The Bow and Arrow story is not your usual, humdrum one. The makings of it were nestled into the mind of Tash Ianni (founder and owner) for years before being realised as a fully-fledged dream. Well before concept stores became a booming trend, for her, she wanted to birth a project that carried the essence of story. It’s in the sharing of stories that significance is created, and she wanted a space that would accomodate the provision of story: for both customers (extended family members of Bow and Arrow) and artisans alike.
The beginnings of it are seemingly meagre though intentional: the launch of an online presence in 2012 was soon segued by an intimate studio space on Sydney’s northern beaches in Mona Vale. There was something thematic humming in the atmosphere that to this day has not relented: people wanted to be able to have a tactile relationship with the wares. Whilst having the sustained optimisation of web-based buying platforms, Bow and Arrow has chiefly been about being able to experience and interact with liveable works of art in a contextual space.
Fast forward to the latter half of 2013, and Bow and Arrow had set its sights on a position ardently-desired: Whistler St in Manly, Sydney. Once a locale that was considered a dank backwater of tired industrial ideas, the street had grown to be quietly abuzz with a committed, creative milieu. If romance is predicated on timing, then the hour of this chosen move to Manly synchronised perfectly with Bow and Arrow’s heartbeat.
What is now no longer a furtively-kept secret amongst Sydney’s northern shores is a bustling community of international and local craftspersons. Year after year, key periods are carved out to source pieces that boast a labour of love, and heave with the presence of personal narrative and soul. In a climate where the surfeit of product can render us desensitised to its origins, Bow and Arrow has sought to create its landmark in the opposite spirit. It features a bevy of vibrant creations that have been slowly-constructed, and are designed to assume long, enduring residence in the home, studio or wardrobe.
The richly-textured Maya Angelou observed something that enfolds itself into the mindset of Bow and Arrow: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” For Tash and the team, the accessibility of a kinetic quality within everything the store offers and curates is a cornerstone. Whilst words may not always be available to describe the enjoyment of something, our beings respond to it in ways that can far surpass a circuit of expressions. This is the arc of Bow and Arrow: to engage in a story, to feel something again, and to move alongside something that is alive and wild.