Founded in 1975, Baresque is Australia’s premier distributor of wallcoverings (including wallpaper), fabrics, architectural finishes and now tables and seating with offices Australia-wide in Sydney, Brisbane Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide.
Australian owned and managed, Baresque’s client portfolio across hospitality, health and finance includes five star hotels, blue chip companies and large scale commercial projects. Baresque is renowned for its leadership in bringing a wide variety of quality commercial interior design material and finishes from around the globe to market. It is the ‘go to’ destination for architects and interior designers seeking inspiration, quality product, outstanding service and insightful, solution-oriented expertise.
A wide range of solutions for a custom service
In 1975 John Blaiklock was at an age when most people retire. But with the insatiable energy of a true entrepreneur and vast experience from a career involving the boards of numerous large public institutions and companies, new opportunities were never far from his thoughts.
So when a small Sydney wallpaper importer went bankrupt in 1975 and out of the blue the Receiver called and asked for his advice, John naturally took an interest. It was out of left field perhaps, a risk, but could this be a vehicle to start a family business?
Well, after discussions with his son Richard and daughter (Mrs) Gay Bell the answer became ‘Yes’. Despite none of the family having any experience with wallpaper they were collectively able to contribute a considerable range of experience and the idea of trying to build a business together sounded like fun.
Richard had built a career in the marketing of building materials and property management, whilst Gay had worked internationally with the Australian Trade Commission in Europe and later in development finance in Asia. She had also studied at the New York College of Interior Design and had a natural flair for design. In the same way that Henry Ford put a stamp on the Ford Motor Company and that Steve Jobs put his mark on Apple, it was Gay’s understanding of good design and product selection that put the handwriting on Baresque that remains to this day.
When it came to naming their acquisition, the new directors hesitated. Unsure of the company’s future, or even if wallpaper would remain its staple offering, they shied away from anything too specific. From many ideas, the “B” of Baresque was eventually drawn from Borden Chemical Inc (the company’s major American supplier of the time) and from Blaiklock, of course. A leading product range at the time was “Satinesque”. Combining the two and Baresque was born.
Quite unexpectedly, the name was an instant success, helped along by “Number 96”, then the nation’s top rating TV sitcom. When stressed out, the lead character, Dorrie Evans (played by Pat McDonald) would exclaim that she was about to “Go Baresque”!!!