The History of Brax
As a long term Geelong business, there are a lot of stories and history behind our business.
“Brax” was founded in 1942 by Frank Paxton Bryant - so its always been assumed that the Brax name came from a combination of Paxton and Bryant, originally manufacturing wooden toys and school rulers before beginning manufacturing venetian blinds around 1945.
In 1953, Allan Stewart and George Pyle bought in as business partners before fully acquiring the business in 1958. In 1971 the business was sold to Gair Evans Ltd, a Melbourne based firm that was later taken over by Sunshine (Biscuits) Australia. Allan remained with the company, working as an area manager looking after several Victorian stores.
Around April, 1979 Allan and George re-purchased the business, at the time saving it from closing. Allan continued to run Brax, with George as his business partner, up until his retirement when he handed over the reigns to his son, David.
David had literally grown up in the business, as his father had bought “Brax” before he was born. Over the years David worked across most areas including manufacturing, installation and Sales, at the same time increasing his own shares in the business by buying out George, before taking on the Managers role and the responsibilities that came with it.
In 2000 the decision was made to purchase an industrial building in South Geelong and all manufacturing and administration was moved later that year. At the time Balliang St was a gravel road, and our factory was surrounded by paddocks. A very different landscape to the thriving business area it is today.
This gave us the opportunity to renovate our Pakington St premises, into a large spacious showroom that enables us to showcase not just our own Brax products - we also became part of the Luxaflex Window Fashions Gallery alliance group, and are licensed Crimsafe manufacturers and Somfy Automation Experts.
Today Brax remains a family owned and operated business, run by the husband and wife team of David & Cal Stewart, employing around 27 staff and several contractors across manufacturing, administration, installation and retail. It is still very much a family business, with so many of our staff being like family to us as well. We have many long term staff, some of whom have spent their entire working lives at Brax.
In a highly competitive marketplace, we do sometimes question our decision to invest in continuing to manufacture locally but if you were to ask David why we do, his answer would most likely be “because its what we know”. That and his commitment to all of those loyal staff who work with us. While they each depend on us each day for their employment, we depend on them to help us run and grow our business, without them we couldn't do what we do.
Our aim is to deliver ‘more than just blinds’ by building a strong team that is committed to achieving success, acting with integrity and valuing each other - working collectively to enable continued manufacturing and service excellence.
We believe the homeowners and businesses of the Geelong region deserve to be able to choose to buy awnings, blinds and Crimsafe products that are manufactured for them locally. We exist to service the needs of these customers, by providing them with an innovative range of quality products that will provide solutions to their needs, backed by honest advice, experience and after sales care.