalow
- Long, Lazy days at the beach are always a must when in Byron Bay
- Breakfast at The Roadhouse
- Sourdough Saturday or Sunday at Harvest, Newrybar - their almond croissants are amazing!