Three Minute Squiz With… Jason Minty

Jason Minty is a man with impeccable taste. His store, BECKER MINTY, is a much-loved gem in Sydney’s Potts Point and it’s the go-to for gifts, luxurious and interesting items for the home, jewellery, art, unique fashion pieces and so much more. It’s impossible to leave empty-handed. Jason’s a busy guy – you’ll find him either at the store or travelling the world sourcing fab pieces to tempt his customers. Please welcome the fabulous and stylish Jason Minty to the Three Minute Squiz.

Where, when and how to do you Squiz?
Every morning at 7am when I get back from my walk. On my iPhone as the kettle boils.

How would you best describe your store?
An unexpected, ever-changing mix of art, homeware, furniture, fashion, jewellery and accessories. It definitely has a vintage vibe whilst maintaining a luxurious feel.

You were an exchange student. Where did you do your exchange? How old were you? How long did you spend there? And what did you learn?
I was greedy – I did two exchange programs. Both with AFS, the first at 17 (1987) to a tiny city called Kuala Terengganu in the far north coast of Malaysia. It was a challenging yet truly wonderful experience. The second was a University scholarship to Tianjin China the year later. Another amazing year, the country was still very much closed and my year ended abruptly when the tanks rolled in. Not knowing the potential danger, I have photos from Tiananmen Square the night before. Each program was for a year and in addition to a few languages, I learnt that the world was a big place and I simply had to keep discovering it.

You worked previously in the airline industry which helped fuel your wanderlust and design aesthetic. Who did you work for? What did you do? And which cities were your favourite for inspiration?
I had twelve years with Qantas internationally – I LOVED these years, they gave me the world as a backyard. When I retired I was a Customer Service Manager, Long Haul but had spent 40-50% of the previous 10 years in the Recruitment and Training Department. It was a perfect balance. Whilst overseas, I spent my downtime shopping and buying for friends, family and of course myself. BECKER MINTY is really an extension of this. As for favourite cities, every city had its own wow factor – the sheer beauty of Paris, the excitement in NYC, Safaris in South Africa and of course the foot massages in Bangkok.

Feng shui – where do you stand on it?
We have two very large Jade plants at the entry to our business – that says it all. Flow is so important, it’s always on my mind.

You strike us as the sort of person who knows a good flea market or two. Where in the world are the best ones?
Totally – I live for them. Clignancourtin Paris is sensational but pricey these days. You’ll find the best mid-century vintage ever. Hells Kitchen in New York and of course 25th Street. Then there’s the Las Vegas Antique Centres.

If there was an international leader board of countries who have the best design aesthetic, who would be the top three?
Oh that’s hard Australia would have to be number one as we have the best mix here, we’re so lucky to be so design-driven and open to everything the world has on offer. Japan is up there, their simplicity and calmness is breathtaking. Of course, the USA has so much to offer as well, many designers do spectacular work, mixing old world with contemporary (which I love).

What would you say is a hallmark of Australian design interiors? What do we do or have that no other country does or has?
A global influence in a country with greater space and perfect light – nature plays a big part of our interiors, our homes are truly beautiful.

Your store occasionally plays host to art and photography exhibitions. Who are your favourite emerging artists and photographers?
I love this part of our business, it excites me to no end. Look out for James King’s nostalgia and quirkiness (interiors, landscapes and portraits – he’s very clever) and Antonia Mrljak’s abstraction, her use of colour and composition is remarkable. The most recent addition to the BECKER MINTY family is Carol Crawford – handcrafted alabaster sculptures that will take your breath away. You just can’t help but touch them.

If money were no object, what piece of furniture, art, jewellery or design piece would you crawl over hot coals to have?
I’d say a fabulous home in Palm Springs, filled with original mid-century furniture (sorry there’s never just one thing for me, as I mentioned I’m greedy, I want the whole house)

Matt Blatt: increasing our overall design intelligence or dumbing it down?
Matt who?

Where were you born?
Hobart, Tasmania. The best place on earth – I know everyone says this about where they’re from, but I’m actually telling the truth.

What was the first concert you ever went to?
The Village People (I can hear the comments from those that know me).

Name five people – living or dead – you would love to have at your next dinner party.
The entire Kardashian family (LOL I’m totally joking right now). In all honesty, this is the hardest question ever, I’m a Libran, I can never decide.

What stylish coffee table book should chic homes have?
This Brutal World by Peter Chadwick*, a bit left of centre but I see so much beauty in concrete!

Photo credit: Dave Wheeler/Vogue Living

*Use this link and purchase this book from Booktopia and The Squiz gets a little commission.

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