Bruce, Jack, Ventia (Louises Mother) and Louise Stobart
Both from third generation Zimbabwean farming families, Birdwoods founders Bruce and Louise Stobart, emigrated to New Zealand in 2004 with their three young children, Jack, Sophie and Harry. Birdwoods originally started in 1991 when Louise, started a business creating metal birds out of recycled oil drums on their farm in the Mazowe District of Zimbabwe. This grew into a highly successful export-based enterprise with Louises metal birds being sent all over the world until 2003 when politics took a grip of Zimbabwe and almost everything was lost to a lawless government.
Louise with her stall of metal birds in 1991, The beginning of Birdwoods!
Upon immigrating to New Zealand in 2004, Louise and Bruce established Birdwoods Gallery in Havelock North. Birdwoods has grown significantly over the years and it is now one of Hawke’s Bay’s most popular destinations attracting over 60,000 visitors each year and offering a large and beautiful gallery, extensive sculpture gardens, well known café, ice-cream & expresso coffee shop and a much-loved old fashioned sweet shop. Louise and Bruce travel back to Africa yearly to select textiles, artwork, craft and importantly, stone and metal sculpture. Birdwoods is still producing metal birds 20 years later!
In 2019 on their annual buying trip to Africa, Louise and Bruce where joined by their eldest son, Jack. Jack, like his parents, fell in love with Africa and the talented artisans that live there. Jack continued on to do a stone sculpting apprenticeship under the tutelage of renown Zimbabwean Sculptor, Tendai Gwaravaza. In 2020, Birdwoods Arrowtown was opened by Jack in Central Otago, New Zealand.
In 2021, Birdwoods Parnell opened in Auckland, The Stobart's have a passion for creativity and love finding unique and interesting artwork from around the world, We love what we do and hope to be able to share that passion with many others!